Education system based on Indian values is need of the hour: PM Modi

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Tankara: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said an education system based on Indian values is the need of the hour.

He was virtually addressing an event organised to mark the 200th birth anniversary of Arya Samaj founder Swami Dayanand Saraswati at his birth place Tankara in Gujarat’s Morbi district.

Modi hailed the social reformer who had called for the Indian society to return to the Vedas at a time when people were trapped in slavery and superstitions engulfed the country.

“An education system based on Indian values is the need of the hour. Arya Samaj schools have been a centre for this. The country is now expanding it through the National Education Policy. It is our responsibility to connect the society with these efforts,” Modi said.

He said Swami Dayanand Saraswati was born at a time when Indians were trapped in slavery and social evils.

“Swami Dayanandji then told the country how our stereotypes of orthodoxy and superstitions had engulfed the country, and weakened our scientific thinking. These social evils had attacked our unity,” Modi said.

“A section of the society was continuously moving away from the Indian culture and spirituality. In such times, Swami Dayanandji called for returning to the Vedas,” he said.

The PM said Maharshi Dayanand was “not only a world sage, but also a sage of national consciousness.”

“At a time when the British rulers tried to make our people look inferior by using our social evils as a pawn and their rule was justified by some people citing social evils, the arrival of Dayanand Saraswati shocked such conspirators,” he said.

The Arya Samaj founder gave a logical explanation on the Vedas, openly attacked the stereotypes of orthodoxy and explained what is the real nature of Indian philosophy, he said.

“The result was that confidence started returning in the society. People started knowing the Vedic religion and started connecting with its teachings,” Modi said.

Revolutionaries like Lala Lajpat Rai, Ram Prasad Bismil and Swami Shraddhanand among others stood up who were influenced by the Arya Samaj, he said.

The PM said the milestone of 200 years of Swami Dayanand Saraswati’s birth has come at a time when India is in the initial years of its “Amrit Kaal”.

Swami Dayanand Saraswati dreamt of a bright future for India, and taking inspiration from him, “we all have to take India towards modernity in this Amrit Kaal and make it a developed nation,” he said.

Modi appealed to the Arya Samaj, which runs more than 2,500 schools, colleges and universities in the country and abroad and teaches students in more than 400 gurukuls, to take up the task of nation building in the current decade of the 21st century with renewed vigour.

“The DAV (Dayanand Anglo Vedic) institution is a living memory and inspiration for Maharshi Dayanand. We will continue to strengthen it to pay tribute to Maharshi Dayanand,” he said.

During his time, Swami Dayanand had advocated equal rights for women in the society. He had talked about women’s rights and their participation, and the country, through its new policies and honest efforts, is taking the women forward today, Modi said.

“Just a few months ago, the country facilitated women’s reservation in the Lok Sabha and state legislative assemblies through the Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam. It will be a true tribute to Maharishi today,” the prime minister said.

He also appealed to students of the DAV educational network to connect with the ‘Mera Yuva Bharat’, an autonomous body set up by Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports, Government of India catering to the youth of the country.

Modi said the celebration will become an influential medium to connect the new generation with the life of Maharshi Dayanand Saraswati.

The PM also said he was fortunate to be born in Gujarat, where Swami Dayanand Saraswati was born and closely know Haryana and work in the state which was his “karmabhoomi”.

“So, naturally he has a different influence and role in my life,” Modi said.

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