The 154th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda was held throughout the state on Thursday with great enthusiasm.
The Bengal government has declared holiday on Thursday as a mark of respect to Swamiji. Following the instruction of the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee every civic body observed the day by holding seminars, workshops and garlanding his photograph or statue.
In north Kolkata, students of various schools and members of different NGOs organised colourful processions that paraded through important thoroughfares and ended at Swamiji’s ancestral house on Shimla Street where a meeting was held. Speakers urged students to work in order to uplift the poor to ensure India’s sustainable development.
In south Kolkata, a programme was held at Harish Park. It was jointly organised by Gadadhar Ashram, a centre of Ramakrishna Mission and South Kolkata Bibek.
Swami Sarvalokananda, secretary, Ramakrishna Mission, Narendrapur urged students to love India and respect its rich heritage and culture. “Swamiji wanted that we should not copy the West blindly and there should be perfect blending of eastern and western thoughts,” he said. He also talked about how Swamiji’s life and work had influenced freedom fighters.
Students from different schools including Ramesh Mitra Girls High School, Adarsha Hindi High School took part in the rally which passed through Harish Mukherjee Road, SP Mukherjee Road. Kartick Banerjee who organises the Bibek Mela said it would continue till January 26. There will be seminars and symposia in Swamiji’s life and work and cultural programme. There will be stalls showcasing handicrafts of Bengal.
Swami Vivekananda Institute of Environment and Management, Kolkata organised a programme at Aikatan in Salt Lake. Professor Bhaskar Gupta talked about how Swamiji had influenced Jamshedji Tata to open his Institute in Bangalore. “Swamiji influenced Jamshedji to set up an institution where there would be interdisciplinary studies. Famous scientist Nichola Tesla became Swamiji’s friend and from their interaction, we come to know about Swamiji’s deep knowledge in Science,” he said.
Vinod Jaiswal, deputy general manager (Business and Operations), State Bank of India said: “We will have to develop social discipline if we want to make India move forward. Prof DK Mukherjee, renowned teacher of Chemistry recollected how by quoting from Swamiji’s works he got his visa for USA.