Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the students convention on Monday to mark the 125th anniversary of Swami Vivekananda's Chicago address at the World's Parliament of Religion in 1893 and centenary celebrations of BJP ideologue Deendayal Upadhyay.
The theme of his speech was 'Young India, New India – A Resurgent Nation: from Sankalp to Siddhi'. He focussed on the teachings of Vivekananda in the context of the present day and even spoke about the importance of cleanliness. The event was organised by Deendayal Research Institute (DRI).
Meanwhile, here are the highlights from his speech:
- PM Modi began his address by recalling that it was September 11 today. Before 2001, this date gained its prominence owing to the 9/11 incident. And that it was our fault that we forgot that about 125 years ago, a young man dressed in saffron clothes gave a speech.
- By saying that a confident man made an effort to tell the world that there was an address beyond ladies and gentlemen, Modi praised Vivekananda and added saying that 9/11 was significant to him.
- He explained that Vivekananda needs to be understood differently as being a youngster he was able to win several hearts across the world. Vivekananda has two faces: one wherever he went abroad, he exhibited the grandeur of India other when he spoke in India he told us of our vices.
- The 9/11 of 1893 was about love, harmony and brotherhood. Pm Modi tweeted, "Swami Vivekananda said that only rituals will not connect an individual to divinity...he said 'Jan Seva is Prabhu Seva'."
- PM Modi pointed out that Vivekananda never went in search of a guru. He sought truth and so did Mahatma Gandhi. Meanwhile, he questioned if we accepted the vices in present society and if we respected our heritage. He pleaded the nation, accounting for 65% youngsters, to look up to Vivekananda, who converted ideas into idealism.
- Shifting his focus to cleanliness, Modi asked if people had the right to say Vande Mataram. Remembering the efforts of the people who are making India clean, he said that only those who cleaned the nation have the right to sing Vande Mataram and also said that, whether it is clean or not, the people had no right to dirty the nation.
- During his address, he also mentioned those women who refused to marry if there weren't any toilets. He said, "I am happy that there are daughters in the country who say they won't marry if there is no toilet in their marital home. We give birth to people who lead us to fight our social evils".
- The correspondence between Swami Vivekananda and Jamsetji Tata will show the concern Swami JI had towards India's self-reliance, the prime minister tweeted.
- He brought into context the skill development programme by speaking about the difference between knowledge and skill. He said that he wanted to create self-reliant individuals who are job creators and not job seekers. India is a huge market waiting for the knowledge and skill of the youngsters, he said.
- Swami Vivekananda had given the concept of 'One Asia.' He said that the solutions to the world's problems will come from Asia, he said. Pointing out that there is no better place for creativity and innovation other than university campuses, he asked the audience to take a vow to keep the premises clean.