External enemies take advantage of divided Indian society; warns Modi

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NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday cautioned that external enemies have always taken advantage of an Indian society, whenever it was divided.

Addressing the Valedictory Function of the 125th Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda in Chicago through video conferencing, Prime Minister Modi stressed on the need to eliminate such evils from the society.

 “We are a country of free ideas. For centuries this land has been home to diverse ideas and cultures. We have a tradition of discuss and decide. Democracy and debate are our internal values. In such a large country with unique diversity, there are great challenges. Swami Vivekananda used to say there have been devils everywhere more or less in all ages. We have to be cautious of such evils in our society and defeat them. We have to remember that despite all the resources at our disposal, whenever Indian society has been divided, whenever there have been internal conflicts, external enemies have taken advantage,” he noted.

Elaborating on the uniqueness of today’s celebrations, he said, “I don’t think there is any other example of celebrating the anniversary of an address. Our young people will debate on important issues and try to find the solution to challenges that confront India today. The philosophy of ‘Ek Bharat-Shrestha Bharat’ is the essence of Swami Vivekananda’s address”.

Prime Minister Modi also reminded the audience about the era of colonial rule, during which Swami Vivekanand made a global mark. “Chicago parliament was a great success for India and Indian thoughts. The scale of Swami ji’s achievement looks much greater if you remember the times in which he lived. Our country was under the shackles of foreign rule, we were poor and our society was looked down as backward. Our own people were being taught to look down upon their own heritage. In these times, Vivekanand introduced the world to the grandeur of Vedic philosophy. He gave us our confidence back, our pride and our roots. Swami Vivekananda awakened the people of the country. His mantra was believed in yourself. With this vision of Swami Vivekananda, India is today going forward with full self-confidence,” he explained.

Speaking about the significance of self-confidence, the Prime Minister said, “Today when India launched 100 satellites in one go, when the world discusses Manglayan and Gaganyaan then it increases the self-confidence of the country. We are working hard to increase the self-confidence of the poor, the deprived and the underprivileged”.