Vivekananda was a ‘Hindu-Leftist’: Jaipal Reddy

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

NEW DELHI - Swami Vivekananda was a “Hindu-Leftist” and the only Indian icon avowed ardently by both the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and the communists, Urban Development Minister S. Jaipal Reddy said Wednesday.

Speaking at a function held to mark the 148th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananada, Reddy described the great seer and scholar as a global humanist far beyond his time.

Vivekanananda was not only a patriotic visionary but a revolutionary. “No doubt, (he was) a Hindu revolutionary. I dare to say he was and is a Hindu Leftist,” he said.

Vivekananda was a multi-dimensional personality, but was being perceived and presented as “a uni-dimensional personality”, the minister said while addressing the inaugural session of the National Congress on Building New India through Excellence in Education.

Referring to Vivekananda’s acclaimed address to the Parliament of World’s Religions in 1893 in Chicago, Reddy said that the seer spoke of India’s past glory, hoary history and also of a collective global future.

Reddy said that Vivekananada had “an inexhaustible fountain of progressive imagination that we tend to ignore.”

“He was perhaps only one icon of modern India avowed ardently by both the RSS and the communists,” Reddy said.

The minister recalled how late communist leader E.M.S. Namboodiripad regarded Vivekananada as an icon and thought that he condemned the institution of caste more severely than anybody else.

The minister added that Vivekanada was aware of the immense diversity of India’s history and referred to it as “a veritable ethnicological museum.”

Dr Alauddin Ahmed, advisor to the prime minister of Bangladesh, said India had a great civilisational heritage.

Expressing gratitude to people of India for creation of Bangladesh, he said education should have a moral core to enable people live happy lives. He said Bangladesh had still a lot to do improve financial condition of its people.

Former Governor of Mizoram A.R. Kohli said that self-learning was an integral part of education and people should not live only for themselves.

The two-day conference has been organised by Ramakrishna-Vivekananda International Foundation.

B.P. Singh, former dean of Delhi School of Economics, Swami Viditatmananda Saraswati, president of Adhyatm Vidya Mandir in Ahmedabad and Swami Parthasarathy, chairman and managing trustee of the foundation, also spoke.

Swami Vivekananda, a major force in spreading Hindu ideology at global level while also spreading inter-faith awareness, was born in Kolkata Jan 12, 1863. His speech at the Chicago Parliament of the World’s Religions that began with the address “Sisters and Brothers of America” inspired people across the world.

Vivekananda’s birth anniversary is also observed as National Youth Day.

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