Terming the 9/11 terror attack an assault on humanity, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday asserted that a permanent solution to such tragedies can be found in human values.
He said that on the same day in 1893, Swami Vivekananda had introduced to the world the human values of India during his address at the Parliament of World’s Religion in Chicago.
Modi’s statements come on the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York and amid the developments in Afghanistan, where the Taliban has taken control of the country.
“Today is September 11, that is 9/11, a date in the history of the world that is also known for attacks on humanity. But this same date also taught a lot to the whole world,” Modi said after inaugurating via video conference the Sardardham Bhavan in Ahmedabad to provide residential and other facilities to students and job aspirants, and also performed the ‘bhoomi pujan’ of Sardardham Phase-II Kanya Chhatralaya, a girls’ hostel.
He said that on September 11, 1893, Swami Vivekananda stood on the global stage and introduced to the world India’s human values.
“Today, the world is realising that the lasting solution to tragedies like the two decades-old 9/11 will be through these values of humanity. Also, if we need to remember lessons learnt from these terror attacks, then we also need to keep making efforts for human values with full faith,” Modi said.
The prime minister announced a chair for Tamil studies dedicated to Tamil poet Subramania Bharati on his death anniversary. The chair will be set up in the Faculty of Arts at the Banaras Hindu University (BHU), he said.
“Today is (also) the 100th death anniversary of India’s great scholar, philosopher and freedom fighter Subramania Bharati. The vision of ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’ that Sardar (Patel) Saheb carried, the same philosophy has been shining with full divinity in the Tamil writings of Mahakavi Bharati,” he said.
The PM said the chair would inspire students and research fellows to work towards making the grand India that Bharati dreamt of.
“Subramania Bharati also put a special emphasis on the country’s unity, and his ideals are an integral part of Indian philosophy,” Modi said.
He said the inspiration and energy of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel that forced the British to bow down now stands in the form of the world’s tallest ‘Statue of Unity’ dedicated to him.
“Who can forget that when the idea of ‘Statue of Unity’ was proposed by Gujarat, the entire country became a part of the effort. From corners of the country, farmers sent iron. This statue is a place of inspiration, a symbol of the country’s unity, united effort,” he said.
Modi also said that the country is getting benefited by the idea of “sahkar se safalta (success through cooperation)” that Gujarat presented before it.
“I am happy that through its collective effort, Sardar Dham Trust has set a target of 5-10 years for itself. The country is also moving ahead to fulfil the dreams of 100 years of Independence. A separate cooperation ministry has also been set up, and steps are being taken to ensure farmers and youth get benefits of the strength of cooperation,” he said.
“Continuous efforts are being made to bring forward those sections of the society, those who had been left behind. Today, on the one hand, work is being done for the rights of Dalits and the backward sections of the society, on the other hand, 10 per cent reservation has been given to the economically backward sections. It is the result of these policies that society is getting confidence anew,” Modi said.
He also said that the new National Education Policy focused on skill development.
“The National Education Policy will prepare the students for global realities of what skills will be in demand in the market in the future and what our youth will need to lead in the future world,” he said.
“It is the effort of many years of continuous effort that while on the one hand, the school dropout rate in Gujarat has come down below one per cent, on the other hand, lakhs of youths are getting a new future through skill development. In the youth of Gujarat, entrepreneurship is natural. Through programmes like Start Up India, this talent of youths is getting a new ecosystem,” he said.
When the country is celebrating ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav,’ it has given the mantra of “Sabka Prayas” along with “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vishwas, Sabka Vikas,” he said.
Modi also praised the Patidar community – which has built Sardar Bhavan for the students of the community – and said it’s members are known for giving a new identity to the business wherever they go.
“This skill of yours is now being recognised not just in Gujarat and the country, but all over the world. There is another great characteristic of the Patidar community, that wherever you may live, the interest of India is paramount for you,” he said.
“Whether it is personalities like Dadhich or Karn of ancient times, or Mahapurush like Maharaja Harshvardhan in medieval age, India continues to get inspired by this tradition of giving up all for the service. This is a kind of life mantra that teaches us to pay back what we receive. All we have received is from this earth. All the developments that we have made are from this society, therefore, what we have got is not only our own, but also of our community, our country,” he said.
The first phase of Sardardham Bhavan, built over an area of 11,672 square feet in Ahmedabad, has been completed at an estimated cost of Rs 200 crore. The Bhavan building has been developed by the Vishwa Patidar Samaj (VPS) with a focus on the country’s social, educational, and economic development. It boasts of residential facilities for 1,600 students/aspirants, e-library with 1,000 computer systems, library, high tech classrooms, gymnasium, auditoriums, multi-purpose halls, resthouse with 50 luxury rooms along with other amenities for business and political conglomerations.
The girls’ hostel of which the PM performed the ground-breaking ceremony is intended to house around 2,500 girl students. The cost of the project is Rs 200 crore.