Swamiji's Chicago speeches to be part of school syllabus
Kolkata: The state government has decided to incorporate Swami Vivekananda's addresses at the World Parliament of Religions held in Chicago in 1893 in the school syllabus. This is for the first time when such a decision has been taken by any state government.
Prachyo O Paschatto, written by Swamiji was included as a Rapid Reader till 1977. Bangla Bhasa, an essay written by Swamiji was included in the book Path Sankalan which was taught to those students who had Bengali as their first language.
After coming to power in 1977, the Left Front government first dropped Prachyo O Paschatto as a rapid reader and then the essay Bangla Bhasa from Path Sankalan.
After coming to power in 2011, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee celebrated the 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda in 2013 in a befitting manner. Seminars on life and works of Swamiji were held in every school.
The Art Institute where Swamiji had delivered his lecture was pulled down as a replica of the building has been constructed in Chicago.
On the staircase, Swamiji's speech at the inaugural session of the Parliament of Religions which was held on September 11 has been inscribed. The road has been renamed Vivekananda Street.
The state government has decided to celebrate the 125th anniversary of Swamiji's speech in Chicago. And hence, September 11 will be celebrated as "Sanghati Divas". From September 11 till September 19 celebrations will be held.
Swami Vivekananda had delivered six lectures at the World Parliament of Religions which was a part of the Columbian Exposition.
To celebrate the 400th year of Columbus' discovery of America, an international exhibition was held at Chicago in 1893.
Swamiji delivered the lectures on September 11, 15, 19, 20, 26 and 27 respectively. His first appearance had created a stir and the American Press described his speeches as "It was human eloquence at its highest pitch."
On September 19, Swamiji read a paper titled "Paper on Hinduism." In his speech, he spoke about "Universal Religion" and said it was the need of the hour to have a religion of this sort.
It will be a sum total of all religions. He spoke about harmony and assimilation of all thoughts and ideas. His speech at the valedictory session held on September 27 was highly appreciated.
Senior state government officials said work is on to prepare the syllabus. It has not yet been decided whether the Chicago Addresses will be taught as a rapid reader or included in the language group or in history chapters.