Thursday, 14 January 2016

Significance of National Youth Day

Introduction

The importance of youth is getting more prominent by each passing day. The way they handle things when compared to that done by the old timers would tell how different and orderly the world would turn out to be in the coming years. The ability of the youth to bring change was recognized by the seers quite early. For instance, Swami Vivekananda understood quite well about the power of youth, just like other seers in the past.  Moreover, the revered seer who established Ramakrishna Mutt led the youth by setting examples.  His works became the source of inspiration for the youths across the world in the past and the years to come. His teachings gave new dimension to the way the Hinduism is viewed upon by the members of other religions. Soon his life became the epitome of what a youth is capable of doing. Hence, his birth date soon got associated with the Youth Day after the Ramakrishna Mutt began to observe it on that day.

birthday

National Youth Day

National Youth Day is celebrated in our country on the birthday of Swami Vivekananda, who is the greatest visionary India has ever produced, to celebrate the power of youth.  It was formally declared as National Youth Day in 1984 by the Government of India.  In the promulgation, the central government read out “it was felt that the philosophy of Swamiji and the values he stood for and worked with could be a source of great inspiration for the Indian Youth”. Since the next year, our country has been celebrating this year as National Youth Day. This day is also observed by Ramakrishna Mutt and Mission in a traditional Hindu way. Since the lectures, writings and hymns developed by him drew inspiration from the Indian spiritual traditions and the broader outlook of his Guru Ramakrishna Paramahamsar, they were the sources of inspiration for numerous youth organizations that took part in the freedom struggle and motivated them to do service projects for the welfare of the society.  Hence, National Youth Day is aptly summarized as the birthday of Swami Vivekananda.

vivekananda birthday

Activities on National Youth Day

There would be an array of activities at schools, colleges and offices where one can find the youth representations. The day is marked by the organization of processions, music festivals, youth conventions, seminars, presentations, and competitions in essay-writing and recitations. On this occasion, different people participate in several activities as mentioned above across the country and the world to promote youths in the fields of education, culture, art so that moral values can be imparted to them for the enlightenment of their inner soul. In the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, Mission Bharatiyam organizes a two-day grant event for the youths of the state. More than a dozen activities are organized every year by the organization for all age groups. Hence, it is aptly named as "Basti Yuvo Maholsav". A large number of government and non-government organizations and corporate groups also celebrate in their own way to mark this momentous occasion.

youth camp

Contributions of Swami Vivekananda

As a fine young man, Swami Vivekananda gave one of the finest lectures on the dais of the Congress of World Religions held in the year 1903. His lectures touched on various aspects of the society in a way that nobody has ever done before to showcase the co-existence of divinity and karma. He quoted the annals of the history in Hinduism to prove his point in the most logical way. His concept of Advaitha, the universality of religions and the showcasing of Buddhism as the fine fulfillment of Hinduism create ripples in the minds of intellectuals across the world. He soon became the Hero of Youths in America. He was invited to deliver lectures on religion and his perception on the various tenets of Hindu religious practices. Before him, Indians used to be looked down as idiotic people who could easily be dominated by Westerners. This explains why India came under the occupation of different foreign forces in the past. His clear thoughts gave the sufficient indications that the English educated youths of the country were able to put their thoughts and views coherently for the common good.

vivekananda contribution
Thuruvananthapuram Kolkata, West Bengal, India