Inspired entire mankind: President draws parallels between Swami Dayanand, Gandhi | Ahmedabad News

Inspired entire mankind: President draws parallels between Swami Dayanand, Gandhi | Ahmedabad News
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Inspired entire mankind: President draws parallels between Swami Dayanand, Gandhi | Ahmedabad News

Drawing parallels between the 19th century social reformer Swami Dayanand Saraswati and Mahatma Gandhi, President Draupadi Murmu Monday said their lives and their writings keep inspiring not only Indians but the entire mankind.

Addressing a gathering of Arya Samaj founded by Swami Dayanand in Tankara town of Morbi, the President highlighted that both the seer and Gandhi were born in Kathiawar or the Saurashtra region of Gujarat and that both men led successful campaigns of social reforms.

“This land of Kathiawar has given birth to many mahantam saputs (greatest of good sons) of Bharatmata. In generations after Maharshi Dayanand Saraswati, Mahatma Gandhi was born in this very region. Swamiji took up the task of social reform and wrote the immortal book entitled Satyarth Prakash for satya ki siddh karne ke liye (establishment of truth). Mahatma Gandhi, on the other hand, sought people’s participation in politics, provided it moral compass and wrote autobiography called My Experiments with Truth,” Murmu said, adding, “These two books have been guiding not only the citizens of our country but the humanity at large and would continue to do so. Lives of these two great men born in Kathiawar will continue to inspire all citizens and mankind.”

Murmu was speaking at a programme to celebrate the 200th birth anniversary of Maharshi Dayanand Saraswati in Tankara.

She said that in his book Satyarth Prakash (the light of truth), Swamiji protested against the salt law introduced in British India and subsequently, Gandhiji launched a march for mounting a civil disobedience to the law and inspired Indians to come together and fight against British rule.

Festive offer

The President, who also participated in a yagna ritual before addressing the gathering, said Gandhi, the Father of the Nation, also used to look up to Dayanand’s campaign against untouchability.

“Mahatma Gandhi used to believe that Swami Dayanand’s campaign for abolition of untouchability was his biggest act of social reform. Gandhi himself gave the highest importance to Swamiji’s campaign of abolishing untouchability,” said Murmu, adding “Swamiji’s ideals deeply influenced great personalities like Lokmanya Tilak, Lala Hans Raj, Swami Shraddhanand and Lala Lajpat Rai. Swamiji and his asadharan anuyayi (committed followers) inspired new concern, spirit and confidence among the people of India.”

She also said that Dayanand also attached great importance to women’s empowerment. “Swamiji took up the challenge of abolishing blind faith and bad customs prevailing in the 19th century Indian society… He vehemently protested against child marriage and polygamy while encouraging widow remarriage. He was a vocal advocate of women’s education and women’s self-respect”.

The President also hailed the invaluable contributions Arya Samaj has made to the cause of women’s empowerment by setting up schools and colleges for women.

She underlined that Dayanand wrote in common men’s language to get his message across. “Those who read the modern history of India know well that initially, Swamiji used to write only in Sanskrit. But later on, he thought that he should speak directly to common men. So, with an objective to show the society the right path, Swamiji started writing in people’s language, meaning Hindi.”

Earlier, addressing the gathering, Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel announced that the state government will christen a flyover in Tankara after Maharshi Dayanand Saraswati and that it will also look into demands by local MPs and MLAs to upgrade Tankara village panchayat into a municipality.