Gandhi Jayanti is celebrated on 2nd October every year to mark the birth anniversary of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, also popularly known as the “Father of the Nation”. The national holiday, Gandhi Jayanti, is marked by celebration, prayers and historic tributes all over India, especially at Raj Ghat, Gandhi’s memorial in New Delhi where he was cremated. The world remembers him for his teachings on peace and nonviolence.
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born on October 2, 1869, at Porbandar in Gujarat, a small town located on the western coast of India. Mahatma Gandhi was born in the middle-class family of caste Vaishya. His father, Karamchand Gandhi, was a Dewan of Porbandar and mother, Putlibai, was a very religious lady and left a profound impression on Gandhiji’s mind.
Mahatma Gandhi played a prominent role in India’s freedom struggle. He is commonly known as ‘Mahatma’ meaning ‘Great Soul’. His birthday is commemorated as Gandhi Jayanti, a national holiday, and worldwide as the International Day of Nonviolence.
The day is marked as ‘International Nonviolence Day’ or ‘International Peace Day,’ by the United Nations as countries across the globe show respect for his nonviolent approach.
In 1893, Mahatma Gandhi was thrown off a train in South Africa because he refused to give up his seat in the ‘whites-only’ compartment. This incident changed the course of history and his life too. It transformed Gandhi into a revolutionary leader who endured in the face of opposition. His philosophy of adopting nonviolence and an ideal way of life touched my people’s lives. According to him, peace is a powerful tool to fight against oppression, injustice, discrimination, cruelty or any evil.
In India, Gandhi Jayanti is an occasion that is celebrated every year in every corner of the country with great fervor. The President and Prime Minister of India also pay homage to the statue of Mahatma Gandhi at the Raj Ghat in New Delhi. Many schools celebrate this occasion with fancy dress competitions, singing Mahatma Gandhi’s favorite hymns and distributing sweets.
Following Gandhiji’s footsteps, the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, introduced the Swachh Bharat Campaign, a cleanliness drive conducted in every part of the country. Indians are encouraged to come together and contribute towards keeping their surroundings clean under this campaign and spread Gandhiji’s message of love and peace.
The Gift of Peaceful Resistance
It is important to honor Gandhiji’s ideologies and the exemplary life that he led as we celebrate this day. Mahatma Gandhi, in his own words, “Whenever you encounter an opponent, conquer him with love.” When put into practice today, this theory can lead to a much better, safer and peaceful society.
On this national day, let us pay homage to our Father of the Nation by following his path of truth & wisdom.