Updated May 31st, 2024 at 03:53 IST

As PM Modi Meditates in Kanniyakumari, his 33-Year-Old Photo at Vivekananda Rock Memorial Emerges

The photo, dated December 11, 1991, captures a younger Narendra Modi alongside BJP veteran Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi.

Reported by: Digital Desk
PM Modi at Vivekananda Rock Memorial. Circa 1991. | Image:X/@ModiArchive
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to conclude a rigorous poll campaign by meditating for 2 days at the iconic Vivekananda Rock Memorial in Kanniyakumari. 33-year-old photographs of Modi at the same location have captivated social media.

The photo, dated December 11, 1991, captures a young Narendra Modi alongside BJP veteran Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi during the Ekta Yatra, a significant event that began at the Vivekananda Rock Memorial and concluded in Kashmir. These images, which resurfaced online on Thursday, have generated considerable buzz among netizens.

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Here is what you need to know

In these viral images, Modi and other participants of the Ekta Yatra, known as 'Ekta Yatris,' are seen paying homage to the statue of Swami Vivekananda. The Ekta Yatra, or Unity March, was launched in December 1991 and culminated on January 26, 1992, with the hoisting of the national flag in Srinagar. The march, led by Murli Manohar Joshi and organized significantly by then BJP worker Narendra Modi, aimed to demonstrate India's unity. Spanning 14 states, the journey deeply resonated with the public, reinforcing the nation's commitment to unity.

The significance of the rock

From May 30 to June 1, Prime Minister Modi will engage in a 48-hour meditation session at Dhyan Mandapam, the very spot where Swami Vivekananda meditated in 1892. The Rock Memorial was constructed to honour the iconic Hindu philosopher-saint who, after traveling across India, meditated here for three days. It is said that Swami Vivekananda dived into the stormy ocean and swam to the rock, despite warning from locals that sharks were present in the ocean. These days, a ferry service exists to take people to the rock. 

A look at PM's connection with Swami Vivekananda 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has spoken numerous times about his fascination with Swami Vivekananda. In several interviews, he has spoken about Swami Vivekananda's impact on his life. In his childhood days, the prime minister would often reads books about Swami Vivekananda. Coincidentally, both share the same first name - Narendra.  

The Vivekananda Rock Memorial also has a connection with the RSS. The Memorial was built due to tireless efforts of Eknath Ranade, a senior RSS leader. The then RSS Chief M.S. Golwalkar had given the responsibility to Eknath Ranade. Many people might be unaware, but M.S. Golwalkar himself was a disciple of Swami Akhandananda, who was the 3rd President of the Ramkrishna Order and Mission. Swami Akhandananda was a close associate of Swami Vivekananda and both were direct disciples of Ramkrishna Paramhans. 

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The resurfaced photos of Modi at the Vivekananda Rock Memorial have added a historical dimension to Modi's upcoming visit, highlighting his longstanding connection to the site and its spiritual significance.

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Published May 30th, 2024 at 18:02 IST