PM Modi: India should celebrate its diversity

Swami Vivekananda at Parliament of the World’s Religions in Chicago

Swami Vivekanandas message of oneness in his historic Chicago speech was as relevant today as it was in 1893, the Congress party said and accused the Narendra Modi government of doing just the opposite of what the monk-philosopher preached and represented.

■ Today is 9/11.this day became widely spoken about after 2001 but there was another 9/11 of 1893 which we remember.

Prime Minister said while Swami Vivekananda spoke highly about India and Indian religion in the U.S., he also did candid speaking and had attacked "social evils in India strongly".

Modi added that Vivekananda supported innovation and distinguished skill from knowledge, and that his government was working in the same direction.

"Should we not have a situation when a Haryana college celebrates Tamil Day, or a Punjab college celebrates Kerala Day", he asked. I am asking all countrymen whether we have the right to chant Vande Mataram. "Swami Vivekananda said that only rituals will not connect an individual to divinity...'Jan Seva is Prabhu Seva'".

Vande Mataram: PM Modi surprised all when he conveyed a tough love message to the students gathered for the occasion on whether they have the right to chant Vande Mataram. "Pehle shauchalya, phir devalaya (First toilets, then temples)".

Prime Minister Narendra Modi pays floral tributes to Swami Vivekananda in New Delhi on the 125th anniversary of his Chicago address. He urged students, especially university students, to pitch in to take the "Clean India Initiative" forward.

The Bengal government had opposed the Centre over a University Grants Commission circular that asked all Vice Chancellors of universities and heads of higher educational institutions to "provide opportunity and facility to teachers and students to view Modi's address".

As he concluded his speech, his last few encouraging words to students were - There is no better place for creativity and innovation than university campuses. There is no life without creativity.

Pitching for a clean India, the Prime Minister also questioned how Indians who litter the country could have the right to chant Vande Mataram.

India s standing in the world had risen, he said, crediting janshakti (people s power) for this.

"Let our creativity also strengthen our nation & fulfil the aspirations of our people", he said.

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