Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday equated the presentation of the Budget with an “exam”, and said he remained “full of confidence” about facing it.
In his monthly radio show Mann Ki Baat broadcast Sunday, the PM addressed students whose board exams are starting soon.
Referring to the General Budget, he said, “Friends, your exams are beginning. I, too, have an exam tomorrow. Hundred and twenty-five crore countrymen will take my exam… Hearing me, you must have felt how healthy I am, how much self-confidence I have. Let my exam happen tomorrow. Let yours start the day after. And let us all succeed, the country will succeed too then.”
The PM also talked about how he personally deals with stress. “Sometimes I feel tension within. Then I feel I should relax a bit so that I feel good. I have developed my own technique. I do some deep breathing. I take deep breaths three times, five times. It may take a few seconds but my mind becomes ready to deal with the situation with a calm mind. This may be my experience but this may help you too,” Modi said.
He also talked about yoga helping concentration and strengthening inner peace.
Later, addressing farmers at a rally in Bareilly, the PM said the challenges faced by them could be converted into opportunities “if you (farmers) help me and states implement the various schemes properly”. “Filling farmers’ pockets with money” wasn’t enough, he said.
Modi talked about the recently launched crop insurance scheme, describing it as a “protective shield”, as well as other government initiatives such as an e-platform for marketing of agriculture products and the scheme to inter-link rivers. Modi has been addressing farmers’ rallies in different states over the past few weeks.
Noting that agriculture was a state subject, the PM said, “The states where some work has been done in the farming sector have witnessed progress. But in states which have a ‘chalta hai (let it happen)’ and ‘election time pe dekh lenge (we will see at the time of elections)’ approach, the fate of farmers has been left to God. After God, there is nobody to help them.”
While he raised the fact that Bundelkhand continued to be parched, Modi pointed out that Madhya Pradesh, under the leadership of Shivraj Singh Chouhan, had become “No. 1” in agriculture.
He underlined a vision to “double the income of farmers by 2022”, the 75th year of independence of the country. “From this land of Uttar Pradesh, I urge all states to give priority to agriculture and then see the changes. The roadmap is there, you only have to implement it,” he said, calling agriculture, industry and service sector the three pillars of economic development.
Modi said he wasn’t criticising any state but only wanted to “urge” them on with the promise that “the Centre was ready to work shoulder-to-shoulder” with them in the implementation of schemes.
Talking about the MNREGA, Modi, in a clear reference to the UPA government, said, “What happened earlier? It was nowhere to be seen.” The scheme could be used to provide irrigation by making ponds deeper, cleaning canals, and rainwater harvesting, he said.
Modi urged farmers not to use excessive chemicals or harmful fertilisers. “This atrocity on ‘dharti mata’ should be avoided… We have no right to commit such an atrocity.”
In his Mann ki Baat, the PM roped in ‘Bharat Ratnas’ Sachin Tendulkar and Prof C N R Rao, in addition to chess champion Vishwanathan Anand and spiritual leader Morari Bapu, to address students. Messages recorded by them were played during the programme.
The PM told students to give exams with a positive approach and a free and calm mind, without any anxiety, and exhorted parents not to put pressure on them.
Invoking the likes of inventor Thomas Alva Edison and author J K Rowling, Modi said their success had possibly come after many failures. “There is success in failure too” if there is a positive approach, he said.