Hundreds of madrasa students in the city, including girls in burqas, listened to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Teachers’ Day speech with rapt attention on Friday, sometimes noisily cheering the proceedings that they watched on television sets installed especially for the event.
At madrasa Eram-Lil-Binaat, hundreds of girls, their faces covered, kept their eyes fixed on a big projector set up for the day. They cheered as “Modi Sir” stepped up to deliver his televised speech.
When Modi said there was no room for discrimination, it touched 22-years-old Rafiya Bano, one of the students at the all-girls madrasa. “This was a good gesture and the message will go down well with the community (which) normally dislikes (the) right wing,” Rafiya said.
Earlier in the day, several madrasas in the city installed TV sets so that students could hear Modi speak and, in some cases, even devised ways to make the PM’s speech a ‘rewarding’ experience.
To make sure students paid attention, some madrasas decided to organise debates among students on Modi’s speech with the best speakers marked down for a prize.
Impressed with Modi’s concern over bright students not taking up teaching jobs, Kausar Jahan, a B.Ed student at Eram-Lil-Binaat madrasa, vowed to become a teacher so that she could help shape young minds.
The prime minister’s tales of his childhood pranks amused students and many of them broke out into a loud laughter.
Twenty one-year-old Syed Ali of Jamate-Tableegh madrasa said that hearing Modi was always a pleasure.
“The recent visuals from Japan where he played (the) drum and flute will remain fresh in people’s mind. He has never let the aura of being PM to overpower him and kept things simple,” said Ali.
Maulana Jafar Abbas of Jame-atot-Tableegh madrasa in Thakurganj told HT that, “Despite differences in ideology, we don’t see any reason to oppose this gesture of the PM of reaching out to the student community.”
“The PM chose an auspicious occasion to reach out to students and it was good there was no controversy,” said another cleric Maulana Yasoob Abbas who made arrangements at madrasa Tahir-ul-Uloom for the students to be able to hear Modi.