The great saint and philosopher Swami Vivekananda was born on 12 January 1863. Every year the country celebrates 12 January as National Youth Day to commemorate the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda. Vivekananda was a disciple of the saint Ramakrishna Paramhansa.
He was a prominent figure in introducing the Western world to Indian philosophy on Vedanta and Yoga. He is credited with putting Hinduism as one of the world’s major religions in the late 19th century. He founded the Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission in the memory of his guru.
Memorable speech given in Chicago
Vivekananda is best remembered for his speech at the World Parliament of Religions held in Chicago, USA in 1893. There was applause at the Art Institute of Chicago for several minutes as Vivekananda began his address with “American sisters and brothers” in the presence of religious leaders from around the world. The way in which he introduced Hinduism to the world in this Parliament of Religions, he became famous all over the world.
Ramakrishna Paramhansa was the Guru of Vivekananda
Swami Vivekananda was born on 12 January 1863 in Calcutta (now Kolkata). Swami Vivekananda’s childhood name was Narendra Nath Dutt. From childhood, he was inclined towards spirituality. In 1881, Vivekananda met Ramakrishna Paramhansa and he became his guru. Influenced by his guru Ramakrishna, he retired at the age of 25. After retiring, his name was Swami Vivekananda. Ramakrishna Paramhansa died in 1886.
Swami Vivekananda founded the Ramakrishna Mission in Kolkata in 1897. A year later, he founded the Ramakrishna Math at Belur on the banks of the Ganges River.
Vivekananda died in Belur Math on 04 July 1902 at the age of 39.
Vivekananda’s birthday is celebrated as National Youth Day
In 1984, the Government of India announced to celebrate Swami Vivekananda’s birthday (12 January) as National Youth Day and since 1985 every year Vivekananda’s birth anniversary is celebrated as National Youth Day.
Vivekananda was a true Karmayogi and had full faith in the youth of this country. He firmly believed that youth could change the destiny of India through their hard work, dedication and spiritual strength.
His message to the youth was, “I want to have muscles of iron and nerves of steel, inside which resides the same mind that makes thunderbolts.” Through such messages, he tried to instill basic values in the youth.
Mahatma Gandhi gave his last speech
On this day in 1948, Mahatma Gandhi gave his last speech. After this he went on fast from January 13. In his last speech on the evening of January 12, Gandhi said that it is better to embrace death than to see the destruction in communal riots.
After the partition of the country in 1947, communal riots started across the country. Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs became thirsty for each other’s blood. These riots shook Gandhiji.
To stop the riots in the country, he decided to go on a hunger strike from January 13. On 12 January, he gave his last speech in Delhi. After this Gandhiji went on fast from the next day. After 5 days, Gandhiji’s condition was accepted and tried his best to bring peace in the country. It is believed that Gandhiji’s last speech was the reason for his assassination.
On 30 January 1948, when Gandhiji was going to offer prayers at Birla House, Nathuram Godse fired three shots at him. Mahatma Gandhi’s last words were, “Hey Ram”.
US Parliament approves Iraq war
On this day in 1991, the US Parliament approved military action against Iraq. After three days of debate, the US Parliament passed the resolution by 250 votes. 183 votes were cast against it.
Earlier, the United Nations had asked then Iraqi President Saddam Hussein to withdraw its forces from Kuwait by January 15 and warned Iraq of being prepared for military action if it did not do so.
Important events of 12 January in India and the world:
2010 : The Haiti earthquake killed more than 200,000 people. It destroyed a large part of the city.
2009 : a. R. Rahman became the first Indian to win the Golden Globe Award.
2008 : Hundreds of shops damaged by fire in Kolkata market.
2007 : Aamir Khan’s film ‘Rang De Basanti’ nominated for BAFTA.
2005 : Amrish Puri, the famous actor and villain of Indian cinema, passed away.
1984 Announcement to celebrate Swami Vivekananda’s birthday as National Youth Day.
1976 Renowned detective novelist Agatha Christie dies.
1972 Priyanka Gandhi, daughter of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, was born in Delhi in 1972.
1934 Revolutionary Suryasen, who fought for India’s independence, was hanged by the British on 12 January 1934.
1931 The birth of Ahmed Faraj, the famous Urdu poet of Pakistan.
1908 The first long-distance wireless message was sent from the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
1757 : Bandel of West Bengal was snatched from the Portuguese by the British rulers.
1708 Chhatrapati Shahu ji was crowned Maratha ruler.
1598 Rajmata Jijabai was born in the city of Buldhana, Maharashtra.