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Friday, January 21, 2022

PM chairs first meeting of committee on celebration of 150th birth anniversary of Sri Aurobindo

The committee comprises 53 members from various walks of life, including former Prime Ministers Manmohan Singh and H D Deve Gowda, eight cabinet ministers, Chief Ministers, Governors, artists and spiritual leaders.

Written by Divya A | New Delhi |
Updated: December 25, 2021 4:10:47 pm
Prime Minister Narendra Modi wished the country on the occasion of Christmas on Saturday. (File Photo)

Just days after a high-level committee was constituted by the Centre to commemorate the 150th Birth Anniversary of Sri Aurobindo, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday chaired its first meeting.

The committee comprises 53 members from various walks of life, including former Prime Ministers Manmohan Singh and H D Deve Gowda, eight cabinet ministers, Chief Ministers, Governors, artists and spiritual leaders.

Speaking on the occasion, Modi said that the two aspects of Sri Aurobindo’s philosophy of ‘revolution’ and ‘evolution’, are of key importance and should be emphasised as a part of the commemoration. The youth should be encouraged towards the concept of greatness as embodied in the philosophy of “Nar to Narayan” to create a “Maha Manav” as propounded by Sri Aurobindo, he added.

One of the attending members told The Indian Express, “A new revelation which came in the course of the meeting was the following of Aurobindo by members of the Hyderabad Nizam family in the 1920s when Aurobindo was there.

So much so that one of them adopted the name of Prashant given to him by Aurobindo. So, besides Baroda, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, events will also be held in Hyderabad to highlight this aspect.”

During the meeting, there was also talks about organising international conferences and seminars to propagate Aurobindo’s message. While events will be held across the country, in Puducherry, where he spent 40 years of his life, a slew of events will be planned, sources said.

The celebrations will begin on January 1, 2022, and go on till March 2024, sources said. Although the date of the next meeting hasn’t been decided yet, the Union Ministry of Culture will also come up with a calendar of events based on the inputs.

The Prime Minister further added that it is the responsibility of India as a spiritual leader of the world to contribute in terms of spiritualism to nations across the globe. He suggested that 150 universities across the country should be involved in writing papers on different aspects of Aurobindo’s life and philosophy and these papers should be published on the occasion, which falls on August 15, 2022, also coinciding with India completing 75 years of Independence.

During the one-and-a-half-hour meeting, Modi also proposed to launch the commemoration celebrations of Aurobindo from Puducherry, coinciding with the celebration of the National Youth Day.

“This will encourage the youth to visit Puducherry and learn about his life and teachings where Sri Aurobindo spent his life from 1910 to 1950,” he said, while recalling his discussions with Kireet Joshi, who was a disciple of Sri Aurobindo.

He added that these discussions enriched him with the thoughts of Sri Aurobindo, which were deeply reflected when he was working on preparing the National Education Policy. The Prime Minister said the literature of Joshi on Sri Aurobindo should be disseminated widely across the world.

The meeting was held in a hybrid mode — while 16 members were present physically, 22 others participated virtually through video conference. Secretary (Culture), Govind Mohan, gave a presentation on the roadmap for the celebration of the commemoration and sought the advice of the members for the celebrations.

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