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Why Modi’s Teachers’ Day Interaction With Students Was Trespassing On Freedom

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By Mayank Jain:

“To conquer a nation, first disarm its citizens.” ― Adolf Hitler

An interaction imposed on children, teachers forced to stay and make arrangements for the streaming after school hours and attendance records being forwarded to the HRD ministry for further action. Did Prime Minister take the idea of inspiration a little too far? Freedom of the students across the country was overstepped by authority and the Teachers’ Day turned out to be a mild imprisonment for them as well as the teachers.

Photo : Bhagya Prakash. K for The Hindu
Photo : Bhagya Prakash. K for The Hindu

It isn’t wrong to interact with and hear from students while they are in school, but it is an entirely different thing to make the interaction a part of the syllabus for exams. It’s akin to force feeding green leafy vegetables to a child even when he/she isn’t hungry. It is an infringement on the freedom of children, who are bound by strict rules of the schools.

Did something shake our prime minister’s faith in his oratorical abilities that he had to make sure that children watched it? Perhaps an attempt to be the next childrens’ hero after Nehru. In which case, an extra holiday and interaction during school hours would have worked much better than forcing them to sit in the classrooms and stare at a screen when they were probably tracking the hands of the clock, waiting to escape to freedom.

Niccolò Machiavelli, in his political treatise, The Prince, highlighted that consent can be manufactured or either diplomatically obtained. In this case, however, our PM went a step ahead and obliterated the concept of consent from the equation. The directive conveniently ignored the freedom to choose and made it compulsory for the schools to arrange the screening.

Some schools, however, took it one step further and circulated notifications, as the one below, which warn children against the peril of missing the telecast. The speech will be the basis of 2 mark questions in 5 main papers for classes 3rd to 12th. Children were required to note down and learn the prime minister’s speech, as it’s going to appear in exams.




Were children inspired and pumped up to serve the nation after the speech? It’s hard to say, before we answer some pertinent questions that face us in the eye. Firstly, most children must have felt trapped and disgruntled at the ‘chief servant’ of the nation for being the reason behind turning their schools into prison. And more importantly, we should rethink on letting authority become a vehicle of force fed indoctrination to children, who are left without a choice. It’s high time we separate PR from concrete necessities.

The attendance has been marked and it will be relayed to the HRD minister Smriti Irani. Children who failed to attend and teachers who couldn’t arrange the streaming might go through another round of punitive action. As we debate the usefulness of the whole exercise, it might be good idea to actually reform the education system. The PM should make schooling more interesting before planning the next interaction.

To know more about this story and what I think, follow me on Twitter at @mayank1029

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  1. balayogi

    well done. You are at it again the usual anti-Modi tirade . Remember interpretation is a loosey-goosey process, which opportunistically draws on anything and everything to establish the bias which all folks of your ilk who are enslaved in leftist ideological cages and indoctrination are good at. Write whatever you may , criticize however you may , you stumbling blocks of change and progress and petty peddlers who suffer from selective amnesia and collective indifference towards anyone or anything that motivates people to propel them to lead a life of confidence and self respect rather than being subjects of your obsessive victim hood portrayal and objects of your rescue drama. You folks trained in the leftist ideology have never let any civilization or citizen progress anywhere in the world, except of course the communist leaders and their brand ambassadors and overt and covert publicity peddlers like you.

  2. Pawan

    First of all, LOL. I mean, I dont understand how much free time one must have to over analyze and misinterpret a situation, but also to write a blog post about it.

    If anyone has successfully passed 12 years of schooling, they will know that not being allowed to go for taking a piss or to drink water in the middle of functions is not something invented by the current Modi government.

    As for what a school does about some address and how it chooses to hold its events are the school’s responsibility. I am sure Modi takes no pride in having his speeches mugged up by sweaty hormonal teenagers who are gonna forget it withing a week and then bitch about it all their lives themselves.

  3. Aditya

    Dude seriously you guys are going paranoid.

