Those cleaning India have first right to Vande Mataram, say PM Modi

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses during a function on the occasion of 125th anniversary of Vivekananda's Chicago Address. (PTI photo)

New Delhi: The 9/11 terror attack in the United States could have been averted if the world had remembered the message of peace and harmony associated with India’s 9/11, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in his tribute to Swami Vivekananda on September 11. “Before 2001, the world didn’t know the significance of 9/11. We only have ourselves to blame for it. Had we not forgotten the significance of our 9/11 (in 1893), there would have been no 9/11 in 2001,” he said, addressing a students’ convention at Vigyan Bhawan to mark 125 years of Swami Vivekananda’s address at the World Parliament of Religions in Chicago and the centenary celebrations of Pandit
Emphasising on cleanliness, Modi said that those who keep the country clean have the first right to chant ‘Vande Mataram’ and wondered whether people who littered and dirtied the country had any right to the slogan. “As I entered, I heard people loudly chanting Vande Mataram…The value of patriotism fills my heart. I am asking all countrymen whether we have the right to chant Vande Mataram. I know this will hurt many people… We chew paan and spit it out on Mother India (Bharat Maa par pichakaari mare) and then chant Vande Mataram. Throw garbage and then chant Vande Mataram… The sanitation and cleaning workers have the first right to say Vande Mataram,” he said.
He said that he would rather have people build toilets before building a temple, and only those who care to keep the country clean have the right to be called true nationalists. “If anybody has a right over this nation, then they are those who work for the cleanliness of the nation, and only they have the right to call Bharat theirs,” he said.
Modi said the youth would have to emulate Vivekananda to help the country’s development and progress. For Vivekananda, he said, his country and nationality was an integral part of his pride and self respect. “He did not believe in giving sermons…Vivekananda translated his ideas into action… he said that only rituals will not connect an individual to divinity…for him ‘Jan Seva is Prabhu Seva’ (To serve humanity is to serve god),” he said.
Modi said his government was doing its best to implement Vivekananda’s ideas, and its flagship schemes like ‘Make in India’, ‘’Skill India’, Swachh Bharat’ were part of that effort.
Stressing the importance of the Skill India mission, the Prime Minister said his government had created a separate ministry for the purpose and added that youth should be groomed in a way that they don’t depend on anyone for employment. “They should be not be job seekers but job creators,” he said, referring to the government’s various programs like Start Up India, Stand Up India and the Mudra scheme.

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