New Delhi : The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi inaugurated the 26th National Youth Festival in Hubbali, Karnataka today. The programme is being held on National Youth Day, which is celebrated on the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, to honour and cherish his ideals, teachings and contributions. The theme of the festival is ‘Viksit Yuva – Viksit Bharat’ and it brings diverse cultures from all parts of the country on a common platform and unites the participants in the spirit of Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat.
Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister said that the Hubbali region of Karnataka is known for its culture, tradition and knowledge where many great personalities have been awarded the Gyanpeeth Puraskar. He informed that this region has produced several great musicians like Pandit Kumar Gandharv, Pandit Basvaraj Rajguru, Pandit Mallikarjun Mansur, Bharat Ratna Shri Bhimsen Joshi and Pandita Gangubai Hangal and paid tributes to these personalities.
Highlighting the importance of National Youth Day in the year 2023, the Prime Minister remarked that on one hand, we have the exuberant National Youth Festival and on the other hand there is the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav. “Arise, awake and stop not till the goal is reached”, the Prime Minister exclaimed quoting Swami Vivekananda Ji and said that it is the life mantra of the youth of India and said that we must emphasise and understand our duties to take the country forward in the Amrit Kaal. The Prime Minister highlighted the inspiration from Swami Vivekananda Ji derived by the youth of India in this endeavour. “I bow my head at the feet of Swami Vivekananda Ji on this special occasion”, the Prime Minister remarked. The Prime Minister also paid tribute to Sri Siddheshwar Swami who passed away recently.
Shri Modi highlighted the association of Swami Vivekananda with the land of Karnataka. He noted that Swami ji visited Karnataka many times and Mysore Maharaja was one of the key supporters of his visit to Chicago. “Swami ji’s Bharat Bhraman testifies to the unity of the nation’s consciousness and this is an eternal example of the spirit of Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat”, he said.
Quoting Swami Vivekananda Ji, the Prime Minister said, “The development of a future and a nation becomes easy when we possess the power of the youth.” He mentioned that the land of Karnataka has gifted the nation with numerous personalities who gave foremost importance to their duties towards the nation and reached extraordinary feats at a very young age. The Prime Minister gave the example of the Maharani Chinnamma of Chittoor and Sangolli Rayanna whose courage broke the resolve of the British Empire and also mentioned Narayana Mahadev Doni who sacrificed his life for the nation at the young age of 14 years. He also mentioned Lance Naik Hanumanthappa Koppad who survived at temperatures of -55 degrees celsius in Siachen. Commenting on the versatile young talent of the nation the Prime Minister said that Indian Youth is taking new strides in every field.
The Prime Minister reminded the changing nature of national goals in the light of changing times and said that this time of 21st century is very important as today India is a young country with a huge young population. “Yuva Shakti is the driving force of India’s journey”, said the Prime Minister. The next 25 years are important for building the nation. The dreams and aspirations of Yuva Shakti decide India’s direction and destination and Yuva Shakti’s passion decides India’s path. To harness this Yuva Shakti we need to be young with our thoughts, with our efforts! To be young is to be dynamic in our efforts. To be young is to be panoramic in our perspective. To be young is to be pragmatic! If the world looks to us for solutions, it is because of the dedication of our ‘Amrit’ generation, he added.
The Prime Minister said that India today is the 5th largest economy and “our goal is to take it into the top 3.” The Prime Minister reiterated emerging opportunities in the agriculture and sports sector and credited the power of the youth for this revolution. Emphasising the importance of the current moment in the history of the nation, the Prime Minister underlined that strong foundations are being laid in the fields of economy, education, sports and startups. “The runway is ready for your take-off! Today, there is great optimism in the world towards India and its youth. This optimism is about you. This optimism is because of you. And this optimism is for you! Today, there are global voices saying that this century is India’s century. It is your century, the century of India’s youth! This is a historic time – when optimism and opportunity are coming together”, he said.
