Thursday, January 16, 2014

FW: Swami Vivekananda Sardha shati samaroh vrutta 2013-14- Interview of Prof. Anirudhha Desapande, Organizser, 15-01-2014

> Date: Wed, 15 Jan 2014 14:48:44 +0530
> Subject: Swami Vivekananda Sardha shati samaroh vrutta 2013-14- Interview of Prof. Anirudhha Desapande, Organizser, 15-01-2014
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> Vivekananda emerged as the most acceptable figure of India—Prof
> Aniruddha Deshpande
> 150th Birth Anniversary Celebrations reconnect to Vivekananda's prism
> Throughout the year Vivekananda 150th birth anniversary was celebrated
> as Sardh Shati Samaroh not only in India but all over the world. While
> celebration year is ending, Organiser editor Prafulla Ketkar spoke to
> the All India General Secretary of the Samaroh Samiti Prof Aniruddh
> Deshpande on objectives, success and follow up of the Sardh Shati
> celebrations. Here are the excerpts of the conversations:
> How do you look at the year-long worldwide celebration to celebrate
> 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda? What were the objectives
> of the celebration?
> Recontextualising the main thoughts of Swami Vivekananda to the
> present world was the core objective of this celebration. Though
> Vivekananda addressed the problems related to poverty or education etc
> about 125 years ago, most of them still persist. That is why
> Vivekananda is still relevant not only for India but for humanity at
> large. The slogan of 'Awaken India, Enlighten the World' reconnected
> that relevance to the current situation.
> What types of activities were conducted in India to spread the message
> of Swami Vivekananda?
> The celebrations were broadly divided into five parts: 1. Yuva Shakti
> (Youth) 2. Savardhini (Women) 3. Prabuddha Bharat (Intellectual India)
> 4. Asmita (Vanvasis) 5. Gramayan (Rural India)
> On youth power, more than 250 seminars were held throughout India on
> Vivekananda's thought in which more than 1.5 lac youth participated.
> On September 11, 2013, on the occasion of Vishwa Bandhutva Diwas (the
> day Vivekananda delivered his famous message in the Conference of
> World Religions, at Chicago) more than 30 lac youth participated in
> the 'Bharat Jago Daud'. Collective Suryanamaskars were held to convey
> the Swamiji's message of 'healthy body for spiritual mind' and schools
> and colleges of 41 prants (functional regions of RSS) participated in
> the activity.
> Similarly, more than 1500 awareness camps were organised for
> adolescent girls on Indian culture and sanskaras, Vivekananda and
> women empowerment, health and education. Many conventions were
> organised for young couples to help them in leading life with
> Vivekanda's message. Five national conferences were held in the five
> corners of India namely Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Raipur, Kolkata and Chennai
> on five different themes, to involve in the intellectual class in
> spreading the Vivekananda's thought. The unprecedented event like
> Vice-Chancellors conference (which got wide publicity through
> Organiser, December 12, 2013), represented by 125 universities of
> India, was organised with the theme of 'Education as Man Making and
> Nation Building Exercise'. It was a great success for shaping the
> future courses in higher education for the youth India. More than 3000
> health camps, with participation of more than 500 women, were
> organised while 3.5 lac trees were planted to nurture the message of
> 'live with nature'. More than 300 villages are adopted for
> self-sufficient development. Besides many literary and cultural
> festivals, competitions were organised and people from all sections of
> society participated with enthusiasm.
> In other words, the Sardh Shati celebrations achieved a great balance
> of quality and quantity.
> It seems the government celebration remained mostly on papers and only
> the social organisations were seen conducting various activities
> throughout the year. What do you feel?
> The original idea was, people should come together and celebrate
> Vivekananda's thought and bring them in action. So no government help
> was sought, financially or otherwise. But all government's ministers,
> even bureaucrats made their representations in various programmes and
> whole heartedly supported the activities. The HRD minister Shri Pallam
> Raju himself inaugurated the VC conference. So governments were
> supportive but the activities were undertaken by the society. Though
> Vivekananda Kendra was at the forefront in organising these
> celebrations other organisations such as Ramkrishna Math, Sharda Math
> etc also played a very constructive role.
> What has been the response from outside India?
> In more than 40 countries similar activities were undertaken and
> people and governments wholeheartedly participated in the
> celebrations.
> What has been the biggest achievement of this year-long celebration?
> How far the defined objectives were achieved?
> The Sardh Shati celebrations can be considered as a great success
> because it has achieved the objective recontextualising Vivekananda in
> three ways. Firstly, Vivekananda and his message was reconnected to
> the contemporary issues and the present generation. In this regard, 4
> to 5 crore people were contacted through door to door contact with a
> portrait and a message of Vivekananda, which is unprecedented.
> Secondly, huge amount of literature was made available on Vivekananda.
> Sardh Shati Samiti itself published 21 types of booklets, which were
> distributed in large numbers. Thirdly and most importantly, it has
> established Vivekananda as the most acceptable figure of India.
> Whatsoever, there was not a single word of opposition to Vivekananda
> from any quarters of the society. The message of 'Awaken India to
> enlighten the world' is acceptable to all is the biggest achievement
> of this celebration.
> Lot of awareness has been generated all over the world during this
> celebration. Has the Committee planned any follow up action so that
> the awareness generated so far could be used for any positive activity
> in future? How would we carry forward the legacy of thought and
> actions of Swamiji?
> These celebrations were never meant for just organising events, it was
> just a starting for resurgence. Follow up activities are planned for
> each section. For the holistic development of villages, the concept of
> Vivek Gram will go on. Vivekananda study circles are taking shape to
> inculcate Swamiji's teaching through self-learning method. Vivekananda
> Study Centres and Chairs are being constituted in various universities
> and colleges. In Tamil Nadu itself, 9 universities have come up with
> the Vivekananda study centres. UGC is supporting this with generous
> funding. In February, a follow up meeting is organised with 45-50
> universities to introduce various courses on 'Vivekananda's thinking'.
> Libraries and community centres are built up with social initiatives
> known as Vivek Vatika. Health counseling will be institutionalised for
> the adolescent girls. Many activities will be continued for the
> sustainable development. Vivekananda's basic Indian thinking is still
> so relevant and Sardh Shati celebrations are successful in conveying
> that relevance so with or without support, these follow up activities
> will carry on and message of 'Awaken India, enlighten the world' will
> be realised.

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