NOBEL LAUREATE Rabindranath Tagore’s vision is the essence of Aatmanirbhar Bharat, or self-reliant India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday.
Addressing a function to mark the centenary celebrations of Visva-Bharati University through video conferencing, the Prime Minister said, “Guided by Gurudev [Tagore], Visva-Bharati presented a strong image of Indian nationalist sentiment during Independence. Gurudev wanted humanity to benefit from India’s spiritual awakening. Atmanirbhar Bharat vision is also a derivative of this sentiment.”
Founded by Tagore in 1921 in Santiniketan, Visva-Bharati is the country’s oldest central university. It was declared a central university and an Institution of National Importance by an Act of Parliament in May 1951.
The Prime Minister said the Visva-Bharati University, Banaras Hindu University, Aligarh Muslim University, Delhi University, Jamia Millia Islamia University, Andhra University, Annamalai University and several other universities came up in the same era and gave momentum to India’s thirst for knowledge. “Today, as more and more people are getting good education, we now have to work to build a strong and wise nation – one that is self-reliant,” he said.
Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar was present at the event in Santiniketan. Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal joined the programme virtually.
In his speech, the Prime Minister also highlighted Tagore’s links with his home state Gujarat, perhaps in a retort to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who has repeatedly said she will not allow Bengal to be turn into Gujarat.
“When I speak about Gurudev, I cannot help but talk about the connection between Gurudev and Gujarat. He used to frequently visit his elder brother Satyendranath Tagore who was posted there… He stayed in Ahmedabad for a long time. During such a period, he wrote two popular poems. He wrote a portion of Kshudhita Pashan in Gujarat,” he said.