The Prime Minister emphasised the role of women power in keeping the nation’s strength alive and touched upon the instances of women shining in armed forces, space technology, space and sports.
Shri Modi also emphasised the importance of futuristic thinking and approach for making 21st century India’s century. “It is imperative that for fulfilling the aspirations of the youth, we should bring positive disruptions and move ahead of even the advanced nations”, he said. Mentioning the cutting-edge sectors, the Prime Minister said that jobs that do not even exist will be mainstream professions for our youth in future, therefore, it is important that our youth should prepare for future skills. The Prime Minister referred to the practical and futuristic education system that is emerging through New Education Policy.
The Prime Minister emphasised the two messages of Swami Vivekananda that should be a part of every youth’s life in this rapidly changing world of today. He said, “These two messages are- institutions and innovation!” The Prime Minister further explained that an institution is formed when we expand our idea and work with team spirit and urged every youth of today to augment their individual success in the form of team success. “This team spirit will take forward developed India as ‘Team India’”, the Prime Minister said.
Throwing light on Swami Vivekananda’s idea of innovation, the Prime Minister remarked that every work has to pass through three stages – ridicule, protest and acceptance. The Prime Minister gave the example of digital payments, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Jan Dhan Yojana and the indigenously made covid vaccine and remarked that it was ridiculed when it was first introduced. He further added that today India is the world leader in digital payments, Jan Dhan accounts have become a huge strength of our economy and India’s achievement in the field of vaccines is being discussed all over the world. The Prime Minister remarked, “If you have any new idea, remember that you may be ridiculed, or opposed. But if you believe in your idea then stick to it. Keep trusting in it.”
The Prime Minister informed that many new efforts and experiments are being carried out in the country by taking the youth along. Drawing an analogy to competitive and cooperative federalism, the Prime Minister said that the youth from different states of the country are taking part in various competitions at the National Youth Festival. The Prime Minister remarked that it does not matter who wins as it will be India that will come out victorious and stated that youth here will not just compete with each other but also cooperate. Forwarding this spirit of competition and cooperation, the Prime Minister emphasised the need to inculcate the thought that our success is measured by the success of the nation.
Concluding the address, the Prime Minister said, “Today the goal of the country is – Viksit Bharat, Sashakt Bharat! (Developed India, Strong India) and stressed that we cannot stop until this dream of a developed India is fulfilled. The Prime Minister expressed the belief that every youth of the country will make this dream theirs and take the responsibility of the country on their shoulders.
Governor of Karnataka, Shri Thawar Chand Gehlot, Chief Minister of Karnataka, Shri Basvaraj Bommai, Union Ministers Shri Anurag Singh Thakur, Shri Nisith Pramanik and Ministers from Government of Karnataka were among those present on the occasion.
The National Youth Festival is held every year to provide exposure to our talented youth at the national level, along with galvanising them towards nation-building. It brings diverse cultures from all parts of the country on a common platform and unites the participants in the spirit of Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat. The Festival is being held in Hubballi-Dharwad in Karnataka from 12th to 16th January, with the theme ‘Viksit Yuva – Viksit Bharat’.
The Festival will witness the Youth Summit, which will witness plenary discussions on five themes stemming from G20 and Y20 events viz. Future of work, Industry, Innovation and 21st Century Skills; Climate change and disaster risk reduction; Peacebuilding and Reconciliation; Shared future-youth in democracy and governance; and Health & Well-being. The Summit will witness the participation of more than sixty eminent experts. Several competitive and non-competitive events will also be held. Competitive events will include folk dances and songs and will be held to provide an impetus to local traditional cultures. Non-competitive events will include Yogathon which aims to mobilise close to 10 lakh people to do Yoga. Eight indigenous sports and martial arts will also be presented during the event by national-level performers. Other attractions include Food Festival, Young Artist Camp, adventure sports activities, and special Know Your Army, Navy and Air Force camps among others.