Prime Minister Narendra Modi may have told students in the January 2017 edition of his Mann Ki Baat radio program that examinations are not the benchmark of their success, but a confluence of religion and pressure to perform is presenting a completely different picture in Modi's own state. A temple in Gujarat is selling pens for Rs 1,900, with "money-back" guarantee!
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The matter came to light after handbills of the Kashthabhanjan temple in the Panchmahal district of Gujarat were circulated in region, with claims by one Dushyant Bapuji that the pens being sold had special properties that would enable any student writing with them to pass their examinations. The similarity to self-correcting quills in the Harry Potter universe — which are banned in all examinations in the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry — is not lost on many.
According to the handbill, Dushyant Bapuji is a devotee of Lord Hanuman, and has acquired divinity by worshipping the monkey god and Goddess Saraswati — the Hindu deity of learning and the arts. The pens he is selling are apparently imbued with this aforementioned divinity, which makes them infallible when it comes to writing examinations, Dushyant Bapuji claims in the handbill.
The scheme is clearly aimed at students appearing for their all important secondary and higher secondary (Class 10 and Class 12) examinations. We tried to reach out to Dushyant Bapuji over the phone, but were unable to establish contact despite repeated attempts.
As if selling the pen is not enough, the "inventor" of the writing instrument is also offering to refund the entire cost of the pen in case it fails to do its duty! The handbill says: "If your student does not pass his examinations even after using our pen set, then we will return the entire amount."
Interestingly, there are several things one needs to buy this magical pen. Students need to provide proof that they are indeed taking an examination to get the pen. The documents ask for a copy of the hall ticket, the student's identification card and a few other things.