    It is a school’s decision to include something for syllabus so its the mistake of school. How does the HRD ministry come into picture in this.

    The schools were asked to make preparations for the event but it was not compulsary for students or teachers to stay. So better take imprisonment shit out of your mind(maybe that has dry grass(bhusa) is it)

    Better get to some constructive thing dear youth ki awaaz rather than just towing to just modi bashing/male bashing/upper caste bashing

    1. balayogi

      well said these leftist ideology peddlers churn out paranoia and victim hood while they cool off inside air conditioned rooms in Delhi and write as you have rightly said ‘ just modi bashing/male bashing/upper caste bashing’ and they must be getting heavily paid by someone for doing this , particularly this particular writer over does it very often. A day will come if the government probes into the background of these media houses lot of links will emerge to give us a true picture.

  4. Nikhil

    Inculcating the speech as part of syllabus is little over the top, I agree. But what I fail to see is how this “disarms” its citizen…. You have a problem with the education system, not Narendra Modi.

  5. Kaushik

    Few jobless guys who are avid readers and have strong vocabulary have suddenly brought a platform (Youth ki awaaj) to analyse a person who is at least doing something good for youth. Yes,more investments are coming.And that means a lot for youth. Please stop writing this “jhuta-human-rights”wala articles and come up with some ideas which can bring some good changes for this country.Jot down the idea.The power lies at tip of your pen,my friend. Please use it to build the nation.(Can’t you write about how India can implement a similar education model as Finland.)

  6. Rashmi

    Seriously?? Certain writers at Youth ki Awaaz need to grow up. You seem to have a problem with the education system. Don’t try to turn it around Modi. It’s gotten so clichéd already. The school has sent out this circular and it is just one of the many “saam, daam, sand, bhed” techniques schools use to make sure the kids participate in educational (of course considered boring by most of us too, when we were of that age) events. So, stop making a mountain out of a molehill and focus on issues that do more justice to this forum.

    1. Ed

      The kids participated in the event, they watched the telecast, they listened to Prime Minister address them. All fine.
      But to quiz them on that.. punitive action to those schools who fail to telecast or kids who fail to attend…don’t you find such instructions forced?
      You yourself mentioned that this would be considered boring if we were their age. So how do expect kids from primary or secondary schools to gain from something that they are forced into?
      If college going students were asked to attend this addressal or watch the telecast and take down notes if they found helpful-that would seem reasonable.

    2. Aditya

      To quiz them on that was the decision of the school. Now is it the fault of the PM that he wants to interact with students or is it the fault of the school to quiz them on that.

      There was no punitive action on students who did not attend but the schools were asked to make arrangements for that. And in such case school should keep facilities ready if the elected representative wants to interact with students.

    3. amit thebar

      u seem to have problem with modi i think.. but thats how it works mate , and PM was not to abduct children to give them any jihad training or something , it was a moral lecture and some points modi want share with his young fans .. yes it may not inspire lots of ’em but a little percent of followers really matters , and our country seriously need them at this point of time .

  7. khusi

    Really????…at least they are trying to reach out to kids…n maybe some kid might actually get inspired….please don’t keep over analyzing every action…n if attendance was not mandatory then do u really think teachers or students would listen to it????

  8. lori

    Thanks for resonating the voice of so many people who think along the same lines. Freedom of children is almost a non-existent concept here and this served as another harsh reminder that freedom of individuals is something which is further going to be trespassed upon by “the authorities”.

    1. Aditya

      Freedom of Children is very much important and by what facts I know of it was not mandatory for students to attend and neither as I got to know from my old school any data forwarded to MHRD/CBSE regarding student attendance.

      Considering the facts given by the writer, it was the fault of the teacher in the photo to not allow that student (not a fault of govt, and believe me when I was his age I have also faced such things without even having some special lecture). And taking an exam on this was decision of the school for which it should be against the school. Why are all you guys hell bent on making govt the culprit for the things done by others?

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