Swami Vivekananda’s 150th Birth Anniversary Celebration concludes
The 150th birth anniversary celebration of Swami Vivekananda concluded with countrywide functions on January 12. The people cutting across party, caste, creed or community line paid floral tribute to the great saint and resolved to follow his ideals in practical life. In Nagpur the main function was held at Reshimbagh Ground which was attended by the RSS Sarsanghachalak Shri Mohan Bhagwat, Shri Anand Kumar from Patna and noted film star Shri Vivek Oberoi.
The concluding celebration began in Thiruvananthapuram with the arrival of 50-member ‘Bicycle Parikramis’ at Kawdiar Vivekananda Statue Park on January 10. Flagged off from Kasargod, the northernmost tip of Kerala, bordering Karnataka, on January 2 by RSS Sahsarkaryavah Shri KC and Cricketer Anil Kumble, the team cycled almost 700 kms receiving overwhelming support and receptions en-route. It will conclude at the Rock Memorial in Kanyakumari. The Parikramis were volunteers of Kerala Kayika Vedi.
The Parikramis offered floral tributes at the massive Vivekananda statue, housed in a granite based and pillared super structure, with roof in traditional wood works and copper sheets. Built at a cost of Rs 2 crore, it was inaugurated by Vice President of India Moh Hamid Ansari on September 11, 2013. Padmasri P Parameswaran, RSS ideologue, Bharateeya Vichara Kendram Director and President of Vivekananda Kendra addressed the cyclists.
On January 11, 2014, Yuva Shakthi Sangamam was held at Shangumugham (Conch-face) Beach, in which thousands of old, youth and children participated. Incidentally, this beach is going to witness an historic turnout on February 9, when Shri Narendra Modi is going to address a massive human sea of 10 lakh adjoining the Arabian Sea.
Mass walks, Yoga performances, group singing etc. were the programmes conducted. The highlight of the Yuva Shakthi Sangamam was the Rise Bharat and Vishwam Vivekanandam, dance drama enacted by a 25 member team of Balagokulam.
The entire life of Vivekananda and his views on religion, Islam and Christianity, protection of women, fight against casteism, superstitions, poverty and illiteracy were visually depicted with sound and light bonanza. It was a feast for the eyes and ears, for the thousands, who had gathered at the beach.
Addressing the gathering Shri P Parameswaran called upon the youth to imbibe the qualities of Swamiji and not to place him on a pedestal like an avatar. Swamiji was the embodiment of youthful energy, positive patriotism and total commitment to the cause entrusted to him. Reactionary outbursts of popular enthusiasm will not be able to bring sustained development and welfare. “Only Idealism and patriotism can enable the country, to take her rightful place, in the comity of nations, and for that, strong leadership is the need of the hour,” he concluded.
On January 12, throughout Kerala in thousands of junctions, the garlanded picture of Swamiji was placed and lakhs offered floral tributes and sang bhajans. In the evening, lakhs of earthen lamps were lit, around the publicly displayed pictures of Swami, throughout the length and breadth of Kerala.
The CPM woman Mayor of Thiruvananthapuram, advocate K Chandrika, unveiled the plaque at the park, housing the Vivekananda statue, renaming the Kawdiar Park as ‘Swami Vivekananda Udyanam’. The CPI Deputy Mayor, Congress and BJP Councillors also attended the function. Shri Parameswar honoured the Mayor and Deputy Mayor by presenting statues of Vivekananda.
In the evening, at the Statue Park premises, renowned Sanskrit/Gita scholars and exponents, Sarvasri Vasudevan Potti, VS Sharma and Prof. Sulochana Nair were honoured with silk shawls, commemoration plaques and Vivekananda statues.
Malayalam movie super-star Suresh Gopi garlanded the statue of Vivekananda with a huge garland, offered floral tributes and lighted earthen lamps. Former Union Minister Shri O Rajagopal inaugurated the lamp. Followed by him thousands lighted earthern-lamps and in a few minutes the entire area was glowing in ‘Deepa-Jyoti’. Bhajans were sung by tiny-tots, surcharging the spiritual atmosphere.
The Kerala Bhramana Sabha organised a two-wheeler rally from the statue premises to the Sree Padmanabha Swami temple grounds, in which hundreds participated. Similarly many organisations organised programmes throughout Kerala.
In Kolkata the concluding function was held on January 5. A colorful procession was held with grand enthusiasm and full of sentiment shouting the slogans of Bharat jago vishwa jagao, Bandemataram, Bharatmata ki jai, etc. The procession began from three different places at same time—Swami Vivekananda’s ancestral home at Vivekananda Road, Ramlila Maidan of Purba Kolkata and Subash Udyan Park of South Kolkata. Ekal Foundation also joined the event, as it was also the Silver Jubilee of Ekal Vidyalaya Yojana.
More than five thousand people of all age groups and castes joined the processions in their traditional dresses. There were also tableaux and the women wing of Gayatri Parivar carried Mangal Ghat Kalas. But the most cheered and viewing was the boys dressed as Swami Vivekananda. It was appearing as if entire Kolkata was adorned with saffron flags. All the processions culminated at Explanade with a big group of motorcycles brigade. The dignatries who attended the function included Dr Pranav Pandya of Gayatri Parivar, former Chairman of Atomic Energy Commission of India Dr Anil Kakodkar, Muralbhai Brahmachari of Adyapith, Dakshineswar, popular novelist Shri Sanjib Chattapadhay, Prabrazikjika Atandraprana Mataji of Ramkrishna Sarada Math, Swami Dibyananda of Bharat Sevashram Sangha and researcher Dr Swarupprasad Ghosh, industrialist Shri Sajjan Bhajanka, Shri Sajjan Bansal and Shri Shyam Gupt.
Dr Kakodkar said in the last 66 years no research was done in India for the happiness of the common people. Dr Pranav Pandya said the time has come for establishment of Indian culture and tradition in the world. He stressed the need to work hard for the next 12 years.
The activities prominently conducted in Andhra Pradesh included offering pushpanjali and forming human chain throughout the State. The human chains were formed in various localities. In Hyderbad, the residents of Subramanya Nagar, Laxmi Nagar, Vinay Nagar and Indraprastha colony in Saidabad held various activities. They introduced each other, offered pushpanjali to Bharat Mata and Swami Vivekananda and then formed the human chain. They took an oath of making their locality a strong locality. This was followed by shanti mantra and prasad distribution.
In Arunachal Pradesh the BJP Yuva Morcha held a youth sammelan on January 12. Shri Dugh Saha, president of the Yuva Morcha called upon the youth to work hard to bring tangible changes in the country in the field of education, health and hygiene. Dr Techi Upen spoke about the life of Swami Vivekananda. State BJP president Shri Tai Tagak called upon the Yuva Morcha cadre and party workers to imitate the ideals and thoughts of the Swami Vivekananda.
In Jaipur the people resolved to spread the teachings of Swami Vivekananda. Pushpanjali programmes were held at more than 500 places in Jaipur alone. The functions were held at many schools and colleges also. There are also reports of organising functions across the State.
As part of the concluding cremony of 150th birth anniversary celebration, the RSS unit in Anekal zone, organised a mega convention ‘RSS Anekal Sanghik’ on January 12. A total of 2,632 uniformed swayamsevaks attended the event. Nearly 1,400 local citizens also participated in the programme. Dr Kalladka Prabhakar Bhat, RSS Dakshina-Madhya Kshethra Sampark Pramukh addressed the gathering.