January 12 is celebrated every year as National Youth Day to commemorate the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, an Indian Hindu monk who revived Hinduism and contributed to nationalism in colonial India. A disciple of Indian mystic Swami Ramakrishna, Vivekananda was also responsible for the foundation of Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission.
In the year 1984, the Government of India declared that the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda will be celebrated as National Youth Day. The reason was to accomplish the objective of working towards the betterment of the country’s future by motivating young generation and imparting valuable life lessons derived from his life and ideas.
National Youth Day is celebrated in schools and colleges across the country with great fervor. There are competitions like speeches, music, seminars, presentations, essay writing, Yogasanas, etc. Besides, the many youth centres and others like Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission also celebrate the day with enthusiasm. People perform mangal aarti, devotional songs are sung, and religious speeches are given.
The similar kind of celebrations also takes place in NGos where the youth is informed and encouraged to take inspiration from the life of Vivekananda. Talking about Uttar Pradesh, Mission Bhartiyam organizes a 2-day event named Basti Yuvo Mahotsav. Moreover, the Vedanta Society of Toronto also celebrates the day by spreading the message that Vedanta is the world’s most ancient religious philosophy.
Today Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the 22nd National Youth Festival through video conferencing. He also paid homage to Swami Vivekananda and tweeted:
I bow to Swami Vivekananda on his Jayanti. Today, on National Youth Day I salute the indomitable energy and enthusiasm of our youngsters, who are the builders of New India. pic.twitter.com/1aXEqvVRgY
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) January 12, 2018