Former President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday emphasised the creation of a happy society for the progress of the country. He said that merely economic development is not enough to mark the progress of the country and that besides Gross Domestic Product (GDP), there should be Gross Domestic Happiness present too. “Today, to mark the advancement of society, progress of a country, not merely economic development, beside Gross Domestic Product, there should be Gross Domestic Happiness. A happy society must be created,” Pranab Mukherjee said. Former President threw some light on Swami Vivekananda’s principles and said that in 1893 Vivekanand propagated the basic philosophy of Hinduism at Chicago Parliament of religion. Mukherjee further said that he also emphasized on the service of humanity. He said, “In 1893 Vivekanand propagated the basic philosophy of Hinduism at Chicago Parliament of religion. He emphasized on the service of humanity. Service of man is to serve God. This is accepted by all civilisations of the world.” Mukherjee also added, “Simultaneously, he propounded tolerance, acceptance, celebration of diversity is essential for cultural restoration of all countries which are overwhelmingly influenced by western culture. Dominance of one culture can’t be objective of human progress.”
Mukherjee on Saturday had received the Chandrasekarendra Saraswati National Eminence Award for public leadership at the Sri Kanchi Mahaswami Festival hosted by the South Indian Education Society (SIES). Mukherjee had delivered his acceptance speech through a recorded video address. Referring to the Vedas as a source of spiritual sustenance in India, the former President was quoted the Indian Express as saying, “The greatest contribution of Mahaswami of Kanchi was the preservation of our Vedas, the repository of our culture, tradition, and knowledge. Mahaswami resuscitated the Vedas and ensured they are safeguarded in their permanence through a network of institutions. The Vedas represent the quintessence of truth. If the Vedas decay or become a sealed room, India dies and the world which has drawn spiritual sustenance from India through the ages will degenerate into a colossal jungle.”
Pranab Mukherjee will be seen as the keynote speaker at Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT-B) which will conduct its three-day annual science and technology festival Techfest from December 29. Former Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai will also be present. The 21st edition of the festival will conclude on December 31. The festival expects an attendance of over 1.6 lakh youth, with an outreach of 2,500 colleges across the country and 500 colleges from overseas, the institute said in a press statement. The themes of the festival are digitalisation, sustainability and biotechnology. Other speakers at the leadership summit include Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar, who is an alumni of the prestigious institute along with junior aviation minister Jayant Sinha.