A Memorial for Swami Vivekananda
Abracadabra By K. B. Ganapathy, Columns

A Memorial for Swami Vivekananda

February 4, 2022

A painful journey. When is the arrival?

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness…, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it  was the winter of despair.”

— Charles Dickens in A Tale of Two Cities

Good evening my dear readers of this column. For me this is an evening of grace, a new dawn for our Mysuru city, the cultural capital of Karnataka. I always thought, the educated here would always support (if not participate) in this cause of our city.

About 12 years back when this opportunity came, we were let down by a minuscule section of the local-educated. What was that opportunity?

The opportunity was when the then Prime Minister of India Dr. Manmohan Singh (UPA-Congress party) decided to celebrate the 150th Birth Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda at the very 1st meeting of the National Committee for Commemoration on 20th May, 2010 at Delhi.

But, how to celebrate? That 1st meeting decided on many avenues of celebration. One was “restoration of the buildings or places which are associated with Swami Vivekananda.”

Among the places the Swami visited, Mysuru city was one. Are we not the fortunate? I would say when people like Buddha, Mahatma or a Vivekananda walk on our land, the earth under their foot gets sanctified. Naturally, the good earth of Mysuru city was sanctified leaving behind a subtle scent of spiritual and cultural dust. The UPA Government understood this inner feeling of our countrymen. Hence, took a right decision at the right time — 2010.

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And who were there in that Commemoration Committee? Intellectual giants sir, intellectuals who always thought of the ‘greatest good of the  greatest number; not a selected number of parochials.’ Their names please: Dr. Karan Singh; Pranab Mukherjee; Swami Prabhananda (Ramakrishna Mission, Kolkata); Narendra Modi, then Chief Minister of Gujarat; Aveek Sarkar [Chief Editor, Anand Bazar Patrika], Prof. MGK Menon and others. Could not we here in Mysuru and the State Governments headed by the Congress party and BJP TRUST the members of the National Committee? It is my opinion that self-denial of grace of this kind is self-curse.

I hope, at least since this morning we Mysureans are exorcised of this self-curse.

Let me recall now the ecstasy and then the agony that marked the beginning and end of the episode.

1. All the properties, including NTM School, Niranjan Mutt, Shiva Temple etc., handed over to Sri Ramakrishna Ashram, Mysuru, in 2013.  Area 43,402 sqft.

2. This was done in accordance with the GO issued by the State Government on 9th January 2013 after a Cabinet meeting.

3. All set for the construction of a Viveka Youth Cultural Centre. Viveka Smaraka. I have seen a Centre of the proposed kind in Kolkata.

4. Plans duly approved by the State Government and the Central Ministry of Culture.

5. Plan for approval sent to our Mysuru City Corporation (MCC).

6. Funds from the Centre and State arrived.

7. The jinx for the Viveka Smaraka began with the arrival of Congress Government in our State (from 2013, May till 2018 and then bjp Government till today, 2022, Feb. 4).

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The lesson I learnt, as in many instances in the long history of India is: The vulnerable, susceptible Soft Belly of a Government is where the head of the Government, as in the case of our State Government, succumbs to the unconscionable, anti-social demands of his or her friends and favourites and compromises the greater, nobler, sublime cause of the common man.

Here in the present episode that Soft Belly had got exposed for the soldiers in the Trojan Horse to surprise and defeat the Government for the last 12 years!

I am aware that during this fight, yes fight, R.K. Ashram was lying low all the time trying to persuade the protesters see the good in the project; supplicating to a Government that kept its sphinx-like poker face. While the R.K. Ashram went to the Court for justice, so also the NTM School protesters went to the Courts in a multi-pronged attack.

‘It is a pyrrhic victory. Truth has not prevailed. Call me superstitious, anything. This is a MIRACLE. Only, miracles take time, years, even eons to happen. Like our own country.

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6 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “A Memorial for Swami Vivekananda”

  1. Nandini says:

    If R K Ashram have any sense of Vievekanada’s ideals , they should be happy to construct a Vivekananda Girls’ school replacing the one shifted, , a top notch school for Mysuru girls, or a first rate women’s college in the premises or both, if the space allows, adding a health centre too for them, which will be a fitting memorial for Vivekananada.
    Vivekananda’s very first words in America starts with ‘Sisters’ in his speech which began: ‘ ‘Sisters and Brothers of America…
    But, the above will not happen This is India ,mind you!

  2. Arun says:

    The school shifted was no more a girls school, the school has been shifted to its original place. There are already many girls school & college in the vicinity. But what is lacking is the teachings of Swami Vivekananda.

  3. Shantala says:

    @Arun
    Do you follow Gandhiji teachings, and lead your life accordingly? I guess, NO! You are as likely to ignore Vivekananda teachings!!

