TN Governor presided over the celebrations of Foundation day of West Bengal

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Hon’ble Governor of Tamil Nadu in his presidential address said, I extend my warm greetings and the best wishes to all Bengal sisters and brothers on the celebrations of the foundation day of West Bengal.  The cultural performance made here by the artists has been a simple, brief, and powerful presentation of the rich cultural heritage of Bengal. Bengal’s culture and heritage are the pride of the Nation. Celebrating it in Chennai makes it special because Bengal and Tamil Nadu, in many ways, have shaped the idea and identity of Bharat. While Tamil Nadu, with its several thousand-year-old language and cultural, spiritual, and philosophical heritage, has largely maintained the purity of the very idea of 

Bharat, Bengal, going through turbulence for almost a thousand years, facing odds and evens, has not only preserved but also ignited and immolated the idea of Ek Bharat Shreshta Bharat for all these centuries. Bengal has given rise to noble and revolutionary ideas and philosophies, which have not only enriched our Indian heritage but have been an asset to the entire humanity. When we start recounting the contributions, one always runs the risk of losing so many because of how you shortlist! Bengal has produced countless geniuses in every field. Literature, art, philosophy, spirituality, revolutionaries—name the field of human development, name the field of humans as an elevated species, and you will find the contribution of Bengal in that. Our country owes a lot to Bengal for its contributions to the freedom movement. It is Bengal that gave us "Vande Matram", the call that energised the whole country and ignited the passion for the freedom of our mother land. People like Bankim Chand, who inspired Mahakavi Subramaniyam Bharati to sing the song, energised the people to march towards the freedom of our land. When Bharatiyar talked about Bharat Mata, which was portrayed and projected, perhaps one of the pioneers were the people of Bengal who did it. Bharatiyar's talk about Bharat Mata in every sentence in every couplet is so pithy and so pregnant with message and emotions that it defies a limited explanation. When he says Bharat Mata, "Seppu mozhi pathinettu udayal chinthanai ondrudayal" which means Bharat Mata speaks 18 languages but her heart is one. This is Ek Bharat Shreshta Bharat. We know Gurudev Tagore, Sharat Chandra Chattopadhyay, and Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, when we think of the national awakening, how can we miss Swami Vivekanand and the greatness of Ramkrishna Paramhans, the divine soul who touched and turned Narendra Nath into Swami Vivekananda. When the young Rishi Yogi Swami Vivekanada, with the blessings of Ramkrishna Paramhans, moved around the country to see what this Bharat was at that time, after covering almost all of the country, he landed in this land. Here he also learned Saiva Siddhanta, which further added to his spiritual understanding and evolution. But he was agitated and anguished that a country that was so prosperous and rich became so deprived, emasculated, and helpless. Swami Vivekananda kept wondering why! When he reached Kanniyakumari and meditated on the rock for several days, he realised this country was suffering from such an inferiority complex by design by the colonial powers. The country must be proud of its selfhood, and proud of itself. The country has to sense the Nation and nationalism, and that is the call that he gave and demonstrated in his famous Chicago address. Even after that address, he told the world about Indian civilization and spirituality, and when he returned, his first port of call was Chennai. It was here that Ramkrishma Mission as a Matth was established. The call of awakening of a new India, an India that is conscious of its past and destiny of bright future, to be leader of the world.

It was Bengal that gave us the great revolutionary Saint Sri Aurobindo, who at Puducherry, through introspection, meditation, and reflection, realised and gave new light to the world. On August 15, 1947, when India became independent, he jotted down his five dreams for Bharat. The essence of his five dreams was the rise of India for the benefit of humanity for the benefit of the planet. He said the fate of humanity is evolution to the higher plane of consciousness from Jad (inert) to the Chetan (Jeeva) to Manushya, which has to rise to the ultimate level of consciousness where they realise oneness that says one in all. Once one rises to that level, the differences dissolve and we all become part of one Family, “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam”; in Tamil, we say “Yaadhum Oore Yaavarum Kelir”. Then he says in the entire universe, earth is the only evolutionary planet, and on this planet, Bharat is the only country where this realisation came thousands and thousands of years ago that we are all one manifestation of the same divine, whether human, animal, or plant. It was a divine mandate that this consciousness come to this country. Hence, it is the divine obligation of India to spread this consciousness to the rest of the world. He said that for this divine obligation, India must rise and become strong because then only the message of Universal Oneness will be appreciated and accepted by the rest of humanity, and then only humanity will be saved. It came from a son who was born on Bengal soil.

While we are celebrating the West Bengal Foundation Day and celebrating the culture, spirituality, intellectual depth and richness, and revolutionary fervour of the Bengali community, we also remember under what circumstances the 20th of June was chosen. In 1905, when Viceroy Curzon partitioned Bengal, the whole country raised alarm. Here, V. O. Chidambaram Pillai and Bharatiyar revolted against the partition of Bengal. What happened 41 years later, when the country was partitioned and we remained mute witnesses. What transpired in those years? This is something to be researched. On August 16, 1946, the Muslim League passed a resolution of direct action for the partition of Pakistan, and when it became obvious that the British, in collaboration with the League, wanted to partition Bengal, Bengal was to go to Pakistan on the communal line. At that time, the people didn’t accept it, and then the legislative assembly on this day in 1947 passed a resolution that Bengal must be divided. We cannot let it go to Pakistan. That saved Bengali culture and heritage and the pride that we have. It is also a day to remind ourselves that we have to learn lessons from history. A nation is supreme and can’t be divided on the lines of religion, race, or language. This must be inbuilt in the heart of every Indian. This day is important in many ways. while we celebrate the richness of Bengali culture and heritage, we also remind ourselves of the fact that the Nation must be vigilant against any kind of force that weakens us.

Our diversity is like the petals of a flower, integrally connected; no two petals are alike yet, but beyond the flower, the petals have no existence. This is the beauty of Bharat, and we have to celebrate it. This is what we mean when we say unity in diversity. Diversity has been our strength, but unfortunately, over time, attempts have been made to turn it into our weakness. There could not be a more wonderful philosophy of inclusivity than that you pursue the faith, the panth, that you wish, but we are all one. That is the beauty of Bharat.

In this celebrations, Hon’ble Governor felicitated the eminent personalities of Bengal fraternity, cultural artists of Bengal troupe and the student participants of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Chennai.  Dr.Debasish Roy,Chairman,The Bengal Association, Thiru.ProdyotBowmick, President,The South MadrasCultural Association, Thiru. Maravanpulavu K.Sachithananthan, Thiru.Anandrao V Patil, I.A.S., Principal Secretary to Governor, dignitaries, special invitees, functionaries of Bengal Association and officials participated in the celebrations. 


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