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Mahatma Gandhi’s 154th Birth Anniversary: History Behind This National Festival



Mahatma Gandhi’s 154th Birth Anniversary: History Behind This National Festival

Gandhi Jayanti 2023: Gandhi Jayanti is celebrated every year on October 2. It marks the birthday of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, revered as Mahatma Gandhi. He is fondly remembered by the people as “Mahatma” or “Bapu”, and played a key role in India’s freedom movement. Mahatma Gandhi demonstrated the power of non-violence, or ahimsa through various peaceful movements. He inspired leaders across the world with his values and principles.

On October 2 every year, people mark Gandhi Jayanti and remember the contribution of the “Father of the Nation”. The day is also observed as “International Day of Non-Violence” to disseminate the message of non-violence.

The United Nations declared October 2 as “International Day of Non-Violence” on June 15, 2007. Several programmes and cultural events are organised to pay homage to the Father Of The Nation and spread his teachings. Many people also visit places dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi on this day – like Raj Ghat in Delhi, Mani Bhavan in Mumbai and Sabarmati Ashram in Gujarat.

When Mahatma Gandhi was in South Africa for higher studies. There, he opposed racial segregation after he was thrown out of a train while he was travelling in a first-class compartment in Pietermaritzburg. He stood against discrimination by choosing the path of non-violence.

His approach found resonance among people across the country and they joined the peaceful civil disobedience movement. It was his non-violence movement which helped India gain Independence in 1947.

He led various freedom movements in India, including the non-cooperation movement, civil disobedience movement and Quit India movement. Under him, many people actively participated in protests against colonial rule in India.

His principles – Satya (truth), ahimsa (non-violence)and swaraj (self-rule) — became the basis of several civil rights movements across the world. American civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. espoused the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi. King cited Mahatma Gandhi and his Satyagraha (peaceful resistance for truth) in many of his addresses.

In 1930, he was named the Person of the Year by Time Magazine. Mahatma Gandhi died on January 30, 1948.

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