Santiniketan (West Bengal)– Vice President Venkaiah Naidu on Friday said the meaning of nationalism lay in ensuring the progress of all Indians sans any discrimination based on social background or gender.
“Nation is not just the geographical boundaries of the map. One would say ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ and think it is done. Bharat will only prosper if there is progress of 130 crore people and that is nationalism.
“Nationalism means there should be no discrimination on the basis of social background, gender and so on,” Naidu said after inaugurating a renovated mud house ‘Shyamali’ where Nobel laureate poet Rabindranath Tagore used to stay during the oppressive summers at this campus in Bolpur of West Bengal’s Birbhum district.
Talking about the importance of culture, the Vice President said: “Along with reorienting our education system we must all practice our culture, tradition and heritage”.
He stressed on the importance of being proud of one’s own traditional dress, culture and own language. “Everybody should remember five things in life — mother-father, native birth place, mother tongue, motherland and teacher,” Naidu said.
He explained that one should think in terms of promoting one’s own mother tongue and then learn other languages. There should be no imposition or opposition of languages.
“The entire country is one. If anything happens (in Kerala, Kashmir or Bengal) at one place, everyone should be aware and concerned. We should do whatever we can to maintain the unity and integrity of the nation.”
Naidu said he felt humbled when he was asked to come to this campus where Tagore founded the Vishva-Bharati University on 1921.
“I feel really happy to be amidst you all to inaugurate and rededicate to the nation ‘Shyamali’, the renovated heritage house of Shri Rabindranath Tagore. I feel humbled and honoured that I was asked to come here,” Naidu said.
Mahatma Gandhi and Kasturba Gandhi had also stayed in Shyamali during their visit to Santiniketan. (IANS)