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Rashtrapati Bhavan : 12.01.2013

The President of India called for Vivekananda’s teachings to be propagated across India and the world with a full realization of the powerful impact they have on the people of India. He was speaking at the inaugural function of the 150th Birth Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda today (January 12, 2013) at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

The President quoted A.L. Basham, the renowned British historian and said about Swami Vivkekanda "in centuries to come, he will be remembered as one of the main moulders of the modern world”. He also pointed out that Swami Vivekananda had a deep commitment to the poor. Swamiji said about the social responsibility of educated people that "so long as the millions live in hunger and ignorance, I hold every man a traitor who, having been educated at their expense pays not the least heed to them”.

The President said the teachings of Swamiji stand true not only to the time he lived but also to the present day India. How his messages and teachings have transcended to become relevant for all ages can be best understood from the statement made by our first Prime Minister, Late Shri Jawaharlal Nehru. He said: "I do not know how many of the younger generation have read the speeches and writings of Swami Vivekananda. But I can tell you that many of my generation were very powerfully influenced by him, and I think that it would do a great deal of good to the present generation if they also went through Swami Vivekananda’s writings and speeches, and they would learn so much from them. If you read Swami Vivekananda’s writings and speeches, the curious thing you will find is that they are not old. He gave us something which brings to us, if I may use the word, a certain pride in our inheritance. What Swamiji has written and said is of interest and must interest us and is likely to influence us for a long time to come. Directly or indirectly, he has powerfully influenced the India of today. And I think that our younger generation will take advantage of this fountain of wisdom, of spirit and fire that flows through Swami Vivekananda.”

This release issued at 1815 hrs