New Delhi: India suffers when decisions are taken under the burden of ideology, ignoring national interest and the unity of the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said here on Thursday while addressing students of Jawaharlal Nehru University.
“One thing that has done a great deal of harm to the democratic system of our country is to give priority to our ideology over national interest,” the Prime Minister said in his address to students after unveiling a statue of Swami Vivekananda in the campus through video conference.
He said that some students take steps just following their ideology ignoring matters of the nation’s interests. “This is wrong,” the Prime Minister said.
Citing examples of how people from different walks of life and following different ideologies came together in the national interest, Modi said, “You see in the history of the country, whenever a difficult time has come in front of the country, people of every ideology have come together in the national interest.”
Modi said people of every ideology came together under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi during the freedom struggle. “They fought for the country together,” Modi said.
He further pointed out that India saw the same kind of solidarity during the Emergency. “Former Congress leaders and activists also participated in that movement against the Emergency along with RSS volunteers and Jan Sangh members. There were also Socialists and Communists,” he said.
The Prime Minister stated in the fight against emergency no one had to compromise on his or her ideology. “There was only one purpose: national interest. Therefore, when there is a question of unity, integrity, and national interest of the nation, by making a decision under the burden of your ideology, the country suffers,” he said.
He also told students that they should keep sharing ideas, keep debating and continue the flow of new ideas “uninterrupted”. He said India is a land where seeds of different intellectual ideas have sprouted and thrived and it is necessary for the youth to strengthen this tradition. He said, “Due to this tradition, India is the most vibrant democracy in the world.”
The Prime Minister also said that JNU’s students throng the Sabarmati Dhaba in the campus to exchange ideas, debate, and discuss. “Now you have got another place in the shadow of this statue of Swamiji,” he said.
He said that the statue will teach compassion which is the mainstay of Swamiji’s philosophy. “May this statue teaches us an immense dedication to the nation, teach intense love for our country which is the highest message of Swamiji’s life. May this statue inspires the nation for the vision of oneness, which has been the inspiration of Swamiji’s thinking,” he said.
He also wished that statue inspires the country to move forward with the vision of youth-led development, which has been expected of Swamiji and also inspires everyone to realize the visionary’s dream of a strong and prosperous India.
Talking about India’s new National Education Policy, Modi said: “Swami Vivekananda wanted that education in the country should be such that it provides self-confidence to individuals and makes them Aatmanirbhar in every way. New National Education Policy is on the same lines and has inclusion at its core.”
The Prime Minister said that the country’s youth is the ‘brand ambassador’ of ‘brand India’ today globally. “Our youth is the representative of our country’s culture and traditions around the world,” he said.
The event was also attended by Union Minister for Education Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank and JNU vice-chancellor Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar.
The varsity has been embroiled in controversy for the last few years over anti-India protests in the campus premises.