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Kalam hails Siddaganga seer's contribution to society

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AN HONOUR: President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam and Sri Shivakumara Swamiji of Siddaganga Math on the occasion of the swamiji's 100th birthday celebrations at Siddaganga near Tumkur on Friday. Photo: Bhagya Prakash K.
AN HONOUR: President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam and Sri Shivakumara Swamiji of Siddaganga Math on the occasion of the swamiji's 100th birthday celebrations at Siddaganga near Tumkur on Friday. Photo: Bhagya Prakash K.

Staff Correspondent

The swamiji has silently brought about a `Daridra nirmoolana kranti': Kumaraswamy

Government to adopt the birthday programmes of the swamiji from next year Kumaraswamy to prevail upon President, Prime Minister to honour the swamiji with Bharat Ratna Government to institute `Shivakumara Swamiji Prashasti' from next year A Rs. 5-crore grant announced for the next birthday celebrations of the swamiji

TUMKUR: President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam on Friday said that the 99-year-old Shivakumara Swamiji of Sri Siddaganga Math had spent 76 years in "tapas" aimed at establishing peace in the world.

Inaugurating "Guruvandana Mahotsav 2006" here to mark the 100th birthday celebrations of the swamiji, Dr. Kalam said 10 of the 1,330 "Kurals" written 2,200 years ago in Tamil by Thiruvalluvar dealt with "tapas." The power of "tapas" discharges attachment with life. Peace had its origin in compassion.

"The swamiji has imparted spiritual guidance to all and helped people live an enlightened life,'' he added.

Moral science

Stressing the need to teach moral science in schools and colleges, Dr. Kalam said the swamiji had established 120 educational institutions, where every teacher had been trained in imparting moral education based on Indian culture and heritage. ``I find here the best of teachers who love teaching. The reason is simple - "a sage is presiding over these institutions," he said.

Lauding the efforts of the swamiji in steering a great mission of imparting education to millions of poor students, Dr. Kalam said there was no place for pettiness in the system of education adopted. It was tuned to enhance self-respect of an individual and aimed at creating a beautiful and a happy world, he added.

`Elevating experience'

Governor T.N. Chaturvedi said the swamiji was well known for his profound learning and broad vision. "It is an elevating experience to meet the swamiji and hear him.''

Mr. Chaturvedi said the swamiji blended together tradition and modernity.

The swamiji was an epitome of Basavanna's messages of "Dasoha," "Kayaka," inclusiveness, and universalism, he added.

Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy said the swamiji had silently brought about a "Daridra nirmoolana kranti' (a revolution towards eradicating poverty) in the State. The swamiji laid special emphasis on primary education in villages. "I have seen the swamiji teaching English,'' he added.

Mr. Kumaraswamy said the swamiji's works inspired the Government to introduce several schemes, including "Akshara Dasoha'' providing meals in schools. The Government would adopt the birthday programmes of the swamiji from next year.

"I will lead a delegation from the State to the President and the Prime Minister to prevail upon them to take steps to honour the swamiji with Bharat Ratna," he said.

He announced that the Government will institute "Shivakumara Swamiji Prashasti'' from next year to be given to a person rendering yeoman for the welfare of society.

Grant

At the behest of Mr. Kumaraswamy, Deputy Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa, who holds the Finance portfolio, announced a grant of Rs. 5 crore for the next birthday celebrations of the swamiji. "If need arises, more money will be allocated,'' Mr. Yediyurappa said.

Shivaratri Deshikendra Swamiji of Suttur Math spoke. M.V. Rajasekharan, Union Minister of State for Planning; C. Channigappa, Minister for Environment and Forests; S. Mallikarjunaiah, Tumkur MP, and S. Shivanna, Tumkur MLA, were present.

V. Somanna, MLA, welcomed the gathering. M.N. Channabasappa, principal of the Siddaganga Institute of Technology, proposed a vote of thanks.

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