  4. Mann Ki Baat! says:

    Vivekananda dies 120 years ago, that is 4 decades BEFORE Gandhiji’s death. If Indians like @Arun have not learned from his teachings by now, he never will.
    These days the ‘Kaavi’ crowd which now includes BJP ( Master Hiranniah called Kaavi, the so called God men, along with the miscreants in ‘Khaki’ and Khadi’, then BJP/Janasangh was a weal party)- these men in saffron clothes, have so much money, hundreds of crores of Rupees, to spend on memorials, statues and the likes.
    If Mysoreans/Indians have not learned from Vivekananda since his demise in 1902, 120years ago, they never will.

  5. Gautam says:

    Mr Ganapathy
    Why this sudden spurt of need for Vivekananda memorial and interest in what he stood for, when there are so many memorials for him , in almost every state and perhaps city in India?
    As posters above pointed out, Vivekananda died over a century ago, and his teachings have been regurgitated umpteen times in the media, in the schools and just about every where?
    If R K Ashram have a few crores of Rupees to spare, ask them to donate to educate children in poverty who have no means to get educated, and their families, who use them for cheap labour.
    Wasting the money on buildings and memorials , I am not Vivekananda would not encourage.

  6. Nikhil says:

    This is the answer somebody provided regarding why we should waster money on this statue
    ಒಂದು ಕಾಲದಲ್ಲಿ ಒಬ್ಬ ರೈತನ ಹತ್ತಿರ ಎರಡು ಎತ್ತು ಹಾಗೂ ಒಂದು ನಾಯಿ ಇತ್ತು.
    ಒಂದು ಬಾರಿ ಆತ ಬೇರೆ ಊರಿಗೆ ಹೋಗಬೇಕಾಗಿತ್ತು. ಆಗ ಆತ, ಎತ್ತು ಮತ್ತು ನಾಯಿಯನ್ನ ಕರೆದು, “ನೋಡಿ ನಾನು ಬೇರೆ ಊರಿಗೆ ಹೋಗುತ್ತಿದ್ದೇನೆ. ನಾನು ಬರುವಷ್ಟರಲ್ಲಿ, ನೀವು ಹೋಲಕ್ಕೆ ಹೋಗಿ ಎಲ್ಲ ಕೆಲಸ ಮಾಡಿ ಮುಗಿಸಿ. ಯಾರು ಕೆಲಸ ಮಾಡುತ್ತೀರೋ, ಅವರನ್ನ ನಾನು ಮನೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಇಟ್ಟುಕೊಳ್ಳುತ್ತೇನೆ” ಅಂತ ಹೇಳಿ ಊರಿಗೆ ಹೋಗುತ್ತಾನೆ

    ಎತ್ತುಗಳು ಹೋಲಕ್ಕೆ ಹೋಗಿ ಕಷ್ಟಪಟ್ಟು ದುಡಿಯಲಾರಂಬಿಸುತ್ತವೆ. ನಾಯಿ ಕೂಡಾ ಹೊಲಕ್ಕೆ ಹೋಗುತ್ತದೆ, ಆದರೆ ಕೆಲಸ ಮಾಡದೆ ಅಲ್ಲಿಯೆ ಇದ್ದ ಗಿಡದ ಕೆಳಗೆ ಮಲಗಿ ನಿದ್ರೆ ಮಾಡುತ್ತದೆ

    ಸಾಯಂಕಾಲ, ಎಲ್ಲ ಕೆಲಸ ಮುಗಿಸಿದ ಎತ್ತುಗಳು, ಯಜಮಾನನ ಮುಂದೆ ತಾನು ಮಾಡಿದ ಕೆಲಸದ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ವಿವರ ಕೊಡಲು ಮನೆಗೆ ಹೋಗುತ್ತವೆ. ಆಗ ಮಲಗಿದ್ದ ನಾಯಿ ಎದ್ದು ಹೋಲದ ತುಂಬಾ ಹತ್ತು ಬಾರಿ ಒಡಾಡಿ, ಮನೆಗೆ ಬರುತ್ತದೆ

