With habits of littering roads, do we have right to say ‘Vande Mataram’, asks PM Modi

New Delhi, Sept 11 (UNI) On the backdrop of row with the West Bengal government over the telecast of his speech, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today addressed the youngsters on the theme ‘Young India, New India’ to mark 125th year of Swami Vivekananda’s Chicago Address and pitched for creativity, entrepreneurship and promoting skills. Mr Modi also asked the youth to take up ‘cleanliness’ drive as a mission and wanted to now whether with the habits of littering the roads, “Do we have the right to say Vande Mataram”. “As I entered, I heard people chanting loudly ‘Vande Mataram, Vande Mataram!’… The value of patriotism fills my heart. But do we have the right to say Vande Mataram?” Mr Modi asked students and other youngsters. Speaking at a function in the capital to mark the 125th anniversary of Swami Vivekananda’s Chicago address and centenary celebrations of Deendayal Upadhyaya, Mr Modi wondered how those who chant Vande Mataram go and litter the roads. “Whether we clean the roads or not, we do not have the right to litter our motherland,” he said amid repeated chanting of slogans ‘Bharat Mata Ko Jai’ and ‘Modi, Modi’ on the occasion. He reminded the youths that the world would evaluate the country based on “what and where it is today” and not what it was 5,000 years ago. He said, “Swami Vivekananda did not believe in sermonizing. His ideas and idealism paved the way for an institutional framework and the launch of Ramakrishna Mission”. “He did not launch Vivekananda Mission, but it was Ramakrishna Mission,” PM Modi said adding “samajhdar ke liye ishara hi kaafi hae (a clever person should understand what he is trying to say)”. Interestingly, PM Modi’s speech and the remarks came close on the heels of charge of West Bengal government that the center has been trying to bring in ‘saffronisation’ of Indian education. Mr Modi’s speech for the occasion today and the live telecast of the same had run into controversy. The UGC had asked over 40,000 institutions and universities to organize live telecast of the Prime Minister’s speech. The West Bengal government had directed all educational institutes under its jurisdiction to ignore the central directives. Stating that Swami Vivekananda always supported innovation, PM Modi said, “The correspondence between Swami Vivekananda and Jamsetji Tata will show the concern Swami ji had towards India’s self-reliance”. He said this spirit is linked to his government’s endeavors for ‘Make in India’ strategies to boost manufacturing and entrepreneurship. PM Modi reached out to those involved in sanitation and cleanliness profession and said, “I want to specially mention all those people who are working tirelessly to keep India clean”. He said elections in colleges and varsities should also henceforth focus on ‘cleanliness drive’ — that “our campus is cleanest of all”. Making a veiled attack on various controversies associated with student politics, Prime Minister said “student politics had started on something else and today came to a different paradigm”. Stating that, “The 9/11 of 1893 (Vivekananda’s Chicago address) was about love, harmony and brotherhood unlike the one of 2001 which was about destruction and hatred,” Mr Modi said, the devastating terror strike might not have happened if the relevance of Swami Vivekananda’s address had not been forgotten.

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