Prime Minister Narendra Modi, speaking to school students on Monday ahead of board examination season, said that examination marks are not everything and that their rights are embedded in their duties.
Modi was speaking on the third edition of Pariksha Pe Charcha at Delhi’s Talkatora Stadium, with his speech also live telecast across schools. The event was attended by around 2,000 students of selected schools from different states.
In response to questions by students on the balance between their rights and duties, Modi said that rights are embedded within duties.
“That rights and duties get spoken of together is itself a mistake. It implies that rights are one system and duties are another system. It is not like that. Everybody’s rights are embedded in our duties. If I carry out my duty as a teacher, then doesn’t it safeguard the rights of the students? …Then there will be no quarrel between rights and duties. Mahatma Gandhi used to say moolbhoot adhikar nahi hote hai, moolboot toh kartavya hote hai (rights are not fundamental, it is duty that is fundamental), and if we fulfill our duties honestly, no one will have to ask anything for their rights because their rights are protected in them,” Modi said.
The Prime Minister went on to tell students to take up duties which will strengthen the country.
“Can we decide that by 2022, our families and we will buy locally for whatever we and our families need? We will only buy Make in India things…”
On exam pressures, Modi said, “Just exam marks are not life. In that way, no one examination is all of life… I pray to parents to not create an atmosphere that everything depends on this… There’s a lot of scope. You can enter any field in life.”
He also urged students to take up extra-curricular activities and maximise use of technology but not be a “slave” to it. Telling students to maintain a “technology-free hour” each day, he also told them to have a technology-free room in the house.
“Is is possible for families which have two-three rooms in the house — the very poor families don’t have any problems of technology — to decide to keep one room in which there will be no entry of technology?” he said.
Questions came from students from different parts of the country. K Divya, a Class X student of Government Girls Modern Senior Secondary School in the Andamans asked via video, “What should be the role of modern technology in a students life?”. Tapi Aku, a Class XII student of Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Papumparere in Arunachal Pradesh, asked what duties students can fulfill.
Other students also took the opportunity to seek personal advice from the Prime Minister. Prerna Manwar, a Class XII student of Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya at Kannad, Maharasthra, shared her problem with waking up early to study. “My parents and teachers ask me to sleep early and wake up early but I am a night owl,” she said.
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