26 September 2003
In connection with the Amritavarsham50 Youth Summit—”The Future Generation Embracing Selfless Service”—celebrities and dignitaries from around the world addressed an international gathering of 100,000 youth.
Ready to address the youth
(l-r): Shri. Bawa Jain, Shri. C.K. Prahalad, Ms. Hanne Strong, Padmashree Mammootty, Shri. A.K. Antony,
Amma, President Kalam, Smt. Sushma Swaraj, Shri. B.V. Jagadeesh, Shri. Jackie Shroff
Environmentalist and spiritual leader Ms. Hanne Strong proclaimed Amritavarsham50 to be “the greatest and most transformative birthday party in human history.” She expressed great concern for the youth, since humanity is currently “abusing the being that gives us life, the most abused being, Mother Earth.” She described the earth as “tired, sick, exhausted.” She encouraged the youth to mobilise to restore the planet.
Malayalam film star Padmashree Mammootty spoke of love to the young people. “Love will last to the end of the world. If you could generate the love hidden in you, the world will have peace. Refine yourself, reinvent yourself—this is how you can generate love.” He said that the millions and millions of children “born” to Amma are connected to Her by the umbilical cord of love.
Shri. Bawa Jain, the Convenor of the World Youth Peace Summit, said that the youth “are the leaders of today, not of the future. You cannot entrust leadership to political and religious leaders.” He noted, to his sadness, that countries create weapons of mass destruction while poor children die from lack of food. He stated that Amma “has unleashed a spiritual renaissance.” He asked the youth if they would become “ambassadors of this great nation to being the main spiritual superpower in the world.”
Ms. Sushma Swaraj, India’s Honourable Union Health Minister of India, officially inaugurated Amrita Vanyasam Upanyasa College of Dentistry. Ms. Swaraj described youth as signifying energy, vibrancy, enthusiasm and dynamism. She described Amma as “the epitome of love and affection.” She stated that the President did not speak from thought, but from the heart, and taught not through language but through conduct. She asked the youth to take Amma and the President as inspiring examples: “They never feel tired or fatigued… Their mantra is always: ‘Miles to go before I sleep.’”
Shri. B.V. Jagadeesh, the founder of Exodus Communications, inspired the youth by telling how he and a fellow student started his internet company in 1994, with only the money they had in their pockets. “They dared to dream,” he said, and were commited. Within six years they became the leading company in the internet world, with more then 40 percent of all the world’s internet traffic being handled by their company. “The path is never easy,” he said, “but if you learn from every mistake you make, you will come out ahead. Make your dreams come true by working hard and working smart.” He ended with a call to to the youth to never forget their country and the schools they went to, once they become successful.
Shri. C.K. Prahalad, “management guru” and professor at the University of Michigan, told the youth more about Amritavarsham50‘s CEO Summit with the President, wherein discussions were held on how to transform India by 2020. He said the CEOs had assured the President that they could not only do it by 2020, they could do it ahead of time. He said all CEOs believed fully in what the President had laid out for the country and the world. He concluded by teaching the youth the “Universal Principles of Leadership” that he always discusses with his college students just before they graduate:
“…have to learn to be lonely thinkers
…must learn not to be afraid
…have to make a personal commitment to excellence
…must show courage in failure and humility in success
…must allow others to grow
…must match learning with compassion
…have to learn to recognise that privilege comes with obligation.”
“The world will not judge us by what we say,” he concluded. “It will judge us by what we do—what we do for the poor, the disabled, the sick and the forgotten. I wish you Godspeed.”
Shri. Jackie Shroff, renowned Indian film star, told the audience that he strongly believed in the same cause as Amma. He even called her his “new mother,” since it was the anniversary of his mother’s passing away one year ago that day. He assured Amma he was always ready to serve Her.
Ms. Kuki Gallmann, environmentalist and founder of the Gallmann Memorial Foundation, brought a message from Africa. She spoke as a mother. “You have power of dreams, the freshness and love. You have deep interest in this planet because you want a peaceful world in which to bring up your children.” She expressed her worry about them inheriting an almost unmanageable world and called the youth to take action rather sooner then later. She ended with a call of hope: “Remember what every child needs to know: that no horizon is too far and that you can always reach beyond it or above it. Never fear, you can do it!”
Dr. Shrikant Jichkar, described as the “highest educated politician in India,” told the youth that “India is a blessed land.” The majority of the Indian population is under 24 years of age, he said, and those years are years of great creativity. Dr. Jichkar listed many renowned people throughout history who made their greatest achievement before the age of 30. He stated that with the inspiration of the President and Amma’s love, the youth can expand their minds and broaden their faculties. “Amma and love cannot be separated. Amma is Parvati [the Divine Mother]. Her love is Parameshwar [Supreme God]. She has brought this Parameshwar, and we have to realise this love in our hearts.”