    ಎತ್ತು – ನಾಯಿ, ಇಬ್ಬರೂ ತಾವು ಕೆಲಸ ಮಾಡಿದ್ದೇವೆ ಅಂತ ಯಜಮಾನನಿಗೆ ಹೇಳುತ್ತವೆ.
    ಇದನ್ನ ಪರೀಕ್ಷಿಸಲು, ರೈತ ಹೊಲಕ್ಕೆ ಬರುತ್ತಾನೆ. ಅಲ್ಲಿ ಹೊಲದ ತುಂಬಾ ನಾಯಿಯ ಹೆಜ್ಜೆ ಗುರುತೆ ಜಾಸ್ತಿ ಇರುತ್ತದೆ. ಇದನ್ನ ನೋಡಿದ ರೈತ, ನಾಯಿಯೇ ಕೆಲಸ ಮಾಡಿದೆ ಅಂತ ಅದನ್ನ ತನ್ನ ಮನೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಇಟ್ಟುಕೊಂಡು, ಎತ್ತಗಳನ್ನು ಹೊಲದಲ್ಲಿ ಇಂದೂ ದುಡಿಸಿಕೊಳ್ಳುತ್ತಿದ್ದಾನೆ
    ಇಂದು ನಾವು ಕಾಣುತ್ತಿರುವ ಗಾಂಧಿ ರೋಡ್, ನೆಹರು ವಿಶ್ವವಿದ್ಯಾಲಯ, ಇಂದಿರಾ ಏರಪೋರ್ಟ್, ರಾಜೀವ್ ಪ್ರಶಸ್ತಿ, ಅಕ್ಬರ್ ರೋಡ್, ಇವುಗಳೆಲ್ಲಾ ಒಂದು ರೀತಿ ‘ ನಾಯಿ ಹೆಜ್ಜೆ ‘ ಇದ್ದಂತೆ
    ಮಂಗಲ ಪಾಂಡೇ, ರಾಣಿ ಲಕ್ಷ್ಮಿಬಾಯಿ, ಕಿತ್ತೂರ ರಾಣಿ ಚೆನ್ನಮ್ಮಾ, ಸಂಗೊಳ್ಳಿ ರಾಯಣ್ಣ, ತಾಂತ್ಯಾ ಟೋಪಿ, ಬಿರ್ಸಾ ಮುಂಡಾ, ಬಾಬು ಕುಂವರ್ ಸಿಂಗ್, ಮದನ ಲಾಲ ದಿಂಗ್ರಾ, ಬಾಲಗಂಗಾದರ ತಿಲಕ, ಲಾಲಾ ಲಜಪತ ರಾಯ್, ಬಿಪಿನ್ ಚಂದ್ರಪಾಲ,
    ವೀರ ಸಾವರಕರ್, ಸಚಿಂದ್ರನಾಥ ಸನ್ಯಾಲ, ಬಾಗಾ ಜತೀನ್, ರಾಮ್ ಪ್ರಸಾದ್ ಬಿಸ್ಮಿಲ್ಲಾ, ಖುದಿರಾಮ್ ಬೋಸ್, ಉದಮ್ ಸಿಂಗ್, ಭಗತ್ ಸಿಂಗ್, ಚಂದ್ರಶೇಖರ್ ಆಜಾದ್, ರಾಜಗುರೂ, ಸುಖದೇವ್, ಸುಭಾಷಚಂದ್ರ ಬೋಸ್ ಮತ್ತು ಅವರ ಆಜಾದ್ ಹಿಂದ್ ಫೌಜನ 25,000 ಸೈನಿಕರ ಬಲಿದಾನವನ್ನ ಎತ್ತುಗಳ ಕೆಲಸದಂತೆ ನಾವು ಮರೆತೆ ಹೋಗಿದ್ದೇವೆ.
    ಅವರನ್ನ ನಾವು ಗುರುತಿಸಲೆ ಇಲ್ಲ
    ಗಾಂಧೀಜಿ ತಮ್ಮ ಕುರಿಯನ್ನ ಕಟ್ಟುತ್ತಿದ್ದ ಹಗ್ಗ ಈಗಲೂ ಇದೆ ಆದರೇ, ಭಗತಸಿಂಗ್ ನಗುತ್ತಾ ಏರಿದ ಆ ನೇಣಿನ ಹಗ್ಗ ಎಲ್ಲಿಯೋ ಕಳೆದುಕೊಂಡೆವು?
    ಸಾಯುವಾಗ ಗಾಂಧೀ ‘ಹೇ ರಾಮ’ ಅಂದಿದ್ದು ಎಲ್ಲಿಯೊ ಇದ್ದ ನೆಹರೂಗೆ ಕೇಳಿಸಿತಂತೆ. (ಇದು ಅವರೊಬ್ಬರಿಗೆ ಹೇಗೆ ಕೇಳಿಸಿತು? 🤔😛)
