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Why 12 January Is Celebrated As National Youth Day

12-01-2018 02:30 PM | Lathika Saju | My Indian Dream

Why 12 January Is Celebrated As National Youth Day | My Indian Dream

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Taking inspiration from one of the greatest philosophers

Today is the 155th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, one of the greatest social reformers, thinkers, and philosophers of India. His teachings are timeless and relevant and it is for this reason that January 12 is celebrated as National Youth Day in India.  The ideals and philosophy of Swami Vivekananda inspire the youth to tread on the right path and work towards the development and progress of oneself as well as the country.

The government had declared 12 January as The National Youth Day in 1984 as it felt that the ideals and philosophy of Swami Vivekananda were worthy of being emulated and they could act as a great source of inspiration for the youth of India. It was expected that the words of this great thinker would arouse the latent energy among the youth of the country and inspire them to make all the efforts that they could for the upliftment of the country. Since then, this day is celebrated annually with great enthusiasm and Swami Vivekananda’s teachings are remembered and followed.

Swami Vivekananda was born to an aristocratic family in 1863. He was originally known as Narendra Nath Datta.  He chose the road less traveled and was curious about religion and philosophy. He started meditating at a young age. His quest for God led him to the great guru, Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa.

Swami Vivekananda is known all over the world for the historic speech that he delivered on 11 September 1893 at the World Parliament of Religions held in Chicago. He addressed the audience as brothers and sisters spreading the spirit of oneness and brotherhood. He asserted that every religion is important in its own way and emphasized the need for tolerance and universal acceptance. He was a key figure in the introduction of the Indian philosophies of Vedanta and Yoga to the Western world and is credited with raising interfaith awareness, bringing Hinduism to the status of a major world religion during the late 19th century.

He was a compassionate man looking after the poor and sick as he believed that serving them meant serving the Lord. Here are some quotes of Swami Vivekananda that makes a strong impact:

  • “Choose the highest ideal and live your life up to that. Look at the “ocean” and not at the wave”.
  • “A few heart-whole, sincere, and energetic men and women can do more in a year than a mob in a century”.
  • “Religion is the manifestation of the Divinity already in man”.


The National Youth Day is celebrated throughout the country, especially in schools and colleges by organizing speeches, seminars,  yoga sessions, competitions and youth conventions. A number of NGOs (non-governmental organizations) in India observe the festival as well.

The philosophy, ideas, and teachings of Swami Vivekananda can justifiably be called national assets from traditional and cultural points of view.  He was a torchbearer in his time and his teachings still continue to inspire and motivate the youth who are the future of our country.


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