`Vivekananda only icon admired by RSS, Communists alike`

Describing Swami Vivekananda as a "multi-dimensional personality" Urban Development Minister Jaipal Reddy said the seer was admired by both RSS and Communists.

Updated: Jan 12, 2011, 22:31 PM IST

New Delhi: Describing Swami Vivekananda as a "multi-dimensional personality" Urban Development Minister Jaipal Reddy on Wednesday said the seer was admired by both Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and Communists.

Speaking at a seminar to mark 150th birth anniversary celebration of Swami Vivekananda, Reddy said, "He was perhaps the only icon of modern India admired by both the RSS and the Communists."

Reddy recalled how late Communist leader EMS Namboodiripad regarded Vivekananda as an icon and thought that he condemned the institution of caste more severely than anybody else.
"He was the first Indian to utter the word socialist," he said referring to the 19th century philosopher.

Referring to Vivekananda`s acclaimed address to the Parliament of World`s Religions in 1893 in Chicago, Reddy said that the seer spoke volume of India`s greatness...its past glory and also of a collective global future."

Swami Vivekananda, a major force in spreading Hindu ideology at the global level while also spreading inter-faith awareness, was born in Kolkata on January 12, 1863. His speech at the Chicago Parliament of the World`s Religions that began with the address "Sisters and Brothers of America" inspired people across the world.

January 12, the birth day of Swami, is also being observed as the National Youth Day.
Reddy said that Swami Vivekananada, a multi-dimensional personality had "an inexhaustible fountain of progressive imagination that we tend to ignore."

The seminar was the inaugural session of the National Congress on Building New India through Excellence in Education organised by Ramakrishna-Vivekananda International Foudation.

Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman K Rahman Khan addressing the function said Vivekananda`s message had universal appeal and far-reaching relevance.