Gandhi Jayanti is regarded as one of the most important event in India celebrated in honour and memory of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi who is regarded as “Father of the Nation”. Gandhi Jayanti is celebrated on 2nd October which marks the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and is celebrated in honour to the role he played in giving India its freedom after 200 years of slavery under British Rule. According to United Nations General Assembly, 2nd October is celebrated as International Day of Non-Violence based on Gandhism Principles of Non-violence.
About Mahatma Gandhi
Mahatma Gandhi’s complete name is Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi and played the strongest role in Independence of India via non-violence preaching. He was born on 2nd October 1869 and every year 2nd October is celebrated as tribute to his significant contribution to Indian Freedom Movement. He was born in a Hindi Merchant family to Karamchand Gandhi and Putilbai Gandhi in small city of Porbander in Gujrat. He studied in University College, London and started practising as barrister in South Africa. He fought for the rights of Indians in South Africa before he returned to India in 1915 which marked the start of Gandhism Era in Indian Freedom Movement. He was assassinated by Hindu nationalist Nathuram Godse on 30th January, 1948. Gandhi Memorial is built in Raj Ghat, New Delhi.
Reason behind celebrating Gandhi Jayanti
Gandhi Jayanti is marked as public holiday and is one of the three National Holidays in India. As per United Nations it is marked as International Day of Non-Violence and celebrated across the country to spread principles preached by Gandhi on non-violence and encourage peace among people. There are many events organised on national level and are focused more on enhancing public awareness to lead a peaceful life. This day is celebrated to honour the great works done by Mahatma Gandhi which still continue to influence our lives in a good way. There are many events and campaigns that were led by Mahatma Gandhi and influenced Indian Independence on 15th August, 1947.
Non-Violence and other principles
Gandhi Jayanti strongly promotes non-violence principles of Mahatma Gandhi and preaches the country power of non-violence. Gandhi introduced the concept of non-violence while fighting for Independence and showed people how to fight without guns and blood bath. In 1920 he started the non-cooperation movement as a means of boycotting Western clothes and goods to promote Khadi and Indian materials. In 1930 he led Dandi March to protest against Salt taxes and was led by 400km march from Ahmedabad to Dandi. Gandhi also used fasting as one of the medium to protest until demands were fulfilled and his 1943 hunger strike took place inside the prison while supporting Quit India Movement launched by him. His Quit India Movement was a shout without violence to British to leave India and award independence.
Celebrations on Gandhi Jayanti
It is marked as National Holiday and all banks, government organisations and educational institutions are compulsorily closed to celebrate the birth anniversary of the man who helped in freedom movement. Gandhi Jayanti is celebrated nationwide and is done by offering prayers and tributes at Raj Ghat which is Gandhi’s memorial located in New Delhi and the place where he was cremated. The prayer and offering are made in presence of Prime Minister. There are many Gandhi Ashram across the country and Gandhi Jayanti is celebrated with great pomp and show in the Ashrams. Many cultural events, social activities and competitions are organised amongst schools, colleges and organisations based on Gandhi themes. Every educational institution organise events to celebrate Gandhi Jayanti and enlighten the students about his preaching and philosophy. There are many functions broadcasted on TV, speech delivered by eminent politicians of country and peace and non-violence propagated. Most of the schools organise fancy dress competition and gives prizes to the one dressed best like Gandhi Ji. Events like slogan writing, debate, speech etc are organised in NGO and encourage participation by many people. Remembering Gandhi and his contribution, his favourite devotional songs “Raghupati Raghava Raja Ram” and “Ram Dhun” is sung at Raj Ghat. There are many films broadcasted on TV depicting the life of the noble soul. As a national Holiday, it is also announced as Dry Day which means no shops shall be allowed to sell liquor on that particular day.
Three Important places where Gandhi Jayanti is celebrated on a national level are:-
Raj Ghat – It is the place where he was cremated and is located on banks of Yamuna River in New Delhi. He was cremated on January 31st, 1948.
Triveni Sangam – Gandhi Jayanti is also celebrated here and is a place where the three rivers Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati meet in Allahabad.
Martyr’s Column – It is Gandhi Smriti located in New Delhi and is the place where he was assassinated on January 30th, 1948.
Gandhi Jayanti is celebrated by many followers of Gandhi principles and influence the nation to work on peace and fight without violence and blood shed.