Since 1985, India annually observes ‘National Youth Day’ on January 12, on the day of the social reformer, philosopher and great thinker Swami Vivekananda’s birth anniversary.
In 1984, it was declared by the Government of India, that 12th Jan will be observed as National Youth Day
The objective behind the government’s move was to imbibe the students and youth with the philosophy and ideals of the Swamiji, the man who brought a change in the thought process of the youth.
Many activities are organised on The National Youth Day in schools and colleges, all across India including, speeches, youth conventions, youth fests, seminars,Yogasanas, recitations, presentations, competitions, surya namaskar, yoga, sports and music events.
Teachers tell students about the teachings of Swami Vivekananda, in a hope to impart them moral values and enlightenment.
It is celebrated with great joy and enthusiasm at many centres of the Ramakrishna Math, and Ramakrishna Mission. The day is also observed by various NGOs.
Why is National Youth Day celebrated?
To encourage and inspire the youth of the country to embark on a successful journey, the National Youth Day is celebrated.
Vivekananda’s ‘unforgettable’ speech
On Sept 11, 1893, Swami Vivekananda had created history by his soul-stirring address at World Parliament of Religions in Chicago.
He had said, “It fills my heart with joy unspeakable to rise in response to the warm and cordial welcome which you have given us. I thank you in the name of the most ancient order of monks in the world. I thank you in the name of the mother of religions andn i thank you in the name of millions and millions of Hindu people of all classes and sects.”
Who is Swami Vivekananda?
Swami Vivekananda was born on January 12, 1863 into an aristocratic family in West Bengal. His original name was Narendra Nath Datta.
He founded the Ramakrishna Math and the Ramakrishna Mission. He passed away on July 4, 1902 at the age of 39 at Belur Math near Kolkata in West Bengal.
Swami Vivekananda emphasised yoga, meditation and abstinence while speaking out powerfully against the curse of poverty, prejudice and discrimination.
He was the main force behind the introduction of Indian philosophies of Vedanta and Yoga to the western world.
He was credited with raising interfaith awareness, bringing Hinduism to the status of a major world religion in the late 19th century.
What Dr Manmohan Singh said on Vivekananda’s birth anniversary?
Last year, on January 12, Sunday, the former prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh had said, “I urge every young Indian, irrespective of faith and religion, to be inspired by such a man as they build their own future.”
“Let us, in all humility, imbibe these lessons from Swami Vivekananda… learn to be tolerant of one another, have respect for all religions. India’s true liberation would come when every Indian feels liberated from the scourge of poverty, ignorance and disease. India, this great motherland of ours, has much to learn from the world around us and, equally, much to teach the world,” he had said.