President Pranab Mukherjee on Friday interacted with students of Dr. Rajendra Prasad Sarvodaya Vidhyalaya on the eve of the Teachers’ day.
President Mukherjee, who was a teacher before he joined active politics in 1969 was teaching these students political history of independent India seen through his own eyes.
Among things he talked about the Battle of Plassey, Third Battle of Panipat and its impact on the establishment of British Raj in India, India’s multi-party democratic system, economic liberalisation of 1991 by Dr Manmohan Singh.
He also told students about his growing up period saying that he used to be a quite ‘a naughty child.’
President said, “I have the urge of teaching somewhere till today. I was not a bright student. I was an average student. I used to walk 5 kilometers to my school.”
He said the meaning of development those days used to be good road as he had travel 10 kms every day to go to school and return.
President Mukherjee said, ” My best teacher was my mother. As young boy I always thought the development meant good road for me to go to school. I had to work very hard as student. I used to be a very naughty child. I troubled my mother a lot.”
He also informed the students how the constitution was drafted also why there was a need for further amendments to include the word secular in its preamble later.
Gripped by his incredible memory of Indian history, the student appeared in awe of this special class by an equally special teacher.
President Mukherjee continued, “There were many sceptics when the first general elections in 1952 were held. The establishment of multi-party democratic system was a significant event in post independence India.”
On Bengal’s famine that killed hundreds of thousands of people in early 1940s, the president said, “5 million people died of starvation in the great famine of Bengal in early 40s. Soon after the Independence, we decided to be self-sufficient in food production.”
A brainchild of Delhi chief minister Arviind Kejriwal, the idea was proposed to President Mukherjee in August and he readily accepted the offer to interact with the students.
President’s interaction with students is part of the Kejriwal government’s intiative, Be a Teacher, which aims to regularly invite a famous person to interact with students.