Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday paid rich tributes to freedom fighter and philosopher, Sri Aurobindo on his 150th birth anniversary, saying his life symbolised the “Ek Bharat Shrest Bharat” concept.
India’s modern day youth was leaving behind politics that created division on the basis of language and is inspired by the country’s unity, he said.
Virtually addressing the philosopher’s anniversary celebrations held here, Modi also released a commemorative coin and postage stamp to mark the occasion. Sri Aurobindo’s ideals have inspired generations, PM Modi said.
The PM stated that to make a developed India “we are recognising modern thoughts, best practices.” “We are working without any compromise, and with the concept of India First,” he said.
PM Modi likened Sri Aurobindo in the league of Mahatma Gandhi and Swami Vivekananda, and said all these were great men in whose lives significant incidents happened at the same time.
While Sri Aurobindo returned to India in 1893 from England, Swami Vivekananda went to the US for the World’s Parliament of Religions that year.
“And the same year Gandhi went to South Africa where his journey towards becoming Mahatma Gandhi started…,” PM Modi said.
India’s Azaadi ki Marit Kaal, celebration of the country’s 75 year of freedom, coincided with the 125th and 150th birth anniversaries of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and Aurobindo, respectively.
“When motivation and action join together, then even impossible targets become inevitable,” he added.
India may “be down” during certain situations “but will never die.” “Today there are grave challenges before the world. India has a significant role in solving these,” the PM said.
Though Aurobindo was born in West Bengal, he lived a majority of his life in Gujarat and Puducherry and left impressions of his personality wherever he went, the PM said about Sri Aurobindo.
He knew many languages, PM Modi said and recalled the philosopher’s contribution in the country’s freedom movement, although his father “wanted to keep him totally away from Indian tradition.” “Sri Aurobindo’s life is a reflection of Ek Bharat Shrest Bharat,” he added.
He was one of the earlier proponents of self-rule and turned against the British although he had education in England.
During the partition of Bengal, he recruited youth with the call “No Compromise”. He learnt the scriptures and translated among others, Ramayana and Mahabharat, PM Modi recalled.
Recalling his recent participation in the Kashi Tamil Sangamam, PM Modi said one could witness there “how unbreakable, strong India is due to its culture and tradition.” There, one could come across what the country’s youth thinks.
“Today, the youth all over the country has left behind the politics of discrimination based on language and is inspired from Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat,” he said.
Tamil Nadu Governor R N Ravi said Sri Aurobindo has given a roadmap to every citizen of the country through his path of holistic yoga. “The teachings and philosophy of Sri Aurobindo are very relevant today,” he added.
He said that under the dynamic and visionary leadership of Prime Minister Modi, “the country is moving towards its destination.” The spiritual leader had given “every citizen the roadmap through his path of holistic yoga,” Ravi who is also chairman of the Governing Board of Auroville Foundation, said.
Union Minister for Culture, Tourism and Development of North East Region G Kishan Reddy said the country is honouring all great Indian philosophers and spiritual leaders as part of celebrating Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav.
“The teachings and philosophy of Sri Aurobindo inspire the government in many ways and the philosopher’s teachings are motivating the youth and all,” he added.
Puducherry Lt Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan and Chief Minister N Rangasamy were present.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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