Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu said prolonged colonial rule deprived large sections, including women, education, and only a small elite class had access to formal education.
New Delhi [India], March 19: Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday called for restoring India's glorious tradition in the education sector by revisiting ancient teaching-learning systems and traditional knowledge to make them relevant to the present times, an official statement stated.
Addressing the gathering after inaugurating the South Asia Institute of Peace and Reconciliation (SAIPR) in Haridwar, the Vice President lamented that India's famed, age-old education system was severely dented by centuries of foreign rule.
He said that prolonged colonial rule deprived large sections, including women, education, and only a small elite class had access to formal education. It is necessary to provide quality education to all. Only then can our education be inclusive and democratic.
Naidu also expressed his happiness over National Education Policy's attempt to Indianise our education system and expressed strong disapproval of the mentality that considers everything Indian as inferior.
Emphasising the need to re-connect with our roots, the Vice President wanted the family elders to spend more time with the young children so that the latter could better imbibe our rich cultural values and traditions. He also advised the youngsters to spend time with nature and called it the best teacher.
Stressing the importance of mother tongue in our lives, the Vice President exhorted the youth to practise, propagate and promote their mother tongues. "I would like to see a day when Indians talk to their fellow countrymen in their mother tongue, the administration is run in mother tongue, and all government orders are issued in people's language," Naidu said. He also called for the use of local languages in court proceedings.
With social and other tensions on the rise in the strife-torn world, the Vice President said that peace is a prerequisite for humanity's progress. "Peace has a cascading effect–it engenders social harmony and paves the path for progress and prosperity," he said, underlining that the 'dividend of peace' benefits every stakeholder and brings wealth and happiness to the society.
Referring to our age-old civilisational values of 'VasudhaivaKutumbakam' and 'Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu', Naidu said that India's commitment to peace and welfare of humanity transcends geographical boundaries.
"India is known as a land of peace. We have always accorded highest priority to maintaining peace and ensuring harmonious living of all sections of the society," he added.
Noting that South Asian countries share common history and civilisation, he also called for respecting the region's linguistic, ethnic, and cultural diversities, which showcase the core values of tolerance and peaceful coexistence. "As the 'spiritual capital' of the world, India will continue to play its part in maintaining peace and ensuring harmony," he added.
Congratulating everyone involved in the establishment of SAIPR, the Vice President hoped that the institute would become an important centre for academic deliberations and act as a springboard to spread the values of peace and reconciliation. It may be noted that SAIPR has been established at the Dev Sanskriti Vishwavidyalaya in Haridwar in the Golden Jubilee year of Gayatri Teerth.
On this occasion, the Vice President remembered Lord Buddha and Emperor Ashoka and said that they preferred Dhamma Ghosh over 'Yudh Ghosh' (war) and Panchsheel, as propounded by Lord Buddha, forms the basis of our foreign policy.
Naidu also lauded the efforts being made by Dev Sanskrit Vishwavidyalaya in collaboration with various institutions to make Yoga and meditation popular across the world. He called Yoga India's unique gift to humanity.
After inaugurating the Institute, the Vice President visited SAIPR & Asia's first centre for Baltic Culture & Studies. He also had Darshan at Pragyesh Mahakal Temple and planted a Rudraksha sapling at the university premises.
During his visit to the university, he was also shown various facilities at the institute, such as paper manufacturing unit, Center for Agriculture and Cow Based Products and handloom training centre. The Vice President also paid tribute to the martyrs at the 'Wall of Heros' in the DSVV campus and launched various university publications, including its new website.
Lt. Gen. Gurmit Singh (Retd.), the Governor of Uttarakhand, Dr Pranav Pandya, Chancellor, Dev Sanskriti University, SharadPardhy, Vice-Chancellor, Dr Chinmay Pandya, Registrar, Baldau Devangan, faculty members, students and other eminent personalities attended the event. (ANI)