Referring to the attack on the US on September 11, 2001, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said the solution to the problem of terror lies in tolerance and acceptance, as shown by Swami Vivekananda. Addressing the valedictory function of the 125th anniversary of Swami Vivekananda’s Chicago speech through video-conferencing, organised by Sri Ramakrishna Math in Coimbatore, he said, “I must remind you that this day is also the anniversary of a very different kind of event — the terrorist attacks of 9/11 that echoed through the world.
The community of nations is trying to find solutions to this problem but, truly, the solution lies in the path that Swamiji showed the world in Chicago: tolerance and acceptance.” He quoted Vivekananda: “I am proud to belong to a religion which has taught the world both tolerance and universal acceptance.”
Modi said India is a country of free ideas. For centuries, he said, India has been home to diverse ideas and cultures. “We have a tradition of ‘discuss’ and ‘decide.’ Democracy and debate are our eternal values,” he said. He said that it is not that the Indian society has got rid of all the evils, and that there are great challenges in such a vast, diverse country.
The Prime Minister said Vivekananda used to say, “There have been devils everywhere more or less in all ages…. We have to be cautious of such evils in our society, and defeat them. We have to remember that despite all the resources at our disposal, whenever Indian society has been divided, whenever there have been internal conflicts, external enemies have taken advantage.”
He said, “We have to build a new India with the inspiration of Swami Vivekananda…. We are working hard to increase self-confidence of the poor, the deprived, the underprivileged. The impact of this can be seen in the confidence of our young people and our daughters. Recently, at the Asian Games, our players have shown that no matter how poor you are, no matter what kind of a family you come from, with confidence and hard work, you can make your country proud of you.”
He said that Vivekananda firmly believed that the future of India depends on its youth. “Keeping in mind the aspirations of the youth, the government is bringing a new work culture and a new approach… Recognising the importance of skill development, the government has created a dedicated Ministry for Skill Development,” PM said.