Citing examples of renowned educational institutes like Fergusson College, Banaras Hindu University and Shantiniketan established in the pre-independence era by great freedom fighters and visionaries, Gujrat Chief Minister Narendra Modi yesterday said that since Independence, the government has made no contribution to strengthen our education system.
“Earlier, education was a man-making mission. Now, it has been converted to a money-making mission. Was this our tradition? Does this education system fulfill the dreams of the common man?” said the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) election campaign chief, who was in the city to inaugurate the 101-year-old and recently renovated N M Wadia Amphitheatre of the Fergusson College.
Hundreds of students had gathered at the campus to listen to Modi’s thoughts inside the amphitheatre, while some watched the proceedings on the big screen put up outside. Emphasizing that education plays a crucial role in a nation’s development, Modi stressed that modernisation and not westernisation was key to a good education system. He also said that nation building through qualitative applied educational research was the need of the hour. “Others believe in power; we stress on empowerment,” he said, taking a dig at the ruling party.
Modi also made references of how active he is on social networking sites and how his speech was based on concerns raised by youth in the country on various national issues.
“Before coming here, I requested young friends across the country through Facebook and Twitter to guide me on the topics to cover at Fergusson College. I am happy that more than 2,500 youngsters shared their viewpoints. So even though the speech is mine, the thoughts in it are of youngsters from Kashmir to Kanyakumari to Nagaland.”
In a veiled reference to MP Suresh Kalmadi, without naming him, Modi said, “South Korea is the size of Gujarata and it still has proved itself by successfully hosting the Olympic games. But in this country of 120 crore people, we tarnished our image in the world while organising the Commonwealth Games.”