Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday addressed the centenary celebrations of the Visva-Bharati University, Shantiniketan through video conferencing. The Governor of West Bengal Jagdeep Dhankhar and Union Education Minister Dr Ramesh Pokhriyal were also present on the occasion.
Visva Bharati University, which was founded by Rabindranath Tagore in 1921, is amongst the oldest central universities in the country. In May 1951, Visva-Bharati was declared to be a Central University and an Institution of National Importance by an Act of Parliament. The university is distinct in nature as it followed the pedagogy devised by Tagore, though it evolved gradually into the modern era later.
Speaking on the historic occasion, Prime Minister Modi said that it was a matter of pride for every Indian that Visva Bharati University completed 100 years. He also said it was his privilege that on this day he was getting an opportunity to remember the virtue of this ‘taphobhoomi’.
Prime Minister Modi said that the Visva Bharati is a true embodiment of Gurudev’s contemplation, vision and hard work for Mother Bharati. “This is a kind of adorable place for India, which gives continuous energy to the country to embody the dream that Gurudev had dreamed of,” PM Modi said.
Prime Minister Modi, in his speech, highlighted how India is today leading the world in environmental protection through international solar alliance. India is the only major country today which is on the right path to achieve the environmental goals of Paris Accord, he added.
Gurudev’s vision for Visva Bharati is also the essence of self-reliant India: PM Modi
PM Modi also said that Rabindranath Tagore’s vision to set up Visva Bharati was also the essence of self-reliant India. Highlighting how self-reliant India campaign is also the path of India’s welfare for world welfare, PM Modi said one must remember the circumstances which led to the establishment of this university.
“It wasn’t just British rule but in the background, were our rich ideas & history of hundreds of years of movement,” he observed.
When we talk of freedom struggle, the idea of 19-20 century comes directly in our mind, but it is also a fact that the foundation of these movements was laid long ago, says PM India’s independence movement got energy from many movements that were going on since centuries, he said.
Today we must remember the circumstances which led to the establishment of this university. It wasn’t just British rule but in the background, were our rich ideas & history of hundreds of years of movement: PM Modi at centenary celebrations of Visva-Bharati University https://t.co/C428q8qot8— ANI (@ANI) December 24, 2020
“Guided by Gurudev Visva-Bharati presented a strong image of Indian nationalist sentiment during Independence. Gurudev wanted entire humanity to benefit from India’s spiritual awakening. Atmanirbhar Bharat vision is also a derivative of this sentiment,” added PM Modi.
According to PM Modi, the idea of self-reliant India is the campaign is a campaign to empower India, a campaign to bring prosperity from the prosperity of India to the world.
Bhakti movement strengthened the spiritual and cultural unity of India, says PM
The Prime Minister Modi, in his speech, also highlighted how the Bhakti movement in the country helped India to strengthen its spiritual and cultural unity and identity of India.
“In the Bhakti era, every region of India, every area, be it the east-west-north-south, our saints tried to send out the message of Bhakti in every direction. Acharyas tried to keep the country’s consciousness awake. Bhakti movement filled struggling India with collective consciousness and confidence for centuries,” added PM Modi.
He also added that the topic of devotion cannot proceed until the great black devotee Shri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa is discussed. The great saint, because of whom India got Swami Vivekananda, the Prime Minister remembered mentioning how Swami Vivekananda embodied devotion, knowledge and action, all three in himself.
“He began to see divinity in every person while expanding the scope of devotion. He also gave expression to Karma, stressing on the creation of individual and institution,” noted the Prime Minister in his speech.
The Prime Minister also added that the stream of contemplation of India from Vedas to Vivekananda was also vocal in Gurudev’s contemplation of nationalism, and this stream was not introverted and it was not going to keep India separate from other countries of the world.
Concluding his speech, PM Modi said that as more and more people are getting a good education, the country has to now work to build a strong and wise nation – one that is self-reliant. We must take inspiration from all those who have contributed to making India great over the centuries and millennia, he said.