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Ramayana parayanam not to worship Ram but his qualities: Venkaiah Naidu at PSBB's Dr Rajalakshmi Parthasarathy Memorial lecture 

6th Aug 2020 08:12 PM | Seema Rajpal

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Alluding to the grand Ram Mandir Bhumi Pujan and foundation stone-laying ceremony carried out on August 5, Vice President of India M Venkaiah Naidu, during the maiden Smt Rajalakshmi Parthasarathy Memorial Lecture, said, "You may call him God or an ideal person, son or king, it doesn't matter. Because when we do the Ramayana parayanam (spiritual discourse on Ramayana), it is not to worship Ram, it is to worship his qualities, and to emulate and practice them in real life," he said, directly addressing the youngsters.

The Vice-President was speaking virtually at the first memorial lecture organised to honour the founder of the Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan Group of Schools, late Smt Rajalakshmi Parthasarathy. He was fittingly introduced by Sheela Rajendra, Dean, Director and Correspondent, PSBB Group of Schools, Chennai, who laid out a "verbal red carpet". "His mantra is AIR — Accountability, Integrity and Responsibility and it is this air he breathes all through his life," she said about the former union minister who is known for doling out cool acronyms that instantly start trending on social media.
 
Epitome of Indian education
The Chairman of the Rajya Sabha said that he was happy to note that the late Padma Shri awardee asked every student to address teachers with the phrase Sri Gurubhyo Namaha as opposed to the regular salutations. "It shows her deepest commitment to Guru-Shishya Parampara. She also highlighted the importance of dharmic tradition in the modern world which is very much required for the youngsters," he said and added, "I can imagine the kind of work that she has put in. It is in the work of people like her that the future of India lies."  

"Unfortunately, the pandemic has impacted us in many ways and normal academic schedules have been disrupted and schools have taken to virtual education. This is, however, temporary because nobody can replace a true teacher and no virtual mechanism can give the flavour of real-time classroom learning. Because, in the highest human traditions, teachers are the personification of divinity themselves," said the 71-year-old said, giving the teachers, students and the virtual audience assurance. This is a temporary set back, he went on to reiterate, and said that there are still opportunities and that we must grab them.    

Smt Rajalakshmi Parthasarathy | (Pic: TNIE)
 

Nature and culture, always
The Chavatapalem-born politician asserted that, "Education should be seen as a mission to not give any remission or do any omission and everybody should consider this as a mission, not for any commission." He also said that he is confident that India's future will be shaped by a holistic approach taken right from early school days. He also mentioned that students should be taught to see nature as the first teacher and culture as a vehicle of refined expression. "Nature and culture together for a better future," he implored. Students must know the uniqueness and historical background of every Indian state and how Bharat Mata is supreme and embodiment of nationalistic imagery, he said and even quoted great poets like Subramaniya Bharathiar and Thiruvalluvar.

Towards the end, the VP went on to make another unique point. "I advise everybody to address Yecha Gunja Rajalakshmi Parthasarathy, or anybody else for that matter, by their full name and not Dr YGP. Short forms were introduced by the Britishers. Similarly, what is this MG Road? We must call it Mahatma Gandhi Road. These are small things," he said, but it was understood that they go a long way. The Vice President also expressed how he would have been even happier to have been physically present to deliver the memorial lecture and meet and greet students and teachers and hoped that things would get back to normal soon.

After PB Balaji, President PTA and PSBB almnus thanked the Vice President profusely for his presence, a slew of cultural performances followed. A Class Apart, a national quiz for children of middle school on India and Indianness was announced and so was YGP Memorial Tributes, a month-long art and cultural homage to Smt Rajalakshmi Parthasarathy by students, alumni of PSBB Schools and a few eminent personalities, both of which were mentioned and appreciated by the Vice-President as well.  

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