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Swami Vivekananda's message of oneness in his historic Chicago speech was as relevant today as it was in 1893, the Congress party said and accused the Narendra Modi government of doing just the opposite of what the monk-philosopher preached and represented.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi said Swami Vivekananda's slogan of oneness should be the "magna carta" (the great charter) for the way forward in what she described as today's "atmosphere of intolerance and hate".
"Unfortunately three years down the line of this government, we are seeing the preaching (about) attaining every new heights of glory and prose, the practice is completely the opposite, attaining the depths of despair in real life India.
"This government's use and actions including views are the diametrically opposite of what Swami Vivekananda preached espoused or represented," Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi told reporters.
Hailing Vivekananda on the 125th year of his address at the World Parliament of Religions in Chicago, Gandhi said his message that sectarianism, bigotry and fanaticism had possessed the earth was still as relevant.
While highlighting the idea of the oneness of all religions, Swamiji promoted with equal zeal the idea of the equality of all human beings, she said.
Recalling that Vivekananda spoke of both tolerance and universal acceptance in his 1893 address, she said, "Today, more than ever, we are engulfed with the same challenges of prejudices which Swamiji spoke about".
"In today's atmosphere of intolerance and hate, Swamiji's message should be the Magna Carta for the way forward," she said in a message.
The Congress president said she hoped his inspiring thoughts would continue to guide everybody, especially the country's youth.
"His clarion call -- 'Arise! Awake! And stop not till the goal is reached!' - was at once a call to spiritual as well as political liberation," Gandhi said.
Paying homage to the spiritual leader, she added that he went to Chicago in 1893 to attend the world parliament as a representative of Hinduism and India where he eloquently quoted from the 'Bhagvad Gita'.
"Sectarianism, bigotry, and its horrible descendant, fanaticism, have long possessed this beautiful earth. They have filled the earth with violence, drenched it often and often with human blood, destroyed civilization, and sent whole nations to despair," she quoted Vivekananda as saying.
She described this "universal" message as "time- invariant".
It is as relevant today as it was over 124 years ago" Gandhi said.
Singhvi said Swami Vivekananda personified the eternal energy of Indian youth and their incessant quest for truth.
"But you don't insult him like this when surreptitiously you disobey the path shown by him.
"...When you encourage a culture of hate, bigotry, narrow mindedness, parochialism, politics of prejudice and division, do you really in any sense of the word follow Swami Vivekananda in practice, sprit or action?" he asked, targeting the Modi government.
Singhvi alleged that Modi government decides what we wear, what we eat, where do we move, what we practice, what we do and how we live our lives.
It has completely "strangulated" any kind of dissent and divergence of views. The recent incident of lynchings, the murder of free-thinkers, rationalists, dissenters is a "grim reminder" of the times we live in, he said.
Referring to Modi's talk of respecting women, the Congress leader said while nobody can differ with him but unfortunately the actions of this government are just the opposite.
He said every six minutes, a woman is raped in Delhi and referred to the gangrape of a minor in Dumka in Jharkhand.
Singhvi also said that Modi and his government was waxing eloquent about it Make-in-India initiative but as per CMIE data in one quarter of this year as many as 15 lakh jobs have been lost.
He also criticised the 'Clean India Mission', saying it sent the whole country on a toilet construction spree and a lot of hype was created around it but 51 per cebt of Indian households do not have an improved sanitation system.
"All the height and hoopla on one side - this new toilet truth is a sad truth," he said, adding that most people use dry pit toilets which spreads maximum disease and encourages manual scavenging in remote and rural areas.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)