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A Date to Remember: PM Modi Pays Tributes to 9/11 victims; remembers Swami Vivekananda’s Historic Speech in Chicago

About 2,750 people were killed in the terrorist attack when two passenger jets destroyed the Twin Towers in New York on September 11, 2001

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September 11-27, 1893 - First Parliament of the World's Religions, Chicago, Illinois (USA). Wikimedia Commons
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NEW DELHI, Sept 11, 2016: 9/11 is remembered as a series of four coordinated terrorist attacks by the Islamic terrorist group al-Qaeda on the US in 2001 but this date is also of significance in India as the ‘historic’ speech was given by Swami Vivekananda on this day in 1893 in Chicago.

September 11 brings two contrasting images in one’s mind- Violence and Peace. “11th September…two contrasting images come to the mind. Today we pray tributes to all those who lost their lives in gruesome 9/11 attacks. On this day in 1893, Swami Vivekananda delivered his historic speech in Chicago & won many hearts & minds,” Prime Minister Modi said in a series of tweets, mentioned the ANI report.

About 2,750 people were killed in the terrorist attack when two passenger jets destroyed the Twin Towers in New York on September 11, 2001.

While another jet slammed into the Pentagon, a fourth jet crashed in a field in Pennsylvania after those on board tried to overpower the hijackers.

At the first Parliament of the World’s Religions in Chicago in 1893, the speech by Swami Vivekananda’s speech is considered among his most significant contributions to the world. That was so much so that a three-day world conference was organised to commemorate his 150th birthday in 2012.

It was this speech made him a ‘hero’ in the US as well. The opening lines of his speech “Sisters and brothers of America” earned him a two-minute long standing ovation from the audience, said the ANI report.

– prepared by NewsGram Team

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  • Anubhuti Gupta

    The irony is truly strong between these two evens on the same day.

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Ethnic Indian Jai Sears responds to complaint against the statue of Gandhi in Grenada

Jai Sears wrote in response to a letter on Mahatma Gandhi entitled “Dustbin of history” written by Josiah Rougier

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Gandhi
Mahatama Gandhi, leader of non violence

Jai Sears from Grenada, Caribbean has written a letter to editor in response to complaints against the statue of Gandhi in Grenada. Here is the text:

I write in response to a letter on Mahatma Gandhi entitled “Dustbin of history” written by Josiah Rougier and published in the Grenada newspaper, The New Today (Nov 3, 2017). In his letter, Rougier is asking the Government to remove the bust-statue of Gandhi which overlooks Sauteurs Bay in Grenada where East Indians arrived 160 years ago. Rougier’s opinion is based on the false notion that Gandhi was racist because the Mahatma reportedly considered Indians to be superior to black Africans when he referred to the latter as “kaffirs.”

Gandhi was only 27 years old when he made that contextual statement. If Rougier had done his research, he would have found that Nelson Mandela said: “Gandhi must be forgiven for these prejudices in the context of the time and the circumstances.” The quote can be found in “Gandhi the Prisoner” by Nelson Mandela published in 1995. Gandhi was a man; he was not god. And even god made mistakes.

In favour of Mahatama Gandhi
Photo of Jai Sears

Rougier must instead focus on the Gandhi’s vision of non-violent protest and his belief in satyagraha which inspired rebels and revolutionaries around the world. Gandhi’s ideas influenced leaders of the African National Congress and the struggle by Indians and blacks against white apartheid rule in South Africa. From as early as 1956 when he was 27 years old, Martin Luther King, Jr. referred to Gandhi as “the guiding light of our technique of nonviolent social change.”

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Following the success of his boycott, King contemplated traveling to India to deepen his understanding of Gandhian principles. The fact is that Gandhi saw people of all races, castes, colours and creeds as equal which led to his assassination by a Hindu fanatic in 1948. So who is this unknown Josiah Rougier? Is he as illustrious as the great Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King? And is he disagreeing with his possible heroes?

A friend to all.
Jai Sears
Grenada, Caribbean