PM Modi Says Swami Vivekananda’s 1893 Chicago Address Is More Relevant Than Ever

Ebangla Bureau


SWAMI Vivekananda’s historic
speech at The Parliament of the
World's Religions, the first being the
World's Parliament of Religions held
in Chicago in 1893 was recalled by
the Indian nation led by Prime
Minister Narendra Modi. It was an
attempt to create a global dialogue
of faiths. Representing Hinduism as
a delegate and introducing
Hinduism at the opening session of
the Parliament on 11 September,
Swami Vivekananda was initially
nervous. He bowed to Saraswati,
the Goddess of arts and letters, and then began his speech with
salutation, "Sisters and brothers of America!". To these words he got
a standing ovation from a crowd of seven thousand, which lasted
two minutes. When silence was restored he began his address. He
greeted the United States of America, then the youngest nation on
globe on behalf of "the most ancient order of monks in the world,
the Vedic order of Sannyasins, a religion which has taught the world
both tolerance and universal acceptance. Addressing a gathering PM
Modi reminded everyone of another 9/11 when Swami Vivekananda
addressed the Parliament of Religion taking the world stage by
storm. "Who would have thought that anyone would be interested in
celebrating a 125-year- old speech," said PM addressing a students'
convention in New Delhi’s Vigyan Bhawan to mark the 125th
anniversary of Swami Vivekananda's historic address."Just with a few
words, a youngster from India won over the world and showed it the
power of oneness," the Prime Minister said describing Swami
Vivekananda (1883—1902) .Swami Vivekananda's address at the

Parliament of Religions talked about issues and subjects that are
more relevant than ever. PM said . Swami Vivekananda in his
opening address to the Parliament of Religions said, "I am proud to
tell you that we have gathered in our bosom the purest remnant of
the Israelites, who came to Southern India and took refuge with us in
the very year in which their holy temple was shattered to pieces by
Roman tyranny."With Indians debating the rise of religious
intolerance in the country, Swami Vivekananda in 1893 said that he
was "proud to belong to a religion which has taught the world both
tolerance and universal acceptance". "We believe not only in
universal toleration but we accept all religions as true," he said in
Chicago."Sectarianism, bigotry, and fanaticism, have long possessed
this beautiful Earth. They have filled the Earth with violence,
drenched it often and often with human blood, destroyed civilisation
and sent whole nations to despair," said Swami Vivekananda in the
speech that sounds ominous today.In Chicago, Swami Vivekananda
repeatedly talked about diversity of religions and the need for
peaceful existence of all religions. In his speech 'Why We Disagree',
Swami Vivekananda said, "I am a Hindu. I am sitting in my own little
well and thinking that the whole world is my little well. The
Christians sit in their little well and think the whole world is their
well. The Muslims sit in their little well and think that is the whole
world."In his final address at the Parliament of Religions in Chicago,
Swami Vivekananda said, "Much has been said of the common
ground of religious unity. I am not going just now to venture my own
theory. But if anyone here hopes that this unity will come by the
triumph of any one of the religions and the destruction of the other,
to them I say, 'Friends, yours is an impossible hope'".PM Modi,who is
an admirer of Swami Vivekananda since he was teen ager,said
Vivekananda supported experimentation and innovation and his
government was working according to the ideals shown by him,
Modi said. The Prime Minister referred to Vivekananda’s address as
09/11 and also referred to the terror attack on the US on September
11, 2001. The devastating terror strike might not have happened if
the significance of the other 09/11 had not been forgotten. Swami

Vivekananda has bequeathed the message of love and brotherhood
to the world. Modi said littered and said those who littered had no
right to say ‘Vande Mataram’.The crowd intermittently shouted
‘Vande Mataram’ as the Prime Minister spoke. Lauding sanitation
and cleaning workers, he said they had the first right to say ‘Vande
Mataram’.The Prime Minister also asked colleges to hold cultural
events to celebrate the historic day and teachings of the Great
Savant who passed away at the age of 39.Students should do more,
he said and asked them to hold a Tamil day in a Haryana college or a
Kerala day in a Punjab college.”Our heritage and diversity in Unity
“which is a way life for the nation must be preserved.“There is no
better place for creativity and innovation than university campuses.
There is no life without creativity. Let our creativity also strengthen
our nation and fulfil the aspirations of our people,” he said. PM’s
tribute to Swami was broadcast nationwide. However, The Bengal
Government instructed educational institutions to ignore PM’s
speech on Swami Vivekananda.

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