PM Narendra Modi | Photo: PTI
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday took a swipe at critics of the government's handling of economy, saying his dispensation was mocked as full of "average" talents but the same India considered "average" is now shining in the world and seen as a ray of hope in the post-pandemic era.
Interacting with students during the sixth edition of "Pariksha Pe Charcha", he also told them it is his "firm conviction" and "article of faith" that criticism is a purification exercise for a robust democracy. Criticism is precondition to a robust democracy, he said but noted that a "vast gulf" exists between criticism and allegations.
Replying to a question, he said, "You would have seen two-three years back that it was written about our government that it has no economist. It is full of average people. The prime minister also has no understanding of economics. This is what was written. But the same country termed average is shining in the world."
The world is looking at India as a ray of hope at a time when global economic condition is being discussed, more so after the COVID-19 outbreak, he said.
"It is not that the world lacks economists. There are many big nobel prize winners who can guide as to what will effect what kind of chances in economic conditions. People spouting wisdom are available in every corner these days. There are also scholars who have done a lot of work," he said.
With growth slackening in many developed countries, India is among the fastest growing large economies, with many global economic bodies favouring the country to do well in the near future.
Modi made the comments in reply to questions from students as to how those seen as average among them can handle studies.
He told them that most of the successful people in the world are those who were once average. He said one does not need to be a "tees maar khan", a Hindi expression, used often mockingly, to refer to someone who thinks very highly of himself. Many people are below-average but consider themselves "tees mar khan", he added.
Recognising one's capabilities and adapt and work accordingly put people on the road to become capable, Modi said.
When another student asked him as to how he sees the opposition's criticism and allegations as a tonic and opportunity, something he has spoken about earlier, the prime minister refrained from making a direct political point and said in a lighter vein that such queries are "out of syllabus".
However, he asserted that he principally believes in the importance of criticism and cited the example of open source technologies that improve their system by engaging critics. Criticism allows one to remove their shortcomings, he added.
It takes a lot of hardwork, analysis and study to criticise but most people level allegations in these times of shortcuts, he said.
"A vast gulf exists between criticism and allegation. Criticism is a nutrient that makes us strong. But you don't need to take those levelling allegations seriously," he said.
Some people criticise habitually and there intention is something else, he said, asking students to ignore them.
In this context, Modi cited parliamentary debates where some members come with a lot of preparations but get distracted by the remarks from opposition legislators made only to provoke them.
Those who get distracted from the topic waste their efforts while some return to the issue under discussion after briefly rebutting the opposition. Those who focus on the matter at hand make a mark, he said. PTI