Dehradun: Urging the younger generation to be mindful of the country''s glorious history, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Saturday that Aryabhatta had discovered that the earth is round and rotates on an axis much before Copernicus.
Addressing the Uttarakhand''s 20th Foundation Day event here as the chief guest, Singh described the youth as the most effective agent of positive change in the country who has the ability to revive old Indian values and its glorious past.
He said India is a diverse country but a common cultural thread constituted by its faith in values like generosity, universal brotherhood and equality of religions runs through its different parts and binds them together.
It is the only country which has believed for centuries in the philosophy of "Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (the world is one family)", he said.
"There is no country in the world except India which regards the entire universe as its family," he said. Describing India as a country which treats all religions equally, he said it had a history of embracing and giving due respect to followers of different faiths when they were forced by circumstances to leave their respective homelands.
"The jews who suffered persecution everywhere for thousand years finally got acceptance only in India. Even Islamist countries don''t have as many sects of Muslims as in India where all 72 sects of Muslims reside," he said.
Reminding the audience, which consisted of students from the city''s different educational institutions, of ancient India''s achievements in the field of science and innovation, he said Aryabhatta had discovered that the earth is round and rotates on an axis much before Copernicus.
Urging the younger generation to be mindful of the country''s glorious history, he said they could be the most effective instrument of positive change in the country.
"I have no doubt that the youth are the most effective agent of positive change in the country but you must remember that the world is moving at a supersonic speed. You have to understand the value of time to move along with it otherwise you will be left behind," Singh said.
By 2025 India is going to be among the top three economies of the world and the onus rests on the shoulders of the younger generation, he added.
Talking about the role being played by the younger generation in projects like ''Start Up India'' and ''Stand UP India'', he said biggest goals can be achieved with the strength of will.
The Union minister said Uttarakhand also has a vast pool of young talent which has to be tapped fully to achieve the state''s development goals.
"Uttarakhand turns 19 today which represents an aspirational phase in anyone''s life. It can fulfil its aspirations as it has taken many strides in terms of development during the past years. I am sure it is going to grow at even greater pace in the years to come," the minister said.
He said he had a special sense of attachment with Uttarakhand as it was during his tenure as the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh in 2000 that the state was carved out of UP. "It gives me immense happiness to see that Uttarakhand has completed 19 years of its journey," he said. PTI