?Swami Vivekananda had exhorted the Hindus to consider their religion as mother and defend its honour as the honour of their own mother,? said Shri P. Parameshwaran, president of Vivekanada Kendra. He was speaking at a function on the occasion of Universal Brotherhood Day, organised in the memory of the historic address of Swami Vivekananda, at World Parliament of Religions in Chicago in 1893. The function was organised at Vivekananda Kendra International in New Delhi on September 11. Noted columnist and thinker Shri S Gurumurthy was the key speaker. Shri A.K. Doval, former chief of IB and Sri Vijay Kapur, former Lt. Governor of Delhi were also present.
Shri Parameshwarn narrated few incidents from Swamiji'slife that displayed his dedication for patriotism. He said patriotism in India is not political, but synonymous to the attachment to one'smother. He explained why a society should always have the will to struggle and survive. For this he remembered Swamji'sAmarnath Yatra where he was endowed with the boon to live as long as he willed. This is the message the society must will to live and fulfill its mission. Then he narrated Swamiji'sfeelings at Kshirbhavani temple where he witnessed the destruction of the shrine and was overwhelmed. Swamiji thought if he had been living at the time of attack he would have died to safeguard mother'sshrine. Referring to Swamiji'sopen opposition to the churches design of conversion he read out the conversation Swamiji had with one of his disciples. He also remembered Sister Nivedita'sbig acclaim of Swamiji'sconcepts of man-making and the great love for his nation.
Shri Gurumurthy started his speech with reminding the warning of fanaticism that Swamiji gave to the world at the Chicago address. He exclaimed how this country never distinguished between Gods when the number were in thousands and the rest of the world was in chaos and havoc in the name of God. Exactly 108 years after Swamiji'shistoric call to the world religions with his warning, the world witnessed one of the most heinous examples of cultural conflict, the 9/11. He gave examples of paradoxes like the pathetic end of Soviet Union at the hands of Islamic fundamentalists whom they always supported. If every religion conceded that every other religion could help a person reach the same God that they are trying to reach, then harmony is born. Shri Gurumurthy also added that at this point, the Hindus alone practice this universal acceptance and yet are blamed as fundamentalists for opposing fundamentalism. So the challenge before India is to take the truth to the conflicting world.
He also reminded that the survival of the Vedic religion over a long time of jeopardy assert its role in the world, but have to define that specific role. To identify the role of Indian civilisation, one has to take a look back into the history to understand the routes the civilisation flowed through. Indian civilisation had the biggest misfortune of incorporating and putting into practice the concepts and philosophies of people who never knew India, communism being an example.
Shri A.K. Doval, who is also honorary director of Vivekananda Kendra International, gave a brief introduction of Vivekananda Kendra International. He reminded that Vivekananda Kendra International was a platform to carry the message of universal brotherhood, which is the central character of Hindu civilisation to the world. He also stated that Vivekananda Kendra International would work on interacting with other civilisations and nations, understanding various cultures and acting as a forum to project India. Shri Vijay Kapur, vice-chairman of Vivekananda Kendra International, proposed a vote of thanks.