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Modi's college speech makes an impact on young audience

Last updated on: February 6, 2013 22:42 IST

Modi's college speech makes an impact on young audience

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Priyanka in New Delhi

The response to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's speech at Delhi University's Sri Ram College of Commerce was largely positive, reports Priyanka.  

A few minutes before 4 pm on Wednesday, an announcement about Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's scheduled speech was made from the temporarily erected podium at the sports center at Delhi University's Sri Ram College of Commerce.

The indoor sports stadium had been transformed for the event with a podium on one side, green carpets, neat tables and white tablecloth. At least 1,800 students breathed anxiously for Modi to deliver the Sri Ram Memorial oration at the college's business conclave 2013.

Minutes after the announcement, Narendra Modi entered the venue. He waved his hand, while the students stood up cheering loudly, clapping excitedly.

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Image: Students and faculty members listen to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's speech at Delhi's Sri Ram College of Commerce
Photographs: Sondeep Shankar/Rediff.com

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'Modi should be given a chance'

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After the customary welcome by the college authorities, Modi took to podium and held it strong for the next hour or so.  He spoke mainly in Hindi, with a few lines in English here and there, much to the surprise of journalists present. His talk incited cheerful uproar from the students quite a few times. For instance, Modi remarked in his lecture that a half glass of water need not be strictly viewed as either half empty or half full. The glass, he said, should be seen as filled with water and air. The remark seems to have stuck a chord with Riya Agrawal, a third year student of BCom Hons. "I think it's a very different approach. Nobody would have thought about it like this," she said.

"I also liked what he said that most of the times we are merely firefighting," Riya added. Riya and her friend Gautami Singhania, also a third year student of BCom Hons at the college, liked Modi's views on development best. "We liked that he is talking about development. We don't want vote bank politics in our country. We want things to change,' she said.

Her friend agreed with her, "The current government only indulges in fake promises. They only do things for attention. We want to see work done," said Gautami Singhania.

They were also all praise for the development in Gujarat.

Modi spoke of setting up unique universities in the country, like for forensics and teaching. "We didn't even know that so much was happening in Gujarat," exclaimed Riya. When asked if the work in Gujarat can be replicated across the country, Gautami argued, "We should at least give him a chance. We can judge him only after we see what work he does. Right now, we haven't seen his work, but I feel we should give him a chance."

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Photographs: Sondeep Shankar/Rediff.com

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'We don't trust the Congress government anymore'

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The group of protesters outside the college gate didn't seem to bother them much. "We can't say for sure why things happened in Gujarat in 2002," said Gautami. "We don't want to blindly believe what they tell us. We should give Modi a chance and then see what he does. We don't trust the Congress government anymore, there have been so many scams in the past few years," added Rita.

First year BCom student from Tamil Nadu, Mukesh Kumar, said, "What I liked best was the way Modi spoke about the country. I want to feel proud of my country." Kumar said that while Modi's speech was "fantastic", he gave examples of Gujarat alone.

"There was a lot of positive energy in his speech," said Archana Daswal, a first year student of commerce. "I liked the way he speaks," she added.

"I liked how he not only spoke of India but also compared it with other countries," said Antara Bhaskar, another first year student.

"We liked him say that things are bad but they can be changed," added Archana.

All these students would be first time voters in the next assembly elections.

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Photographs: Sondeep Shankar/Rediff.com

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Modi first to respond to invitation

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At the end of the lecture, Modi met with students, shook hands and posed for photographs with students.

The college principal Dr P C Jain informed in his vote of thanks that the college had sent an invite to 11 ministers. While Modi was the first one to respond, the college is still receiving regret letters, he informed.

The memorial oration had been organised by the students union. "We wanted to know more about the Gujarat story of development," said Ashutosh Poddar, a member of the students union. "We asked students and a majority of them wanted Narendra Modi to speak on the occasion," he added.



Image: Protests against Narendra Modi were held outside Sri Ram College of Commerce
Photographs: Sondeep Shankar/Rediff.com

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