Monday, May 1, 2023

North East Calling - Bengaluru

The program started with shanti mantra at 11 AM. An audio visual documentary about the story of Vivekananda Rock Memorial and its extension the Vivekananda Kendra was shown to the audience. The students of Vivekananda Kendra Vidyalaya, Assam presented the vibrant culture of North east and freedom movement through music, dance, and drama. 
Mananeeya Hanumantha Rao ji, Vice President, Vivekananda Rock Memorial and Vivekananda Kendra Kanyakumari introduced the guests and welcomed the audience. The guest of honor Dr. M Jagannath Shenoy well wisher of Vivekananda Kendra felicitated the chief guest his Excellency Shri R N Ravi, Hon’ble Governor of Tamil Nadu. Mananeeya Rekha Davey, Joint General Secretary of VRM and VK felicitated Smt Jagannath Shenoy. Hon’ble Governor Shri R N Ravi delivered his Keynote address and covered various aspects including brief history of north east states formation, cultural richness of the region and the current government’s efforts to bring the region’s people in to main stream of the nation. He explained how and why the region became an issue for so long. It was deliberately done by design by the then British rulers for centuries based on their interest. The British also passed the India charter act which mandated religious conversion or evangelization of India. Unfortunately this narrative of difference continued post-independence as well, by accepting the notion that the region is completely different than the main land. This led to the formation of seven states and thirty autonomous regions based on trivial differences amongst the people. Earlier governments kept on making many avoidable accords based on the local leadership’s demand. Shri R N Ravi appreciated the efforts of Vivekananda Kendra and mentioned that the Kendra in spite of minimal connectivity and lack of resources worked tirelessly in the region to bring them back to the fold of Rashtra.

Further, Hon’ble Governor narrated few stories from his own personal experience with local people, which revealed that there is no difference between their culture and main land culture. Existing issues can be resolved by taking them into confidence by talking to them with a condition that there should not be any gun battle and no negotiation on the sovereignty of the nation. And this is the effort of the current government and now the north east is a story of development. 
Hon’ble governor said the Vivekananda Kendra’s service in remote areas during difficult time is a great service to the nation and it is remarkable. Further said, all the things that Vivekananda Kendra did was with a very minimal resources and to continue these efforts Kendra deserve all possible support from the audience and in general, all possible people from Bangalore/Karnataka.
Session was opened to questions from the audience and all questions were elaborately answered by the Hon’ble governor which were well received by the audience with huge applause. Mananeeya Balakrishnanji, President, Vivekananda Rock Memorial and Vivekananda Kendra Kanyakumari thanked all the dignitaries and appealed to the people to do their best by contributing monetarily or by service to continue and expand Kendra’s work in the north east region where there are additional requirements for schools and higher educational institutions. Program concluded with shanti mantra and National anthem by VKV students. Prasad (lunch) was arranged for all participants after the program. 400 people including karyakartas of VK from various parts of Bharat attended program.

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