NATIONAL YOUTH DAY & AZADI KA AMRIT MAHOTSAV
In the year 1985, the Government of India declared 12 January, the birthday of Swami Vivekananda, as 'National Youth Day'. Since then all the centres of the Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission have been celebrating the occasion through various programmes.
Swami Vivekananda's contribution to India's freedom movement and in the regeneration of nationalism is immense. Sri Aurobindo, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and many other illustrious leaders of India's freedom movement were greatly influenced by Swamiji.
On 14 August 1897, in the course of discussion, Bal Gangadhar Tilak sought Swamiji's blessings so that India gets freedom soon. In response, Swami Vivekananda predicted that India would be free in the next 50 years and freedom will appear in an unexpected manner. Just after fifty years, on 14 August 1947, the coveted news vibrated in the air that India had become free. "Freedom is the song of my soul", said Swami Vivekananda.
Swamiji once told Miss Josephine MacLeod, his western disciple, "Love India". To Sister Nivedita, he said, "India first, India second and India third. Fall in love with India." Speaking of himself, Swami Vivekananda once said that he was "Condensed India".
This year the celebration of National Youth Day 2022 is special as it has been clubbed with the 75th anniversary celebration of the Independence of India. This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Independence of India. The Govt. of India has named this year-long celebration as 'Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav. Ministry of Culture in collaboration with Ramkrishna Mission is organising multiple programs dedicated to the life and teachings of Swami Vivekanands.
From 12 to 18 January 2022, a week-long celebration will be held at the birthplace of Swami Vivekananda at Swamiji's Ancestral House and Cultural Centre, Kolkata. The programmes include: Discourses on Swamiji with emphasis on his contribution to India's freedom movement, youths convention, classical songs and dance, etc.
On 12 January, the National Youth Day was celebrated at Belur Math (Headquarters) in collaboration with Ramakrishna Mission Saradapitha centre. The General Secretary of Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission gave the inaugural address and it was followed by speeches, songs, elocution, by students, youths and monks.
The programme concluded with a martial arts performance by Eastern Zonal Cultural Centre, Kolkata, on the theme: 'India's Freedom Movement'.
Programmes involving the youth are also being organised across the country.
Students of seventy-five educational institutions located at different states of the country such as West Bengal, Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, etc participated in elocution competitions on Swami Vivekananda and Nationalism. The topics were: Swamiji's vision of glorious India, Swamiji's views on women empowerment and the uplift of the masses, Harmony of Religions, etc.
A documentary film on Swami Vivekananda's contribution to Nationalism is also slated to be showcased as part of the program.