great mantra

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 06 Feb 2018 10:23:21

THAT Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi thinks deeply about the student population in the country and is concerned about their genuine progress, is evident from the book “Exam Warriors” he has penned for the youngsters. Treat examinations as festivals and not as problems, he has insisted. The examinations offer tremendous opportunities to prove one’s merit and help the person move forward, is the message woven through the pages of the book in the form of various Mantras whose philosophy is very simple: Understand what you wish to attain, and devise methods to attain that. There should be little doubt about the utility of the book for the student population but also for parents as well as teachers. 

One of the worst afflictions of today’s education system in India is that it is examination-driven and not learning-based. Naturally, examinations are often painted and posed as problems to tackle rather than challenges to overcome and festivals to celebrate. Mr. Modi has sought to dispel exactly this component as undesirable. He has felt that examinations are festivals to celebrate during which the student can showcase whatever he or she has learned and not mugged up verbatim. He has sought to tell again and again that whatever one learns remains with self for life, but whatever is mugged up has a life-span till the end of the examination. In other words, the Prime Minister has advocated learning over studying so that exam-time could be the time of festivities showcasing knowledge, basking in the bright light of knowing things in all aspects rather than dumping information into one’s head.

This is contrary to the approach of the schools and colleges in the country. For, in today’s atmosphere in which education has become “industry”, everything is counted in terms of dividend and discount, schools and colleges aim at ensuring that their students “pass” with so-called flying colours -- that is scoring high marks. The examinations, in such a condition, become monsters who need to be conquered. That is why the advertisements of educational institutions include terms like “cracking” an exam. Nobody actually knows what that means, but such seductive terms are liberally and thoughtlessly used to attract more students so that the institution is in “profits” which are an integral part of “industry”.

The Prime Minister knows this dirty dimension of today’s examination-based education and has sought to offer an answer to the youngsters’ dilemmas and distractions. His mantras are simple. Here are a few samples: ‘Mantra 10 - To do your best, take adequate rest.’ Mantra 11 - Sleep is a great weapon; sharpen it. Mantra 12 - Play to shine. ...
This is not just a word-play, let us remind ourselves. This is a statement of basic philosophy for good life. This is also a way of enjoying life through simple ways and means. For example, Mr. Modi’s Mantra 13 says, ‘Be your own anchor; celebrate your strengths. And Mantra 14 is, ‘Revise and be wise’.

Mr. Narendra Damodardas Modi might have sold tea at his father’s stall in Gujarat. He might have gone to an unknown place for some tapascharya when young. He might have taken a plunge into public life, and all those might not have given him much time to devote to scholastic studies. yet the man has learned great values of life through healthy living. The book “Exam Warriors” highlights all that learning. That a Prime Minister finds time and inclination to write a book on such an issue, is a matter of great good fortune for Indian students who are becoming victims of wrong value-system. Despite his commitments of time and energy, Mr. Modi has spared enough energy for the youngsters of India. They should remain thankful to him.