    ಆದರೇ….., ನೇಣಿಗೆ ಏರುವಾಗ, ಬ್ರಿಟೀಷರ ಚಡೀ ಏಟು ಬೀಳುವಾಗ, ಅಂಡಮಾನ್ ಮತ್ತು ಇತರೆ ಜೈಲುಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಯಾತನೆ/ಹಿಂಸೆ ಅನುಭವಿಸುವಾಗ, ಬ್ರಿಟಿಷರ ಗುಂಡಿನ ಏಟು ತಿಂದು ಸಾಯುವಾಗ ದೇಶ ಭಕ್ತರು ಕೂಗಿದ ‘ ವಂದೇ ಮಾತರಂ ‘ & ‘ ಭಾರತ ಮಾತಾ ಕೀ ಜೈ ‘ ಇಂದು ಕೋಮುವಾದಿ ಪದಗಳಾಗಿವೆ.
    ದೇಶದ ಹಳೆಯ ಮತ್ತು ದೊಡ್ಡ ಪಕ್ಷವೊಂದು ‘ಭಾರತ ಮಾತಾ ಕೀ ಜೈ’ ಮತ್ತು ‘ವಂದೇ ಮಾತರಂ’ ಹೇಳೋದೇ ಇಲ್ಲ. ಹೇಳುವವರನ್ನ ಹತ್ತಿರ ಸೇರಿಸಿಕೊಳ್ಳೋದು ಬಿಡಿ, ಹಾಗೆ ಹೇಳೋರನ್ನ “ಕೋಮುವಾದಿಗಳು” ಅಂತಾನೂ ಅವರಿಗೆ ಹಣೆಪಟ್ಟಿ ಕಟ್ಟುತ್ತೆ.
    ನಮ್ಮ ದೇಶದಲ್ಲಿ ನಾವು ಬಹುಸಂಖ್ಯಾತರಾಗಿದ್ದರೂ, ಎರಡನೆ ದರ್ಜೆಯ ನಾಗರೀಕರಂತೆ ಬದುಕುತ್ತಿದ್ದೇವೆ,
    ನಮ್ಮ ದೇವಾಲಯಗಳು ಸರಕಾರದ ಆದೀನದಲ್ಲಿವೇ,
    ದೇವಸ್ಥಾನಕ್ಕೆ ನಾವು ಕೊಡುವ ಹಣ, ಮಸೀದಿ/ಚರ್ಚುಗಳ ಜೀರ್ಣೊದ್ದಾರಕ್ಕೂ ಹೋಗುತ್ತದೆ ಆದರೇ ಆ ಮಸೀದಿ/ಚರ್ಚುಗಳನ್ನ ಸರಕಾರ ಮುಟ್ಟುವಂತಿಲ್ಲ.
    ಈ ದೇಶದಲ್ಲಿ ಇಸ್ಲಾಂ/ಕ್ರಿಶ್ಚಿಯನ್ ಧರ್ಮ ಬೋದಿಸಬಹುದು ಆದರೇ ಸನಾತನ ಹಿಂದೂ ಧರ್ಮವನ್ನ ಭೋದಿಸುವಂತಿಲ್ಲ.
    ನಮ್ಮ ಹಬ್ಬಗಳಂದು ದೇವರ ಮೂರ್ತಿಯ ಸೈಜ್ ಎಷ್ಟಿರಬೇಕು, ಅಭಿಷೇಕಕ್ಕೆ ಎಷ್ಟು ಹಾಲು ಉಪಯೋಗಿಸಬೇಕು, ಪಟಾಕಿ/ದೀಪ ಹಚ್ಚ ಬೇಕೆ ಬೇಡವೇ ಅಂತ ಸರಕಾರ/ಕೋರ್ಟಗಳು ಹೇಳುತ್ತವೆ. ಅದೇ ಸರಕಾರ/ಕೋರ್ಟಗಳು, ಬಕ್ರೀದಂದು ಬಲಿ ಕೊಡುವ ಲಕ್ಷಾಂತರ ಪ್ರಾಣಿಗಳ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಚಕಾರವೆತ್ತುವುದಿಲ್ಲ.
    ‘ಅಲ್ಲಾನೆ ದೇವರು ಅವನನ್ನ ಬಿಟ್ಟು ಯಾರೂ ಇಲ್ಲ’ ಅಂತ ಮುಸ್ಲೀಂರು ದಿನಕ್ಕೆ ಐದು ಬಾರಿ ಅದೂ ಲೌಡ್ ಸ್ಪೀಕರಲ್ಲಿ ನಮ್ಮನ್ನ ಅಣಕಿಸಬಹುದು ಆದರೇ ನಾವು ಜೈ ಶ್ರೀ ರಾಮ ಅಂದರೇ ಕೋಮುವಾದವಾಗಿಬಿಡುತ್ತದೆ.
    ನಾವಿನ್ನೂ ನಿಜವಾಗಿ (ಸಾಂಸ್ಕೃತಿಕವಾಗಿ, ಧಾರ್ಮಿಕವಾಗಿ) ಸ್ವಾತಂತ್ರ ಪಡದೆ ಇಲ್ಲ.
    ಕಾರಣ ,
    ನಾವು ಇನ್ನೂ ‘ನಾಯಿ ಹೆಜ್ಜೆ’ ನಂಬಿದ್ದೇವೆ

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