Gujarat CM Shri Narendra Modi suggested the GOI should take initiatives for organizing befitting programmes in about 150 universities all over world for spreading the messages of Swami Vivekananda's teachings and ideas.
While speaking at the first meeting of the National Committee for commemoration of 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda held here today under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, Gujarat Chief Minister said that the projection of Swami Vivekananda as a youth icon would lead to more social consciousness in the youth of today.
Advocating the thoughts and ideas of Swami Vivekananda on social reforms, involvement of youth in country's development and implementation of yoga nation-wide, Gujarat Chief Minister Shri Narendra Modi strongly emphasized that the nation should honour this great man by trying to realize his dream of a better and brighter India by following his footsteps.
Expressing his idea about Swami Vevekananda, Shri Modi said, We as political leaders and Heads of the State Government and Government of India can make the changes of social fabric of this country in its true sense, throughout the land. If one man could do so much in such a short span of time to alleviate the suffering of so many, should we not try to honour this achievement and the man himself by trying our best to bring about this change? Given that people are still suffering, poverty is still rampant, and division on the basis of caste and creed still common, is it not our duty to realize this dream of creating a system that will help to alleviate and gradually eradicate this suffering and pain?'
Swamiji was a great advocate of the adoption of yoga, as it not only strengthens the body but also helps in giving us better control over our minds. Remembering his (Swami Vivekananda) four folds of yoga 'Gyan, Bhakti, Raj and Karma ' Shri Modi appealed the members of Committee that yoga should be promoted in a big way in India, reaching out to the masses and not just be restricted to elite. Gujarat has already made yoga compulsory for all children in schools from the 1st to the 9th standard. To make yoga a nation-wide phenomenon, the Government of India should announce that yoga should be taught compulsorily in all schools of India from the year 2013, which marks Swamiji's 150th birth anniversary. Mr Modi felt that the creation of four yoga universities in the name of Swami Vivekananda for research and practice would be a befitting tribute to this great man's vision. Governments should take concrete measures to realize and maintain this vision. Apart from this, in the future, the yoga universities should have branches all over the globe, he added.
Gujarat Chief Minister suggested that we should set up a centre of excellence in one of our universities to deal exclusively with the study of Swami Vivekananda's teachings and their relevance to our everyday lives. He also offered to provide land and infrastructure if the Government of India sets up a centre in Gujarat. The centre of excellence can study his teachings and their application in varied fields, such as education, management and human resource development.
Suggesting poverty alleviation programme in Swamiji's name, Shri Modi pointed out that a special programme could be implemented which involved the educated youth of our country, and required them to work for a year or two devoting their time to rural upliftment and service to the poor.
In order to protect and preserve the memory of Swami Vivekananda and his teachings, the memorials could be created in his honour. All places where Swamiji stayed for a period of more than a week in the entire country during his journey across the nation can have memorials erected in the name of Swamiji. Four places in Gujarat: Rajkot, Vadodara, Limbdi and Porbandar have already established such memorials. Apart from these spots, a statue of Swamiji can be erected at Somnath, which was the first place in his itinerary when he set forth on his Bharat Yatra. CM suggested that these memorials, apart from being homage to the great man, will also serve as a permanent reminder of who the Swamiji was, and what he stood for.
He further added that the essence of Swami Vivekananda should be kept alive not by mere words, but by actions. To this effect, places where Swamiji lived and taught such as Kolkata, Kanyakumari, Somnath, Porbandar, Kutch, etc. should be developed as part of the 'Vivekananda Tourist Circuit and Education Sphere' and necessary facilities should be provided to enable people to visit the places where Swami Vivekananda lived and taught. Efforts should be made to propagate Swami Vivekananda as a role model for the youth of today, as Swamiji's main concern was to mobilize the youth of the country to join the movement.
Shri Modi made suggestions that the Government of India could institute awards for 'Ideal Youth Personality of the Year' in the name of Swami Vivekananda, and Model School Scheme which was recently introduced by Government of India can be named after Swamiji. Also, in order to strike a better chord with the youth, the National Service Scheme, which is a Government of India Scheme, can be named after him, considering he was in favour of doing service to the nation.
Swami Vivekananda paid a great deal of emphasis on education and self-reliance through education. To reward this spirit of self-reliance through education, the Central Government should institute fellowships for excellence in higher education and research to such scientists and researchers who have with their critical research and contributions, made India self-reliant.
Besides Gujarat, Chief Ministers from Sikkim, Assam, Bihar, Orissa, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamilnadu and Uttarakhand are also members of the committee. They also attended the meeting.