Vice President calls for reviving the glory of traditional Indian sports like hockey

New Delhi:  Vice President, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu today called for reviving the glory of traditional Indian sports like hockey and urged state governments and corporate entities to join hands in providing needed encouragement.

Releasing the postage stamp in the memory of social worker and nationalist, Shri Chaman Lal at Upa-Rashtrapati Nivas today, the Vice President said that that recent performance of Indian hockey team in Tokyo Olympics has rekindled the interest in the sports and time has come for promoting traditional Indian sports like hockey and kabaddi in a big way. He called for strengthening infrastructure including artificial turf and training and coaching at the grassroot level. Shri Naidu also lauded the Center’s proactive encouragement to Indian sports.

Asking to shed the colonial mindset of aping others blindly, the Vice President said that we should justly feel proud of great tradition and culture. He also asserted that there is inherent talent among Indians in every field, ‘what is required is right encouragement and support for this talent’.

Paying rich tributes to Shri Chaman Lal, the Vice President said that he dedicated his entire life in selflessly serving the country and the people. Calling Shri Chaman Lal a great nationalist and a visionary thinker, he said that his life’s philosophy was characterised by service, values and creativity. “Despite receiving a gold medal in M.Sc at Punjab University (Lahore) in 1942, he chose the path of service even though he had a bright career ahead. He saw spirituality in service,” Shri Naidu said.

Stressing the need to strike a balance between one’s personal rights and societal duties, he said that too much insistence on rights without taking care of one’s social responsibilities can lead to disbalance in society. The Vice President also said that enlightened and sensitive citizens who put the nation before self are the nation builders in true sense. “Not being selfish and doing the welfare of others – this is what every civilization, every religion teaches us”, he said.

The Vice President further said that in true spirit of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’, Shri Chamanlal successfully reconnected overseas Indians, who have been living abroad for centuries, with their motherland and infused the spirit of Indianness among them. He worked tirelessly for creating a global network of Indian Diaspora spread around the globe, Shri Naidu said and added, “today all diaspora Indians are our cultural representatives and India gets recognition by their success.”

Recalling the important role played by Shri Chaman Lal during the period of emergency, Shri Naidu said that he helped the family members of jailed persons with great diligence despite great risk to him. Recalling his personal interactions with Shri Chaman Lal, the Vice President said that despite his advanced age, he used to be full of new ideas, always ready to take up new responsibilities.

Lauding the eternal Indian Guru-Shishya tradition, Shri Naidu underlined that Indian culture does not see knowledge and learning as intellectual property rather it believes that knowledge increases by sharing. We believe that one has to repay one’s debt to the Guru by sharing his or her knowledge with others, he said. Quoting Rigvedic shloka -“Aa no bhadra: kratavo yantu vishwatha”, the Vice President said that Indian culture believes in universality of knowledge. “Knowledge is not bound in any geographical boundary, it is the common heritage of all humanity”, he added.

Calling Shri Chaman Lal the inspiration behind the Center for World Studies, the Vice President said that the Center is working to highlight India’s achievents on global stage. He congratulated the Center for World Studies for organising the birth centenary of Shri Chaman Lal all across the world. He also welcomed the decision of the Ministry of Communications, Government of India to release a postage stamp in honour of an inspiring personality like Shri Chaman Lal ji.

Shri Ashwini Vaishnaw, Union Minister of Railways, Communications and Electronics & IT, Shri Devusinh Chauhan, Minister of State for Communications, Shri Rajeev Chandrashekar, Minister of State for Skill development & Entrepreneurship, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Member of Parliament, Dr Subrahmanian Swamy, Member of Parliament, Dr Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, Member of Parliament, Shri Vineet Pandey, Secretary (Posts) and others attended the event.

Following is the full text of speech –

“Dear sisters and brothers,

I am extremely delighted to release a commemorative stamp in honor of Shri Chaman Lal Ji, an illustrious son of India and a great nationalist. He had dedicated his entire in selflessly serving the country and the people.

Chaman Lal ji was a visionary and thinker, who had always believed in simple living and high thinking. In fact, he had led an austere life in the mould of a true Rishi and was a great source of inspiration to all the swayamsevaks.

He was a bright student and had secured a gold medal in MSc (Zoology) in 1942 from the University of Punjab, Lahore. Without taking up job offers, he decided to work for the independence of Bharat. Soon after the partition, he was involved in working for the welfare of victims of the partition. He was always willing to help anybody who approached him with a request.

