New Delhi [India], Aug 27 (ANI): India's freedom struggle was not only a political movement but was a call for national resurgence and socio-cultural awakening, said Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday at 'Gandhi in New Era-Vinoba Ji' webinar organised by 'Harijan Sevak Sangh' at 125th birth anniversary of Sant Vinoba Bhave.
Naidu called for the nurturing of entrepreneurial talent among the youth of the nation to make India 'Atmanirbhar' in the time to come. He said that we must tap into the entrepreneurial talent and technological skill of every citizen of the nation and harness our local resources to attain self-reliance and to serve humanity at large.
Calling for the creation of a 'Sashakt Bharat', a 'Swabhimani Bharat', and an 'Atmanirbhar Bharat' that Bhave and Gandhi had envisioned, Naidu said that India's concept of self-reliance is not about being ultra-nationalist and protectionist but to become a more significant partner in global welfare.
Speaking of the timelessness of Gandhi's ideas, he said, "Gandhi ji remains our beacon even today because he was an innovator who constantly experimented. He had the courage to take up causes that were most challenging like untouchability. We admire him for his sincerity, honesty, and deep empathy for people he was serving."
Observing that Harijan Sevak Sangh was established by Gandhi in 1932, out of his own deep conviction in the principles of Poona Pact, the Vice President said, "To Gandhi ji, Poona Pact was an article of faith, matter of trust to uplift the lives of depressed class, to restore justice and honour due to them."
India's freedom struggle was not merely a political movement but also a call for a national resurgence and socio-cultural awakening, he added.
Naidu opined that masses' empowerment was a key component of our freedom movement and said that Gandhi wished for the country to stay united against colonial rule, take great pride in its culture, language and rediscover its inherent strengths.
Observing that Gandhi showed civility even in disobedience, the Vice President said that the Father of the Nation had internalised the ancient Indian ethos of 'share and care'.
Terming Bhave as an ideal disciple of Gandhi, he said that he believed that the essence of Indian-ness is a caring attitude and a spirit of sacrifice and service.
The Vice President further said that much like Gandhi, Bhave, through 'Bhoodan Movement', introduced change without coercion, violence and demonstrated that positive, lasting changes are possible with people's active participation.
"Vinoba ji belonged to that long, inspirational lineage of Indian nationalists who gave direction to the social and economic progress of our people. A fitting tribute to him on his 125th birth anniversary would be to work in an integrated manner for the rural population constituting about 60 per cent of India's population. He also stressed on the need to educate youngsters about the life and works of great leaders," Naidu said.
Referring to the COVID-19 health emergency, Naidu said that in these testing times, we have to come together, pool our efforts, not only to contain the spread of the virus but also to offer succour and solace, in a Gandhian way, to those who have been adversely affected by the lockdown.
"The human spirit finds its noblest expression in times of adversity like this", he added. (ANI)