Kolkata, Jan. 18 : President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the Ramakrishna Math and the Ramakrishna Mission''s celebration of the 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda at Swamiji''s own birthplace here on Friday.
Speaking on the occasion, President Mukherjee said ''Swami Vivekananda''s messages and teachings were relevant then, they are relevant now and they will continue to be relevant as long as human civilization exits''.
President Mukherjee described Swamiji as a great son of Bengal and a great visionary. He said famous historian A. L. Basham described Vivekananda as someone who appears only once in centuries.
President Mukherjee said it was amazing within a short span of life he could transform society which has lost self-confidence. His philosophy shook up every one vigorously and brought back confidence in a shaken nation. He said at a time when the self-esteem of our people was low and many Indians looked to the West for ideals and role models, Swami Vivekananda infused self-confidence and pride in them.
Quoting India''s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, President Mukherjee said: "Rooted in the past and full of pride in India''s prestige, Vivekananda was yet modern in his approach to life''s problems, and was a kind of bridge between the past of India and her present." (ANI)