New Delhi: Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi today unveiled a life size statue of Swami Vivekananda at IIM Kozhikode through video conference.
He was participating in the international conclave on “Global Indian Thought” that is being organised by IIM Kozhikode.
Addressing the gathering the Prime Minister said, “Indian thought is vibrant and diverse. It is constant and evolving. It is too vast to be put in a lecture or a seminar or even books. But, broadly, there are certain ideals that have remained central to Indian values. They are- compassion, harmony, justice, service and openness”.
Peace, Harmony & Brotherhood
Referring to what draws the world to India, the Prime Minister said, “First and foremost, what comes to the mind is- the virtues of peace, unity and brotherhood. “
He said because of harmony and peace our civilization prospered and survived where many have failed.
“So many states. So many languages. So many dialects. So many faiths. So many customs and traditions. So many food habits. So many lifestyles. So many ways of dressing. Yet, for centuries we have lived in peace. For centuries we have welcomed the world to our land. Our civilization has prospered when many could not. Why? Because one finds peace and harmony here.”
He said our strengths is that our thoughts have become living traditions guided by simplified and relatable practices.
“These practices are neither rigid nor unidimensional. Their beauty lies in the fact that they can be practiced differently,” he said.
He said India is land that gave vibrant faiths such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism.
“In this land the Sufism flourished”, he said.
Saying that Non-Violence is at the core of all these, he said Mahatma Gandhi “championed these ideals” that led to India’s freedom.
“The Indian way of conflict avoidance is not by brute force but the power of dialogue,” he said.
Love for Environment:
“When I say India believes in peace and harmony, this includes harmony with Mother Nature and our environment, “he said.
Prime said the traces of this spirit can be seen in several steps being taken now.
He said India led the world in forming the “International Solar Alliance, to harness solar energy for a cleaner tomorrow.”
Prime Minister said in the last 5 years 36 Crore LED bulbs were distributed and over 1 Crore Street lights replaced with LED making a saving of Rs 25000 Crore and reducing CO2 emissions by 4 Crore Tonnes.
Protecting the Tiger and the Lion
He said India’s tiger population doubled since 2006. “Today, India is home to almost 2970 tigers. Three quarters of the world’s tiger population stays in India. We are one of the most secure tiger habitats. Back in 2010, the world had agreed to double tiger population by 2022. We achieved it way in advance” he said.
Similarly the lion population has grown up 30% from 2010 to 2015, he said.
Increasing Forest Cover
Prime Minister also pointed out that the country’s forest cover is growing.
“The number of protected areas stood at 692 in 2014. This increased to more than 860 in 2019. There were 43 community reserves in 2014. Now, there are over 100. These facts are drawing many environment and wildlife lovers to India”.
Welfare of Women
Prime Minister said, “One of the most remarkable aspects of this land is the respect, importance and dignity given to women. Women are manifestation of divinity.”
He lauded the efforts of the Bhakti saints, Raja Ram Mohun Roy, Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, Mahatma Phule and Savitri Bai Phule in this direction.
Prime Minister said Indian constitution gave voting rights to women from the very first day even as western countries took centuries to do so.
He said, “today, more than seventy percent of Mudra loan beneficiaries are women.
Women are making an active contribution to our armed forces. A group of women navy officers went around the entire world by sea! That was historic. India has the highest number of women MPs today. Women turnout in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls was highest”.
Celebration of Openness
Prime Minister said that India celebrates openness. Where there is openness, respect for different opinions, innovation is natural. The innovative zeal of Indians is drawing the world to India. He said that Indian thought has given a lot to the world and has the potential to contribute even more. It has the potential to solve some of the most leading challenges our planet faces, he concluded