Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation

PM’s address at the 125th Anniversary celebrations of ‘Prabuddha Bharata’ .

  • It is a matter of joy that we are celebrating the 125th anniversary of Prabuddha Bharata. This is no ordinary journal.
  • It was started by none other than Swami Vivekananda back in 1896. That too, at the young age of thirty three. It is among the longest running English journals of the country.
  • Prabuddha Bharata, there is a very powerful thought behind this name. Swami Vivekananda named this journal Prabuddha Bharata to manifest the spirit of our nation.
  • He wanted to create an ‘Awakened India’. Those who understand Bharat are aware that it is beyond just a political or territorial entity.
  • Swami Vivekananda expressed this very boldly and proudly. He saw India as a cultural consciousness that has been living and breathing for centuries.
  • An India that only emerges stronger after every challenge, despite predictions to the contrary.
  • Swami Vivekananda wanted to make India ‘Prabuddha’ or awakened. He wanted to awaken the self-belief that as a nation, we can aspire for greatness.
  • Friends, Swami Vivekananda had great compassion for the poor. He truly believed that poverty was at the root of every problem.
  • Therefore, poverty had to be removed from the nation. He gave top-most importance to ‘Daridra Narayana’.
  • From USA, Swami Vivekananda wrote many letters. I would like to refer to the letters he wrote to the Maharaja of Mysore and to Swami Ramakrishnananda ji.
  • In these letters, two clear thoughts emerge about Swami Ji’s approach to empowering the poor.
  • First, he wanted empowerment to be taken to the poor, if the poor themselves cannot easily go to empowerment.
  • Second, he said about India’s poor, “They are to be given ideas; their eyes are to be opened to what is going on in the world around them and then they will work out their own salvation.
  • This is the approach with which India is moving ahead today. If the poor cannot access banks, then banks must reach the poor.
  • That is what the Jan Dhan Yojana did. If the poor cannot access insurance, then insurance must reach the poor. This is what the Jan Suraksha schemes did.
  • If the poor cannot access health-care, then we must take health-care to the poor. This is what Ayushman Bharat scheme did.
  • Roads, education, electricity and internet connectivity are being taken to every corner of the country, especially to the poor.
  • This is igniting aspirations among the poor. And, it is these aspirations that are driving the growth of the country.
  • Friends, Swami Vivekananda said, “The remedy for weakness is not brooding over it, but thinking of strength”.
  • When we are thinking in terms of obstacles, we get buried in them. But when we think in terms of opportunities, we get the way to move forward.