PUDUCHERRY: Chief Minister N Rangasamy has urged the Centre to set up an International Centre for Education and Culture in Puducherry to fulfill the dream of Sri Aurobindo on the occasion of his 150th birth anniversary celebrations.
The Chief Minister, a member of the high level committee set up under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister for the celebration, while participating in the first meeting of the committee on Friday said that with the emergence of India as an independent nation in 1947, Sri Aurobindo was anxious to see Puducherry develop as an international centre of education and culture.
Education for Sri Aurobindo went far beyond the usual practice of confining the students to narrow school curriculum and he favoured the development of the total personality of man in all its parts, said Rangasamy, adding that it would be appropriate if students and teachers are made familiar with this aspect of his contribution to national life. The Puducherry government would like to organize some programmes to fulfil this need.
Besides, the Sahitya Academy could be directed to conduct national and international seminars on the works of Sri Aurobindo in all states and UTs, suggested Rangasamy.
Sri Aurobindo explored deeply the rich diversity of Indian culture and his writings are full of insight into the profound aspect of Indian culture, its literature, art and all the other aspects of our heritage. In an age when colonialism was not only a fact of life but also seen as an inevitable structure for the governance of the world, he had spread the message of the nation’s inalienable right to be free. In fact, for him, political freedom of India was only a step towards a greater freedom enabling the nation to evolve its own institutions expressing the innate genius of its people. The government of Puducherry would like to organize several cultural events demonstrating the rich diversity of India and its culture, said Rangasamy.
Given the historic importance of the life of Sri Aurobindo, the government of Puducherry would like to organize a pictorial exhibition based on the theme of Shri Aurobindo's life and the role that he had played in moulding events in the first decade of the last century.
The Puducherry government would like to organize various programmes including talks and scholarly discussions relating to the close association of the great Tamil poet Subramania Bharathi and Sri Aurobindo. Puducherry was also a place of refuge for several persons who were struggling against the colonial rule, among whom was Bharathi who was in close touch with Sri Aurobindo, said the Chief Minister.
In keeping up with the profound spiritual traditions of India, Sri Aurobindo was a person who always advocated wideness and openness. Even as he fought against colonialism, he also dreamed of a better world in which the ideal of human unity would manifest itself. In fact, coming to the specific instance of Puducherry, along with the freedom of Puducherry to be re-united with mother India, he also proposed that there should be greater co-operation with France and also with the rest of the world in the field of advancement of knowledge and learning. The government of Puducherry would like to encourage and support scholars and researchers who come to the Union territory to study Indian culture and traditions, said Rangasamy.
Stating that the ideals put forth by Sri Aurobindo could have a profound effect on the development of total personality of the child during the growing years, he said the Puducherry government is planning to organize an essay writing competition by students and children on themes related to the vision of Sri Aurobindo as that would encourage children to get familiar with his original works.
Lt Governor Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan also participated in the meeting which was held through video conferencing.