The tenor of Prime Minister Modi’s discourse was lost on these children
The much-hyped Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Teachers’ Day speech was lost on some students in the State, thanks to either the barrier of language or technology.
About 350 children studying in four Kannada, Tamil and Telugu-medium schools in Viveknagar area of Bangalore, who were watching the telecast live, were initially excited about the Prime Minister talking “directly” to them on television. They cheered and applauded as Mr. Modi appeared onscreen.
The excitement was, however, short-lived as nothing he was saying — which was entirely in Hindi — made sense to them. They soon started growing restless and began making up excuses to get out of the class. Hands kept going up, asking for a break to visit the toilet. From the toilet, many made their way to the playground. Those who failed to leave the room were seen dozing off.
Murahari Ramu, a class eight Telugu student, who understands Kannada, Telugu and English, said he did not understand Hindi. “I was looking forward to listen to the Prime Minister. But, I did not understand anything as he spoke in Hindi.” Revamma S., assistant teacher at the Tamil Primary School, Viveknagar, said many teachers themselves were not able to comprehend the interaction.
At several government schools and junior colleges in Hassan, the problem was of a different kind. Students, who sat in front of television sets on Friday, all eager to listen to Mr. Modi’s address, were in for a surprise. What they got to watch was not the speech, but the India-England One-Day international match live. The teachers were told that the address would be telecast on all national channels and there was no need for cable connection. The TV sets without cable connection could tune into only DD National, which was telecasting the cricket match. The speech was being telecast on DD News and DD Bharati, which were not accessible without cable network. Finally, the teachers managed to get radio sets and the students were asked to listen to the programme.
Commissioner for Public Instruction Mohammad Mohsin admitted that many rural students were not able to listen to the speech. “Due to logistic issues, we were not able to establish screening in rural areas,” he said.