TANKARA (Gujarat), Feb 12: President Droupadi Murmu on Monday said Swami Dayanand Saraswati took the initiative to eradicate superstitions and evil practices prevalent in 19th century Indian society and showed the path of modernity and social justice.
Murmu was speaking at a programme to celebrate the 200th birth anniversary of Maharshi Dayanand Saraswati at Tankara town in Gujarat’s Morbi district.
“Maharshi Dayanand Saraswati ji took the initiative to eradicate superstitions and evil practices prevalent in 19th century Indian society. He showed society the path of modernity and social justice. He strongly opposed child marriage and polygamy. He encouraged widow remarriage.
He was a strong advocate of women’s education and women’s self-respect,” the President said. The light spread by him dispelled the darkness of stereotypes and ignorance and continues to guide us, she said, adding that he wrote the immortal ‘Satyarth Prakash’ to prove the truth.
“His ideals had a deep impact on great personalities like Lokmanya Tilak, Lala Hansraj, Swami Shraddhanand and Lala Lajpat Rai. Swamiji and his extraordinary followers infused new consciousness and self-confidence among the people of India. Kathiawad has given great personalities to us, be it Mahatma Gandhi or Dayanand Saraswati,” the President said.
“Dayanand Saraswati wrote the book Satyarth Prakash, while Gandhiji wrote the book Satya na Prayogo (My experiments with truth). Both had many things in common.
In his book Satyarth Prakash, Swami Dayanand Saraswati opposed tax on salt. Five decades later, Gandhiji took up Dandhi March and got the tax on salt abolished,” she said.
The Arya Samaj has made invaluable contribution to women empowerment by establishing schools and higher educational institutions for girls, the President said. Murmu expressed happiness that various events related to family and social harmony, natural agriculture and de-addiction during the two years of commemoration of Swamiji’s 200th birth anniversary will be helpful in building a healthy society.
The President said the Arya Samaj will complete 150 years next year and expressed confidence that it would continue to move forward to implement Swamiji’s vision of making a better world. Gujarat Governor Acharya Devvrat and chief minister Bhupendra Patel also attended the function graced by President Murmu. On Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed devotees in Tankara via video conference. (PTI)
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