New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who unveiled a statue of Swami Vivekananda on Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) campus here on Thursday (November 12), said that one should be proud of one`s ideology but should not let it eclipse the national interest.
Addressing the function through video conferencing, the Prime Minister said that students` hunger for ideas, debates, and discussion, which used to be satisfied in Sabarmati Dhaba, has now found a new place under the statue of Swami Vivekananda. He said that it is wrong to think only on the basis of one`s ideology, which eclipses national interest, adding “Everyone takes pride in their ideology today, which is natural. But we should follow our ideology in the line of the national interest and not against it.”
“This statue should teach immense commitment and intense love towards our nation,” PM Modi wished, adding if there is one thing which has “hurt the democratic set-up of our country the most; it is giving priority to ideology over national interest.
Talking about the new education policy, PM Modi said that “Swami Vivekanda wanted that education in the country should be such that it provides self-confidence to individuals and makes them ‘atmanirbhar’ in every way. The new National Education Policy is on the same line and has inclusion at its core.”
The prime minister said the statue on the campus will inspire everyone and instill courage and compassion that Swami Vivekananda wanted to see in everyone. While he was addressing the function in the JNU, students were seen shouting anti-Modi slogans.
At the JNU campus where anti-India slogans are raised and Afzal Guru is equalized, the students were agitated over the installation of the statue of Swami Vivekananda. They even shouted anti-Modi slogans- Narendra Modi Murdabad–besides holding posters and placards stating “Modi Go Back” in their hands.
The Prime Minister extorted the country`s youth, whom he termed “the brand ambassadors of India world over” to not just be proud of the centuries-old identity of India, but to carve a new identity in the 21st century. He said “This statue should inspire the nation to become one, move forward on the path of youth-led development, which was Swamiji`s expectation. This statue inspires us to fulfil the dream of making India strong.”
Modi wished that the statue of Swami Vivekananda would inspire everyone and fill everyone up with energy, adding “This statue should give courage, which Swamiji wanted to see in everyone. This statue should teach compassion, which is Swamiji`s teaching`s main foundation.”
He also went on to speak about the “Atmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India), which he said, was a part of the collective consciousness of more than 130 crore Indians. He added that the country is moving forward with determination on the path of self-reliance, and the poor are getting their own homes, toilet, electricity, gas, clean drinking water, digital banking, cheap mobile connectivity, and fast internet connection.
He further said that the poor were earlier misled by slogans, and no effort was made to align them with the system. They were neglected and were deliberately kept unconnected and financially excluded.
Notably, Swami Vivekananda believed that real qualities hidden inside a person can be brought out only through education, but it is troublesome to witness that such people have encroached upon a premier education institution and they now want to oppose ideas of great people like Swami Vivekananda.
A Persian scholar Amir Khusro had praised India 600 years ago and wrote that ‘the greatest feature of India is that people from all over the world come here for studies, and no one from India went outside for the same.
Had these students, who are opposing the installation of Swami Vivekananda’s statue, understood the life of this great personality, they would not have opposed it rather they would have revered him. They are forgetting that Swami Vivekananda made the world realize the power of India.
In the first World Parliament of Religions in Chicago (US) in 1893, Swami Vivekananda gave a powerful speech that surprised the whole world. His first words- “Sisters and Brothers of America” – led 7,000 to give a standing ovation to Swami ji for about two minutes.
This event has changed the outlook of the world towards India, a series of reactions came from different parts of the world. A lot was written in American newspapers by that time. On page number 150 of a book written titled- Swami Vivekananda in India: A Corrective Biography’, by Rajagopal Chattopadhyaya has mentioned the comment made in the American newspaper, The New York Critique.
This newspaper wrote that many people gave good speeches but no one could present the way a Hindu monk did before the World Parliament of Religions. It further informed to have printed the entire speech as the effect of Swami Vivekananda’s speech on people present there was difficult to describe.
Another newspaper, The New York Herald, also wrote that there is no doubt that Swami Vivekananda was the greatest speaker in the World Parliament of Religions. After listening to them, it seems how silly it is to send missionaries to such a scholarly and intelligent country.
A scholar named Stefanie Syman in his book ‘The Subtle Body: The Story of Yoga in America’ referred to the commentary of a newspaper ‘The Boston Evening Transcript’, which wrote that 4000 people were sitting in Columbus Hall for two hours only to listen to 15 minutes speech of Swami Vivekananda.
This was the power of Swami Vivekananda that was felt by the whole world, but some youth in our country have forgotten that divine power.