Editorial, June 8, 1896

... How long, we ask in all sincerity and earnestness, will it take our countrymen to realise practically the important truth that a visit to Europe and America either for pleasure or on business and a free friendly social intercourse with the people of other countries, is, in itself, a great educative force? Its enormous educative force it is not possible to overestimate. The wonderful manner in which our countrymen, the Parsis, travel and establish business relations with the people of other countries, the noble examples of men like the Honourable Dadabhai Naoroji, Mr. Malabari, Mr. Framji Pestonji Bhumgara and others are certainly worthy of imitation and education. Why should not Brahmin gentlemen of Madras take a leaf out of the book of the Parsis? Why should they for ever and ever in their own villages spend all their ingenuity in finding esoteric or spiritual justifications for all Indian usages? For fear of incurring the displeasure of a few relations and greedy priests they will not cross the Kala pani They will not undertake a sea-voyage, no, not even to Ceylon or Burma.

It was this accursed caste-system that discouraged many a Madrassee gentleman from taking part in or even witnessing the World’s Fair which is believed all the world over, to have been the greatest and the grandest event that has ever been brought about by human endeavours in this world. The most marvellous machinery of Europe and America, the great Ferris Wheel, the wonderful Waterbury Clock which costs about 800,000 dollars and illustrated even the most intricate industries of the world, unrivalled agricultural products, manufactures, art ware, electrical appliances, search lights, types of aboriginal tribes, etc., were all exhibited there, and explained. There many hundreds and thousands of visitors met like brothers on a common platform and gave up entirely their prejudices, narrow-mindedness, low and ignoble thoughts.

There women competed on equal terms with men in all branches of mundane activity from the simplest to the most complex showed her own department of unrivalled workmanship, her own wonderful energy and activity, her own strength of moral character, her own part in promoting the national welfare of the American people, and lastly, her own enormous power, to mould the destinies of the nations of the world. Again reflect for a moment on that Parliament of Religions of which our Swami Vivekananda was the soul. The very conception of such a thing must have been transcendental. Its realisation is the grandest, brightest and the most magnificent spectacle that the world had ever witnessed. How marvellously did this movement bring together, the Christian and the Heathen, the Chinese priest and the Buddhist priest, Swami Vivekananda and Amir Ali! How clearly did it demonstrate the possibility of the practical realisation of the poetic ideal — “The Parliament of Man and the Federation of the World!”


Special Feature on Swami VivekanandaJanuary 12, 2013

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