Tagore's vision essence of Atmanirbhar Bharat: PM Modi

Tagore's vision essence of 'Atmanirbhar Bharat' initiative: PM Modi

He was addressing the Visva-Bharati centenary celebrations of the university founded by Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Credit: PTI Photo

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said that Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore’s vision formed the crux of his government’s initiative Atmanirbhar Bharat, aimed at making India self-reliant. He added that Visva Bharati, a Central University, founded by Tagore played a key role in India’s freedom struggle.

"Tagore’s vision formed the essence of the Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative. Founded by him, the Visva Bharati University had always been a constant source of energy for us," said Modi. He was virtually speaking at an event to observe 100th anniversary of Visva Bharati University in Birbhum district.

The PM added that the University played a key role in promoting the concept of “universal brotherhood.” He hailed the institution for producing stalwarts in various fields such as art and literature.

He urged the students to reach out to local artisans in the region to encourage and guide them to broaden their scope of business and help them sell their products in the national and international markets.

The PM said that the "stream of national consciousness of Vedas to Vivekananda" was prominent in Tagore’s concept of nationalism.

"The stream was not insular. The aim was not to keep India isolated from the world. The crux of the vision was that the world should benefit from what is best in India and the country should also learn from what is good in the world," said Modi.

I have not received an invitation, says Mamata

Later in the day, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said she was not invited to the event by the University authorities. "Who invited me and when? I have not received an invitation. There was no phone call and no letter." The TMC leadership also accused the PM of making “factual errors” regarding Tagore in his speech.

Reacting to Mamata’s comments the State BJP accused her of insulting the "legacy of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore" by not attending the program despite being invited.