School prin­ci­pal writes reg­u­larly to pupil Naren­dra Modi

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - Akash Sakaria & Hi­ral Dave let­[email protected]­dus­tan­

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.

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