Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday unveiled a statue of Swami Vivekananda at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) campus via video conferencing. Unveiling the statue, the Prime Minister said it's a matter of immense pride that a Swami Vivekananda statue is being unveiled in JNU.
"I wish that Swami Vivekananda's statue in JNU will inspire and energize everyone. I hope this statue instills courage and compassion that Swami ji wanted to see in everyone," PM Modi said.
Speaking after unveiling the statue, PM Modi addressed students saying, "When we were oppressed during colonialism, Swami Vivekananda went to Michigan University in earlier part of the last century & had said that even though this century is yours, next century will belong to India. It is our responsibility to realise this statement & vision."
"I hope his statue teaches everyone devotion and intense love towards the nation, which is supreme message of Swamiji's life. May it inspire the country for vision of oneness."
Giving priority to one's ideology over national interest has harmed the democratic system of the country a lot, he said in his address to students after unveiling the statue through video conferencing.
Jawaharlal Nehru University has long been considered a citadel of the Left, with student unions affiliated to it calling the shots in the campus.
The BJP and Hindutva groups, including RSS' student wing ABVP, have often claimed that those with "anti-national" sentiments have found support from the Left-affiliated bodies. The decision to instal a life-size statue of Vivekananda, a widely respected Hindu monk, is imbued with symbolism.
In his address, Modi said good reforms were earlier considered bad politics but now it is good politics because his government's intentions and commitment are pure, and it has prepared a "protection shield" for the poor and other vulnerable sections before carrying out reforms.
People have endorsed our reform measures with their votes, he said.
"Swami Vivekanda wanted that education in the country should be such that it provides self-confidence to individuals and makes them 'atmanirbhar' in every way. The new National Education Policy is on the same line and has inclusion at its core," he added.