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NEW DELHI: The 154th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, one of India's most revered spiritual leaders, is being celebrated today as National Youth Day.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to address the opening session of a National Youth Festival through video-conference.
The four-day event aims at promoting digital economy, and has been organised jointly by the Centre and states.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh will also attend the event.
Vivekananda is an inspiration to youth all over the world, officials say, explaining the significance of National Youth Day.
Born Narendra Nath Datta in an affluent family and raised in Kolkata, Swami Vivekananda died at the age of 39. He was always intrigued by spirituality and philosophy and, in his short life, managed to inspire millions.
Vivekananda's teachings have often been referenced by PM Modi, who has described him as "one of the most prolific thinkers and a guiding light who took India's message to the entire world." The Prime Minister calls Vivekananda his "personal inspiration" and says his thoughts and ideals have influenced him deeply.
Last year, he had recalled Swami Vivekananda's historic Chicago speech while paying tribute to the victims of 9/11.
"11th September...two contrasting images come to the mind. Today we pray tributes to all those who lost their lives in gruesome 9/11 attacks. On this day in 1893, Swami Vivekananda delivered his historic speech in Chicago & won many hearts & minds," he tweeted.
Swami Vivekananda's speech at the first Parliament of the World's Religions in Chicago is considered among his most significant contributions to the world.
The opening lines of his speech - "Sisters and brothers of America" - earned him a two-minute standing ovation from the audience.
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