Vice President delivers 6th Rabindranath Tagore Memorial Lecture in Delhi

New Delhi: The Vice President of India, Shri M Venkaiah Naidu today said that creation of New India has to be an inclusive process and called upon the people to continuously strive towards its realization.

Delivering the 6th Rabindranath Tagore Memorial Lecture, organized by the Shimla-based Indian Institute of Advanced Study in New Delhi, he said that the Prime Minister has outlined a vision for New India and endeavor to make a new vibrant India by 2022.

Observing that the aim was to uplift poor and downtrodden sections, he said: “This is possible only if 1.25 billion Indians join this effort to create a ‘Sankalpit Bharat, a ‘Sashakt Bharat’, a ‘Swachch Bharat’ and a ‘Shrestha Bharat’”.

Recalling the similar vision shared by Rabindranath Tagore, Shri Naidu quoted him as saying, “The real problem in India is that we must make the whole country creation of our own. A creation in which all the communities and individuals will participate.”

Stating that it would be a day of great glory and pride when India celebrates its 75 years of Independence in 2022, the Vice President said that he was confident that New India would be an innovation and knowledge hub with promising young digitally-empowered entrepreneurs, technocrats, scientists and academics working in tandem to find indigenous solutions to various problems from climate change to increasing agricultural productivity.

Referring to the institutions established by Rabindranath Tagore, he said that Santiniketan was an experiment to link education with life, connect students with nature and develop a harmonious, well-rounded personality. “We need to bring in these elements of spontaneity, creativity and aesthetic sensibility into our education system”, he added.

Paying eloquent tributes to Gurudev Tagore, the Vice President said that Rabindranath Tagore’s timeless vision has great relevance for India and the world even to this date.

The Vice President said that Rabindranath Tagore wrote prolifically and his views on various themes like education, nature, nationalism, internationalism, feminism, religion, language, caste system, reflect the astonishing range of his multi-faceted genius. “He was truly a Vishwa Kavi, cast in the mold of ancient Vedic rishis who gave us the universal vision of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam,” he added.

The Vice President said one must note Gurudev’s wise counsel on how we could revitalize Indian education by connecting to the grand tradition, drawing from the best minds and rediscovering our strengths.

Calling for protecting and promoting age-old Indian civilizational values, traditions and ethos, he stressed the need for a cultural renaiisance.

Mentioning that Tagore shared Gandhi Ji’s vision of Grama Swarajya and that development of rural areas was a major step towards real freedom, the Vice President said that Tagore echoed Gandhian call for “constructive programme” and rural upliftment or Gram Swarajya in his writings.

The Vice President said that Rabindranath Tagore believed that knowledge was a key driver of country’s transformation and therefore advocated that scientific research should help villagers to improve the quality of their lives. Quoting Tagore he said, “The only way to change things is to apply our newly acquired knowledge of economics, agriculture, health, and all other everyday sciences in the neglected villages.”

On this occasion, the Vice President also released the book titled ‘Swami Vivekananda -Hinduism and India’s Road to Modernity’ written by Prof. M. Paranjape.

The Chairman, Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Professor Kapil Kapoor, Member-Secretary of Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, Shri Sachidanand Joshi, Director of IIAS, Professor Makarand R. Paranjape, Secretary, IIAS Dr VK Tiwari were among the dignitaries present at the event.