I have been listening and reading reports of 15th August Independence Day speeches of Prime Ministers of India every year since mid eighties but never observed a mention of Sri Aurobindo, whose birth anniversary coincides with the day. This year at last, the new PM in his first Independence Day address not only mentioned but also said he wanted ‘a dream of Sri Aurobindo and Vivekandanda for India to be realised. From a newsreport of his speech which, departing from convention, he did not read out from prepared text but spoke extempore:
Brothers and sisters, today, on 15th August, we also have the birth anniversary of Maharishi Aurobindo. Maharishi Aurobindo, being a rebel, moved on to achieve the status of a Yoga Guru. With regard to the desinty of India, he remarked, “I have a faith that the divine power and spiritual heritage of India will play an important role towards the welfare of the world. Such sentiments were echoed by Maharishi Arvind. I strongly believe in the words of legends. I have great faith in the statements made by ascetics, sages & saints and that’s why today at the ramparts of Lal Quila I am reminded of the words of Swami Viveknanda. He had said – “I can see before my eyes Mother India awakening once again. My Mother India would be seated as the World Guru. Every Indian would render service towards welfare of humanity. This legacy of India would be useful for the welfare of the world”. These words were spoken by Swami Viveknanda ji in his own style. Friends, the words of Viveknanda ji can never be untrue. The words of Viveknanda ji, his dream of seeing India ensconced as World Guru, his vision, it is incumbent upon us to realize that dream. This capable country, blessed with natural bounty, this country of youth can do much for the world in the coming days.
The speech is notable in a few other aspects too. For the first time about 10,000 members of general public were allowed to be present on the occasion besides VIP’s and school kids, the city trains and buses to the venue giving free ride to people. Highest ever number of foreign diplomats attended the speech and the PM is reported to have refused the customary bullet proof enclosure for his personal security or even an umbrella for himself if it rained.