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Rooting for roots

If world’s first amputee Everest conqueror Arunima Sinha’s gritty tale of success left the youths speechless at the state-level convention to mark Swami Vivekananda’s 150th birth anniversary in Ranchi on Wednesday, Day Two taught them to respect their roots.

Former Bihar DGP D.N. Gautam, who was addressing the valedictory function of the youth meet on Indian cultural and spiritual heritage at Ramkrishna Mission Ashrama on Thursday, exhorted the 1,000-odd audience to know about their social, cultural and religious heritage before aping the West.

“India is a place, where all religions are given equal respect, all types of weather are found throughout the year and all kinds of foods are produced. Unlike flowers of other countries, Indian flowers give sweet fragrance. It is such a beautiful place that even God prefers to take birth on this land,” Gautam, a 1973 batch IPS officer, said.

Urging all to take lessons from Swami Vivekananda’s life, Gautam, who had served as security adviser in Jharkhand from January 19, 2011, to February 29, 2012, said: “Swamiji established India’s supremacy in the field of spiritualism at a time when the country was being ruled by white people. Instead of talking about religious tolerance, Swamiji called for religious acceptance. He introduced himself as the representative of the most ancient order of monks instead of associating himself with any particular religion,” Gautam added.

Vice chancellor of ICFAI University O.R.S. Rao asked the youths to adopt four Ds. “The four Ds stand for determination, dedication, dream and diligence. For success, follow three Ls — learn, learn and learn.” Pitching Sachin Tendulkar, Adi Shankaracharya and Swami Vivekananda as role models, he said: “All three created history at a very young age.”

Secretary of Ramakrishna Mission Ashrama Swami Shashankananda asked the youths to believe in God.