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Updated: January 13, 2013 01:13 IST

Vivekananda’s 150th birth anniversary fete begins

Ipsita Pati
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West Bengal Governor M.K. Narayanan and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at the 150th birth anniversary celebrations of Swami Vivekananda in Kolkata on Saturday. Photo: Sushanta Patronobish
West Bengal Governor M.K. Narayanan and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at the 150th birth anniversary celebrations of Swami Vivekananda in Kolkata on Saturday. Photo: Sushanta Patronobish

Cultural programmes depicting Swamiji’s teachings and colourful processions mark the event

Cultural programmes depicting his teachings, a procession by children dressed up as little Vivekananda, discourses and the release of a major book on the monk will be among the programmes marking the 150 birth anniversary celebrations of Swami Vivekananda in West Bengal.

On Saturday, people from all walks of life assembled at his ancestral house in the north of the city early in the morning to pay homage. The Ramakrishna Math and the Ramakrishna Mission at Belur in Howrah, founded by Swamiji, marked the day with a special puja.

Colourful procession

A colourful procession weaved its way through the city with children donning saffron robes and turbans dressed up as little Vivekananda.

A fibre-glass chariot mounted on a chassis built on the theme “Shaswata Bharat” (Eternal India) has begun its year-long tour through the State.

A four-day celebration is being organised by the Ramakrishna Math in Baranagar with the aim of empowering the youth through education, character-building and infusion of self-confidence.

This was the Math where Swamiji and his 13 brother-disciples lived in penury between 1886 and 1892 after the passing away of Sri Ramakrishna.

It was here again that Swamiji and his brother disciples performed the formal ‘Viraja Homa’ before taking up the life of a monk and conceptualised the idea of forming the Ramakrishna monastic order.

Corporates chip in

Corporate bodies too have stepped in, with the Public Relations Society of India Kolkata chapter launching a campaign “Better City, Better Life” inspired by Swamiji’s philosophy. The Durgapur Steel Plant installed a statue of Swami Vivekananda in the steel township.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Governor M.K. Narayanan got together for a programme at a city stadium where youth from the Jangalmahals also participated. This apart, private programmes and theatre productions have also been rolled out to commemorate the birth anniversary of one of the greatest sons of India.

The next week will see two major programmes — one at Swamiji’s house, which will be attended by President Pranab Mukherjee, and another on January 20 when a day-long religious discourse will be held at Belur Math, which will see the participation of the president of the Order, the Chief Minister and a Central Minister.

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