Chaman Lal Ji established a special bond with scores of people in India and abroad through his letters. He always placed the interests of the country and welfare of the people above everything else and worked with great dedication for the cause in which he believed.

He had also worked tirelessly for creating a global network and established contacts with the Indian Diaspora spread around the globe. Not only that, he used to provide the details of the contacts to those going abroad and ensured that they get connected.

I vividly remember meeting Chaman Lal ji at Prime Minister’s residence around 1999 when Atal ji was the Prime Minister. I also met him at the Jhandewalan Office in Delhi. Regardless of his advance age, he used be full of new ideas, always ready to take up new responsibilities. He used to keep close touch with Karyakarta, guiding them, encouraging them.

चमनलाल जी के बारे में अटल जी ने कहा था कि राष्ट्र के लिए जीवन दांव पर लगा देने की शपथ तो सभी लोग लेते हैं लेकिन उस शपथ को वास्तव में जीवन में उतारने का साहस और सामर्थ्य कुछ ही लोगों में होता है।

आपातकाल की काली अवधि के दौरान चमनलाल जी की महत्वपूर्ण भूमिका के बारे में बहुत कम लोग ही जानते हैं।

आपातकाल के खिलाफ underground रह कर संघर्ष चलाया जा रहा था। जिन परिवारों के सदस्य जेलों में डाल दिए गए थे,वे उन परिवारों से लगातार संपर्क करते थे। उन्हें भरोसा देते थे। बड़ी लगन से उन परिवारों की भरसक सहायता करते थे।

इसके अलावा वे विदेशों में बसे प्रवासी भारतीय समुदाय से संपर्क रखते थे। उन्हें आपातकाल के दौरान किए जा रहे दमन के बारे में जानकारी देते थे, जिससे वे अंतर्राष्ट्रीय मंचों पर आपातकाल के विरुद्ध आवाज उठाएं।अपनी सादगी और साधारण वेश भूषा के कारण वे हमेशा गिरफ्तारी से बच जाते।

मित्रों,

चमनलाल जी भारतीय संस्कृति के अनन्य विद्यार्थी और अनुयायी रहे।

वे उस भारतीय सांस्कृतिक दर्शन के प्रतिनिधि थे जो विश्व भर को अपना परिवार मानता है, वसुधैव कुटुंबकम्, के मंत्र में आस्था रखता है। इसी प्रयास में आपने सदियों से विदेश में रह रहे, प्रवासी भारतीय बंधुओं को फिर से उनकी मातृ भूमि से जोड़ने का सफल प्रयास किया। उन्हें भारतीयता की भावना से जोड़ा। आज सभी प्रवासी भारतीय हमारे सांस्कृतिक प्रतिनिधि हैं, हमारी ज्ञान परंपरा के वाहक हैं। उनकी सफलता में भारत को प्रतिष्ठा मिलती है। उनकी उपलब्धियों से भारत एक बार फिर ” विश्व गुरु ” के रूप में स्थापित होता है।

हमारे यहां ऋग्वेद में ज्ञान की सार्वभौमिक संप्रभुता को स्वीकार किया गया है – “आ नो भद्रा: क्रतवो यंतु विश्वतः”… किसी भी सीमा से परे, हर दिशा से ज्ञान का प्रकाश हमको प्राप्त हो। ज्ञान किसी भौगोलिक सीमा में नहीं बंधता वो सारी मानवता की साझी धरोहर है।

पारंपरिक रूप से भारतीय संस्कृति में ज्ञान और विद्या को बौद्धिक संपदा नहीं माना गया है बल्कि यह माना गया है कि विद्या और ज्ञान ही बांटने से बढ़ते हैं बाकी धन – संपत्तियां तो बांटने से घटती हैं। आप अपने गुरु के प्रति ऋण को, उसकी विद्या का दान करके ही चुकाते हैं। और इस प्रकार गुरु और शिष्य की सनातन परंपरा, निरंतर चलती जाती है।

भारत ने विश्व के साथ अपनी प्रतिभा को साझा किया है, अपने मेधावी प्रवासी समुदाय को साझा किया है। मानवता के कल्याण में उनका योगदान अभिनंदनीय है। चमनलाल जी विश्व अध्ययन केंद्र के पीछे की प्रेरणा रहे। यह केंद्र विश्व पटल पर भारत की प्रतिष्ठा को पुन: स्थापित करने के लिए प्रयासरत है।

