On the historic day 9/11, embarking on 'Swami Vivekananda Yuva Vikas Yatra’
When one talks of September 11th, the first image that comes to many minds is the gruesome sight of airplanes ramming into iconic buildings in two major cities of USA, leaving behind a dreadful trail of destruction.
But there is another 11th September- one that is edged in the annals of history as the day when entire world’s attention was drawn to the inherent cultural strengths of our great Motherland and that too on the same soil that witnessed the dastardly destruction in 2001. It was on this day back in 1893 that Swami Vivekananda addressed the World’s Parliament of Religions in Chicago. With just a few words, “Sisters and Brothers of America”, this great soul had reverberated India’s message of unifying the human race, to the entire world.
On this historic day, I will be embarking on ‘Swami Vivekananda Yuva Vikas Yatra’ from the holy town of Becharaji with the blessings of Bahuchar Mata. Swami Vivekananda envisioned a ‘Samarth’ and ‘Samradha’ Bharat (strong and developed India) and during the course of the Yatra, I seek to cover every corner of Gujarat and this message of Swami ji to the youth of the state. Being the year of Swami ji’s 150th birth anniversary, Gujarat is commemorating 2012 as ‘Yuva Shakti Varsh’ and I am sure quests such as this will be extremely enriching.
Today is also a landmark day as from this day onwards Gujarat’s comprehensive ban on Gutka comes into force. I was deeply distressed to see the number of lives that were lost due to the habit of consuming Gutka and with a determination to ensure that no woman of Gujarat loses her husband or young son to this menace, we decided to enforce this ban. It is our dream to create a healthy Gujarat where gutka consumption is banished from the dictionaries of our people.
I am sharing the text of Swami Vivekananda’s address to the World’s Parliament of Religions. Let us remember 9/11 as the day of universal peace and brotherhood and work towards furthering Swami Vivekananda’s dream of a strong and glorious India.