“THE major difference between the West and us is that they are believers and we are seekers”, said Shri Ashok Singhal, International General Secretary of VHP. And considering the applause that he received and the crowd that he had attracted, it was perceived that perhaps none in the crowd disagreed with him. The occasion was the celebration of Swami Vivekananda Jayanti at IIT, Delhi, by the Vivekananda Vichar Manch (IIT unit), which has been organising meets and functions in premier institutions across the country.
Shri Singhal, who was a chief guest explained eloquently how Western beliefs and ideas differed from that of Bharat, which were basically borne out of the religion -Hinduism- it being accommodative, tolerant and therefore different from other religions of the world. It could been able to sustain and preserve its character in spite of threats of conversion. He also said that it was because of this inherent difference that India’s family structure was radically different from that of the West. The prime focus of Singhal’s speech was on the essence of Swamiji’s teachings and ideology, which are practicable even today. If these incoporated into our lifestyle and thought process, it would definitely work towards a more modern and unified India. Swamiji created an impact with his famous opening speech in Chicago. A country that itself was a storehouse of spiritualism did not need the preachings of any priest or other religious representative of another religion. He explained that the meaning of modernity was to seek divinity within oneself and move forward accordingly. Modernity lied with individuals and therefore no amount of teaching or preaching could make a country or its citizens modern, he emphasised.
Shri Singhal said that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh was a true manifestation of Swamiji’s ideas and principles. Since Dr Hedgewar founded the organisation in 1925, many swayamsevaks had by now contributed immensely to the society and the country. Drawing a parallel between the RSS? and Swamiji’s teachings, Shri Singhal said that the Swamiji lived in every swayamsevak, in his contribution, his patriotism and the discharge of his duties towards the Motherland.
Also present on the occasion were Shri K.K. Chopra of Ramakrishna Mission, IIT Delhi’s Director Shri Sirohi and Shri Baijnath Gupta, former Director of NSIT. Shri Chopra urged the youngsters to introduce a new ideology in their lives and introspect what they had done for the society. (FOC)