मित्रों,

राष्ट्र के निर्माण में उसके प्रबुद्ध और संवेदनशील नागरिकों की महत्वपूर्ण भूमिका होती है। लोकतांत्रिक समाज में तो यह और भी आवश्यक है – ऐसे नागरिक, जो व्यक्तिगत हित और अधिकारों से पहले समाज और राष्ट्र के हितों को देखें , जो अपने अधिकारों से पहले देश के प्रति अपने दायित्वों को समझें। स्वार्थ का त्याग, परमार्थ के प्रति आग्रह- हर समाज, हर सभ्यता, हर धर्म, यही सिखाता है।

सभ्यता का इतिहास हमें बताता है कि मानव संस्कृति के विकास के लिए, सृजनात्मक स्वतंत्रता के साथ साथ, नागरिकों में सेवा, संयम और संस्कार भी आवश्यक हैं। चमनलाल जी के जीवन का यही दर्शन रहा। मेधावी छात्र थे, उन्हें 1942 में पंजाब विश्विद्यालय (लाहौर) में M.Sc में गोल्ड मेडल मिला था। अपने लिए एक सरल, सुलभ जीवन चुन सकते थे। लेकिन उन्होंने सेवा का मार्ग चुना। यही उनके संस्कार थे। महात्मा गांधी ने कहा था ” यदि स्वयं को खोजना हो तो खुद को दूसरों की सेवा में समर्पित कर दो”…उन्होंने सेवा में ही अध्यात्म देखा।

आधुनिक भारत के क्रांतिकारी आध्यात्मिक गुरु स्वामी विवेकानंद ने तो यहां तक कह दिया कि ” हमें उस व्यक्ति के प्रति कृतज्ञ होना चाहिए जो हमें सेवा का अवसर देता है। उसमें ईश्वर की दिव्यता देखो। यह अपने आप में ईश्वर की कृपा है कि आपको मानव सेवा का अवसर मिला।” परमार्थ सेवा हमारे सांस्कृतिक संस्कारों में है, ऐसे में अपने अधिकारों के प्रति, सीमा से अधिक आग्रही होना, सामाजिक संतुलन को बिगाड़ सकता है। निजी अधिकारों, सामाजिक दायित्वों और अपने सांस्कृतिक संस्कारों के बीच संतुलन बनाना ही, हर आदर्श नागरिक का समाज और राष्ट्र के प्रति कर्तव्य है। चमनलाल जी जैसा व्यक्तित्व, उनका जीवन दर्शन, उनका कार्य सभी हमारे लिए सदैव अनुकरणीय हैं।

विश्व भर में, चमनलाल जी जैसे प्रेरक व्यक्तित्व की जन्म शती आयोजित करने के लिए , मैं अंतर्राष्ट्रीय सांस्कृतिक अध्ययन केंद्र, नागपुर; संस्थान के महासचिव डा. अमरजीव, प्रो. राजकुमार भाटिया जी तथा प्रो वेद नंदा जी तथा इस आयोजन के सभी संरक्षकों का अभिनंदन करता हूं। भारत सरकार के संचार मंत्रालय ने इस अवसर पर, चमनलाल जी जैसे प्रेरक व्यक्तित्व के सम्मान में डाक टिकट जारी करने का निर्णय लिया है, जो सर्वथा स्वागत योग्य है।

चमनलाल जी की स्मृति में इस डाक टिकट को जारी करते हुए, मैं उनको सादर श्रद्धांजलि अर्पित करता हूं।

As we recall the contribution of the great nationalist, Chaman Lal ji, it is also an apt time to congratulate our men and women hockey teams who covered themselves with Olympic glory, doing the entire nation proud. Despite their loss in the semi-final encounter at Tokyo, the women’s team showed remarkable grit and strength of character all through the tournament.

As analysts have pointed out, the women’s team began to get the attention and support it so richly deserved only in the last four years. It must be borne in mind that the women’s did not qualify in the Olympics for 36 long years until 2016 Rio Olympics. It is only proper, therefore, that we celebrate their superlative performance at Tokyo 2020, which is nothing less than a victory.

They overcame insurmountable odds seen in the light of the fact that many of them hail from under-privileged and marginalized segments of society.

I am happy that central government led by Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi ji, is showing keen interest in promoting Indian Sports like Hockey which has been our traditional forte. There is every need to revive our past glory in various Indian Sports.

The time has come for all state governments also to promote hockey and kabbadi in a big way by co-opting corporate entities and by strengthening the sports infrastructure, including key components like artificial turf, apart from training and coaching systems at the grass-root level.”

Comments are closed.