Clarity, Commitment, Conviction, Contribution

Be There For Bharat
Clarity, Commitment, Conviction, Contribution

The hall, packed with 750 youngsters from 51 cities, towns and villages across Bharat, boomed with cheers of “Bharat Mata Ki Jai” several times a day! The energy could be likened to that of the crowds at an IPL final.

‘#Be There For Bharat’ (logo) was the event, the 14th National Youth Convention organized by All India Chinmaya Yuva Kendra, the youth wing of Chinmaya Mission. The 65-acre campus of Chinmaya Vibhooti (near Pune) swarmed with youth from 18th to 21st May 2023. The atmosphere was simply buzzing!

Events across the four days included interesting ice-breakers, fun-filled games, unforgettable self-reflection walks, energizing yoga and dancercise (and who can forget the night of dance and dhol beats?!) - all in all a specially designed programme for the youth to participate in a Bharatiya extravaganza, a cultural celebration!

Two fabulous theatrical performances added an impactful touch. Chinmaya Yuva Kendra Chennai staged a punchy play called ‘Campus’, addressing how one should handle challenges in college, especially from those that try to ridicule one’s culture and defame one’s identity. Chinmaya Yuva Kendra Mumbai performed “Dharmayodha Vidyaranya” to a spellbound audience. This brilliant production is about a fearless son of Bharat, Swami Vidyaranya, who established the Vijayanagara empire against invasion and destruction. Every Indian should watch it!

The inspiration packed sessions by eminent speakers were a definite highlight.

Swami Swaroopananda, Global Head of Chinmaya Mission, spoke about the spiritual identity of a Bharatiya, giving examples of the qualities of Shri Rama and Bhakta Hanuman. He explained that faults and weaknesses should be converted into strengths so that one can truly #Be There For Bharat.

Ricky Kej, the first Indian to win three Grammy awards, rekindled everyone’s sensitivity towards the environment. He gave personal examples of how he manages to live a carbon neutral lifestyle. Contrary to the popular trend, he has no issues with repeating his clothes often and – beat this - although he’s a car enthusiast, he sold off his personal cars and takes public transport! Now that’s commitment towards sustainability!

The stage dazzled with the powerful presence of Shefali Vaidya. “Be unapologetically a Bharatiya in your conviction and your assertion” – this message resounded powerfully all through her talk. She attended three days of the convention and appreciated the stupendous vibe. In fact, she said she couldn’t stay away!

Ricky Kej addressing the audience at #BeThereForBharat
Ricky Kej addressing the audience at #BeThereForBharat

Praveen Chaturvedi is a modern warrior for Indian Culture. Prachyam, his brainchild, makes brilliant short films for the youth, portraying the greatness of Bharatiya culture and exposing the false narratives in social media. The audience loved his personal story which drove home his dedication to the cause. His videos were met with thundering applause and he even invited applications from potential interns at Prachyam.

Swami Vigyanananda (Vishwa Hindu Parishad and World Hindu Foundation) spoke of Hindu identity and how society’s perception should not be a deterrent when the need of the hour is to keep one’s focus on what has to be done on the ground. He spoke of the importance of clarity if one has to uphold Dharma. In the same session, Swami Swatmananda of Chinmaya Mission Mumbai highlighted the transformational power of Vedanta and its unfailing logic. He spoke of it as being an apt solution to the challenges faced by those youth who go after the fleeting, the meaningless and the frivolous.

The much-awaited talk of J. Sai Deepak was met with an awe-inspiring response. With his trademark clarity and wit, he answered questions and spoke of the importance of being spiritually fit, physically fit and intellectually fit, to be able to serve the cause. He reminisced about his connection with Chinmaya Yuva Kendra which began during the quiz “Awakening Indians to India”.

Shefali Vaidya
Shefali Vaidya

Vivek Agnihotri echoed the importance of knowing Vedic culture and how much strength and empowerment it can give to anyone who wants to serve society. He shared that he has been a student of Vedanta for many years. He also spoke of his upcoming projects and the need for creativity.

The same level of energy and enthusiasm flowed in the group discussions. The debrief of the discussions by Radha, Ananth and by Rajeev Venkat were eye-openers on how Bharat’s history has to be retold, and how distorted narratives and actions by colonizers and invaders brainwashed Indian minds. These sessions allowed the participants to question, churn and find answers to important civilizational questions.

The spark in the eyes of many of the youth participants of this mind-blowing convention revealed that something powerful had been awakened in them. Yes, they had a great exposure to many truly rocking role models in the four-day convention. One could also sense the presence of not just inspiring Bharatiya icons of the present, but also of the future ones among the participants. Such events sow seeds of positive change. Chinmaya Yuva Kendra nourishes those seeds through regular classes, programmes and projects, providing inspiration to look ahead to an even more radiant, resilient and resurgent Bharat. 

Chinmaya Udghosh