The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi addressed the Convocation Ceremony of Visva Bharati University today through a video conference. Governor of West Bengal and Rector of Visva-Bharati, Shri Jagdeep Dhankhar, Union Education Minister Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ and MoS for Education Shri Sanjay Dhotre were also present on the occasion.
The Prime Minister while addressing the convocation quoted the poem of Gurudev Ravindra Nath Tagore on Veer Shivaji which inspired him and called for the unity of India. PM stressed that the students and the faculty were not just a part of a university, but also bearers of a vibrant tradition. He said Gurudev named the University Visva Bharati meaning Global University since he expected that anyone who comes to learn in Visva Bharati will see the whole world from the point of view of India and Indianness. So he made Visva Bharati such a place to learn, which can be seen in the rich heritage of India. He gave a call for assimilating and researching about the Indian heritage and working towards solving the problems of the poorest of the poor. He said Visva Bharati for Gurudev Tagore was not just a knowledge imparting institution but an attempt to reach the topmost goal of Indian culture, which is to achieve oneself.
The Prime Minister said Gurudev believed that we have to discover ourselves among the varied Ideologies and differences. PM said that Tagore used to be proud of Bengal but at the same time, he was equally proud of India’s diversity. And it was due to Gurudev’s vision that humanity thrives under the open sky of Santiniketan. He praised Visva Bharati University as an unending sea of knowledge in itself, the foundation of which was laid for experience-based education. He said there is no limit to creativity and knowledge. It was with this thought that Gurudev founded this great university. PM urged the students to always remember that knowledge, thought and skill is not static but a dynamic and continuous process. He said responsibility comes with knowledge and power. Just as one has to be restrained and sensitive while in power, every scholar also has to be responsible towards those who do not have knowledge.
Recalling the historical strength of the traditional Indian education system, the Prime Minister referred to Gandhian Shri Dharampal’s book ‘The Beautiful Tree- Indigenous Indian Education in the Eighteenth Century’. He said that the 1820 survey had said that there was more than one gurukul in every village which were linked with the local temples and the literacy rate was estimated to be very high. This was recognized by British scholars also. Shri Modi said, Gurudev Ravindranath developed systems in Visva Bharti which were the medium of modernizing Indian education and freeing it from the shackles of slavery.