Published On: Mon, Sep 11th, 2017

Sanitation workers should have first claim to say Vande Mataram: Modi

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said those who clean our streets should have the first claim to say ‘Vande Mataram’.

In his tribute to the sage, he said Vivekananda was a visionary

Speaking on the occasion of 125th anniversary of Swami Vivekananda’s 1893 Parliament of Religions address in Chicago, Modi wondered whether we should have the right to say ‘Vande Mataram’ after what we do to our streets through indiscriminate littering and spitting.

He said Vivekananda’s ideals can be a guide for all, especially the young, even in today’s day and age.

“Vivekananda did not believe in sermonising…Vivekananda said that only rituals will not connect an individual to divinity…he said ‘Jan Seva is Prabhu Seva’ (“To serve humanity is to serve god”),”said the PM.

He said Vivekananda “gave a new identity” to India and he did this “without shieing away from criticising its ills”. Modi connected this to the ‘Clean India Initiative’ and said that love for one’s country should be translated to action through work for this campaign.

“I want to specially mention all those people who are working tirelessly to keep India clean. I’ve said this before and I will say it again. ‘Pehle shauchalya, phir devalaya’ (First toilets, then temples),’said Modi.

He said all students, especially university students should pitch in to take the ‘Clean India Initiative’ forward.
“Student organisations, while campaigning for university elections should give more importance to cleanliness,” said the PM.

Modi said that he was proud of women who refuse to get married into families whose houses do not have toilets and called for building of toilets before places of worships.

“Toilets first, temples later,” said the Prime Minister.

In his tribute to the sage, he said Vivekananda was a visionary.

“Who would have thought anyone would be interested in celebrating a 125-year-old speech… Just with a few words, a youngster from India won over the world and showed it the power of oneness,” Modi said about the prescience of the social reformer.

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