By K. Ashwin Mob: 00919920183006 E-mail: email@example.com
President Pranab Mukherjee today called upon fellow citizens to draw inspiration from the vision and life of Swami Vivekananda to build a strong India. Speaking at a commemorative function to mark the 120th anniversary of historic voyage of Swami Vivekanada to Chicago from the Bombay (Mumbai) port, Shri Mukherjee said “to remember Vivekanada is to remember his call for rebuilding India’s national character.” He said our foremost goal should be the revival of our proud traditions in morality, ethics and social conduct. “Our nation’s progress should not be hampered by the tarnishing of our national character or a weakening of the moral fibre of our society” the President added.
Shri Mukherjee said Swami Vivekananda’s vision should remind us of things that we need to do urgently and in a sustained manner. He said, social reform constituted a key component of Swami Vivekananda’s vision for modern India. “Swamiji was uncompromisingly opposed to discrimination, deprivation and injustice on the grounds of caste, class and gender. According to him, the mismatch between the lofty ideals of Vedanta and the disgraceful apathy for the human condition in our society were simply unacceptable”. President said Swamiji’s 150th birth anniversary celebrations should be an occasion for a constructive debate and cooperative action among the various sections striving for social reform.
The President also said that there is an urgent imperative to both improve and expand our education systems, by upgrading curriculum and adopting result oriented methods. Shri Mukherjee also called upon the corporate sector to commit more resources for social welfare activities, supplementing the efforts made by the Government.
Swami Sarvalokananda of Ramakrishna Mission in his introductory remark described the voyage of Swami Vivekananda to Chicago as historic and said Swamiji’s speeches there, rectified and improved the understanding of the Hindu faith and philosophy in the Western world.
On this occasion two commemorative books brought out by the Observer Research Foundation, viz. ‘Swami Vivekananda in Mumbai and Maharashtra’ and ‘A Monk from Bombay : Swami Vivekananda’s historic voyage from Mumbai to Chicago’ were released by the Governor of Maharashtra K Sankaranarayanan.
On May 31, 1893 Swami Vivekananda had set sail for Chicago aboard S S Peninsular, from the place, where Gateway of India stands today. It was at this congregation of Parliament of World Religions that Swami Vivekananda had delivered his famous address ‘sisters and brothers of America’ that took the western world by storm. The commemorative function in Mumbai was organized by the Ramakrishna Mission and the Observer Research Foundation.