School principal writes regularly to pupil Narendra Modi
Retired school principal Rasvihari Maniar is in the habit of writing down his mann ki baat and sending them across to his favourite pupil. Last weekend, the pupil — Prime Minister Narendra Modi — acknowledged the efforts of the teacher in his own Mann Ki Baat.
In his radio talk show, Modi did not refer to Maniar by name, but other former teachers of the prime minister who still live in his hometown of Vadnagar insist he meant the 88-year-old Maniar, now residing in Kandivali, Mumbai.
“He also gives his comments on what he deems correct or otherwise in whatever I have done during the month. It is as if he is, even now, teaching me in the class room,” Modi said of the teacher on radio.
Sitting in his spartan home, Maniar says he loves to write to Modi. “I write when I feel like writing. I don’t think about A Class 9 photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi (bottom, left) with principal Rasvihari Maniar. replies or anything. I just love writing,” says the retired prin- cipal of BN Vidyalaya where Modi studied. So, does the teacher give his student any advice? “Once, when he made a speech somewhere, I noticed that he only had one pen in his jacket pocket. I took my pen and paper and asked him to keep two pens instead of just one, in case one doesn’t work, or if he needed another ink colour,” recollects Maniar.
Having shifted to Mumbai in 1966, Maniar keeps himself busy writing poetry in Gujarati and English under the pen name Anamaya Chakrabarti.
But he takes particular pride in his pupil’s meteoric progress.