Commissioner of Police consents to 50-yr-old institute holding discourses based on teachings of Swami Vivekananda in 29 police stations as long as speaker does not wear saffron robes

Soon policemen in the city will be an enlightened lot. The 50-year-old Ramkrishna Math in the city will organise spiritual discourses based on Swami Vivekananda's thoughts and teachings in 29 police stations. Members of the Ramkrishna Math said there was a need to spread Swami Vivekananda's thoughts in the police department. For this, the members took formal permission from Commissioner of Police Meeran Chadda Borwankar.

Spreading the light: Swami Shrikantanand Maharaj, head of
Ramkrishna Math, with Dr D D Punde, a scholar and activist involved in
spreading Swami Vivekanand's thoughts in the society.
Pic/Vivek Sabnis

"The permission was given on one condition that the Math people should not wear saffron clothes during the speeches which we readily agreed to," said Swami Shrikantanand Maharaj, head of the Math. The first lecture was organised at Dattawadi by Swami Shrikantanand Maharaj on Monday. "We got a good response and all the policemen were quite keen and even asked some questions," said Shrikantanand. "Our lectures may help the police to gain valuable thoughts and become better human beings. Policemen are often accused of being corrupt, but these lectures may help them clean their public image."

Dr D D Punde, a noted Marathi professor with the Ramkrishna Math, said he had spread messages to constables staying in police residential quarters in Shivajinagar. "Our aim is to spread values, which should also be imbibed by the families of policemen as well," he said.

Pleasant experience
After the first lecture, Senior Police Inspector Vijaysingh Gaikwad from Dattawadi police station said, "It was a pleasant experience. Another lecture will be held next Monday between 9.30 am and 10.30 am. At least 50 officials  from four police chowkies will attend these lectures." Borwankar  said she had welcomed the idea as it would spread the thoughts of Ramkrishna Paramhans and Swami Vivekanand among the police. "I don't want to bring any religion in it and the math is doing good work for the Pune police," she said.

Competition for school students
To observe the 150th death anniversary of Swami Vivekanand, the Ramkrishna Math has organised various programmes across the country. It is conducting a competition for students on Vivekanand Service and Art. The idea is to inculcate a zeal for social service among students. Writing poems and drawing sketches of Swami Vivekanand are part of the competition. Cash prizes ranging from Rs 1,000 to Rs 4,000 shall be given.