India’s Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu, seen here at the Indian Community at the Historic Art Institute of Chicago, the place where Swami Vivekananda delivered his speech in 1893, in Chicago, Sept. 9. (PIB/PTI)
Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu on Sept. 27, urged the people to get out of the colonial mindset and return to the roots – Indian culture, which is the greatest in the world.
Naidu also stressed upon communicating in one’s mother tongue at home.
“Learning English is not bad, but the English mindset is an ailment and we must come out of it. Think of our nation. It has such great tradition that we must get back to our roots,” he said on the opening day of four-day Lok Manthan 2018 programme here.
He, however, clarified that he was not against the English language, saying one can learn any number of languages but one should always communicate in one’s mother tongue at home as it connects emotions and mind.
“We should get back to our roots as the culture and civilization of India is the greatest,” Naidu said.
The Vice President said the long colonial rule not only destroyed our political ideals and institutions but also disrupted the natural growth of those systems.
“Therefore, it is necessary that our society should develop self-assessment of the history. We should include oral history, folk tradition and local traditions, language, literature, folk arts, etc. as important evidence of our history,” he said.
Naidu said, “Some leaders and people go out of India and criticize the country. This is wrong. They must understand every Indian believes in ‘Sarva Dharma Samabhav’ (equal treatment for all religions).”
He said several people and organizations spread rumors about India being intolerant on frivolous issues.
“If you look at the world you will find that India is the most tolerant country. And secularism is in the DNA of every Indian. We are a great nation. We have such a tradition of sharing and caring and that is the core of Indian philosophy. In our tradition, if we have one bread we distribute it and if a piece remains only then we eat it,” he said adding that this is the Hindu way of life.
Naidu said it was imminent to study and discard social evils which came into being in the society because of long period of political dominance under the colonial rule.
The country’s struggle for freedom was not for only political independence but also social reforms such as untouchability and castesism, the Vice President said.
He said, “Because of commitment towards people, our Constitution was framed to ensure social, economic and political justice to all the citizens of the country.”
The Constitution consisted of special provisions for the minorities, the backwards, tribal regions and the deprived classes, Naidu said.
He said he recently got an opportunity to attend the 125th anniversary celebrations of Swami Vivekananda’s Chicago speech.
“Swamiji had said if and when the true history of India is written it will be proved that on the subject of religion and performing arts India had always been world leader,” he said.
In the next century, India fought against the strongest colonial power of the West through non-violence, and in this movement resurrected old traditions and culture – truth, non-violence, service, community, equality, independence and other values, Naidu said.
Naidu said, “I know we are divided today politically, socially and economically. And we are also strongly opposed to each other… but if time and circumstances will favour us then no power of the world can stop this country from being united.”
“Any country is made of its people, culture and people’s aspirations. So, it is necessary to keep alive the discussions and deliberations,” the Vice President said.
He cited various debates mentioned in the Puranas to prove that debates, communications and discussions are traditions of India.