Gandhi Jayanti

Why Is Gandhi Jayanti Celebrated

One of the most popular occasions in India and one of the three national holidays, Gandhi Jayanti is celebrated on 2nd October to mark the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhi was also popularly known as the “Father of our Nation”, “Bapu” or simply “Mahatma”. The day is declared as a national holiday and all schools and offices are shut on this festival. Gandhi gave our nation and the world the principles of truth, non-violence and honesty which are still remembered and widely used till today. The President and Prime Minister of India, along with other eminent figures, pay their homage to the memorial of Gandhi at Raj Ghat in New Delhi. Browse through the following lines to know the significance of celebrating Gandhi Jayanti.

Gandhi Jayanti Significance

Mahatma Gandhi was born as Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi on 2nd October, 1869 in Porbandar, a coastal town in Gujarat. His father, Karamchand Gandhi, belonged to the Hindu Modh community while his mother, Putlibai, came from the Hindu Pranami Vaishnava community. His mother was Karamchand’s fourth wife, the former three wives died at the time of childbirth. Gandhi attended middle school in Porbandar and high school in Rajkot. He studied law in United Kingdom and went ahead to South Africa to practice as a lawyer. However, he left his practice and returned to India due to his love for his country and to fight for the freedom of his people.

Gandhi became a keen political leader and fought for the nation. His characteristic of getting identified separately from the mass made him popular among the Indians and British as well. To express his protests against the tax on salt, he undertook the Salt March from Ahmedabad to Dandi covering a total distance of 388 kilometers. He even founded the philosophy of non-violence (ahimsa) and truth (Satyagraha). Gandhi had a heart of courage and spirit of the unafraid. He had been imprisoned on several accounts during the freedom struggle.

Despite the hurdles and difficulties, Gandhi went ahead and played a significant role in making India an independent country. He even announced a fast of 21 days for the cause of ‘Harijans’. His ‘Quit India’ slogan proved a final signal for the British dominion in India. Gandhi’s teachings and practice are invaluable for the country and are largely used in providing peaceful solutions to problems and in solving current conflicts. Gandhi’s birthday is celebrated in his remembrance by the whole nation. His high thinking, simple living and strong willpower made him a revered leader of India.

Gandhi Jayanti

The birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, popularly known as the ‘Father of the Nation’, is celebrated as Gandhi Jayanti with reverence all over the country. He was the man who played a significant role for achieving independence for India from the British Empire, with his simplicity and strong willpower! Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, better known as ‘Bapu’, or Gandhiji, was born on the October 2nd 1869, in Porbander, Gujarat. Gandhiji was a preacher of truth (Satyagraha) and ‘ahimsa’ (non-violence). He started the ‘Satyagraha’ movement for the Indian freedom struggle. He believed in living a simple life and in ‘Swadeshi’. He proved to the world that freedom can be achieved through the path of non-violence – a true symbol of peace and truth!

Until 1914, Gandhi led the Indians in South Africa against the apartheid of the British. His stint in India took a turn when national leader Gopal Krishna Gokhale initiated him into the Indian freedom movement. Gandhi, with his ideals of ahimsa, non-cooperation and satyagraha, soon established himself as the frontrunner in the struggle for freedom. From then onwards, till India gained independence, Gandhi gathered an entire nation behind him in his relentless quest. However, partition came as a big blow to his dreams and ideals. Five months after independence, Gandhiji was assassinated by Nathuram Godse while on his way to his daily prayer meeting. The 78-year-old ‘Father of the Nation’ had left a country that was just discovering its feet, orphaned.

On this day of Gandhi Jayanti, the President and Prime Minister, along with other eminent political leaders, pay homage at Raj Ghat, the memorial of Mahatma Gandhi where he was cremated. Gandhi Jayanti is a national holiday and hence, all offices and schools, throughout the country, remain closed. Verses and prayers are read out from the holy books of all the religions. Gandhi’s favorite song, ‘Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram’, is invariably sung at all the meetings associated with him. Prayer meetings are held in various state capitals as well. Gandhi Jayanti is observed all over the country, both in government and non-government forums.

Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram, Patit Pavan Sita Ram
Sita Ram Sita Ram, Bhaj pyare tu Sitaram
Ishwar Allah tero naam, Sab ko Sanmti de Bhagawan……….

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Mahatma Gandhi, the apostle of peace and the Father of the Nation was born on 2nd October 1869 at Porbandar in Gujarat.

Gandhi Jayanti is celebrated on the very day every year as the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, Father of India.

In his autobiography My experiments with Truth Gandhi recalls that his childhood and teen age years were characterized by education in a local school, marriage to Kasturba at the age of 13 and an intrinsic love for ‘truth’ and ‘duty’.

Gandhi, as he was popularly called, proved that non-violence is the most effective instrument of social change. His teachings are promoted even today to avoid violence and find peaceful solutions to conflicts.

Through his sheer dedication and self-belief, Gandhi freed India from the British Raj (British Rule). He proved to the world that freedom can be achieved through the path of non-violence.

For Gandhi ‘Non-violence’ and truth were two inalienable virtues. He summed up the entire philosophy of his life as : “The only virtue I want to claim is truth and non-violence. I lay no claim to super human powers : I want none”.

The United Nations General Assembly announced on 15th June, 2007 that October 2nd will be celebrated as the International Day of Non-Violence.

The soul of India : Mahatma Gandhi


Some of the famous quotes by Mahatma Gandhi have been listed below :

    * Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.
    * Fear is not a disease of the body; fear kills the soul.
    * The principle of majority does not work when differences on fundamentals are involved.
    * Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.
    * It is better to be violent, if there is violence in our hearts, than to put on the cloak of nonviolence to cover impotence.
    * It is unwise to be too sure of one’s own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err.
    * You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.
    * Honest differences are often a healthy sign of progress.
    * Whatever you do may be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.

History

At the age of the eighteen, he went to England to study law. In 1891, Gandhi returned to India and set up practice at Rajkot. In 1893, he received an offer from an Indian firm in South Africa.

With his two minor sons and Kasturba, he went to South Africa at the age of twenty-four. Colonial and racial discrimination showed its ugly colours in the famous train incident, when he was thrown off the compartment meant for the ‘Sahibs’.

During his more than two decades of stay in South Africa, Gandhi protested against the discriminating treatment that was meted out to Indians. He protested against the Asiatic (Black) Act and the Transvaal Immigration Act and started his non-violent civil disobedience movement.

A Satyagrahis’ camp known as the Tolstoy Farm was established at Lawley, 21 miles from Johannesburg, on 30th May 1910, in order to shelter the satyagrahis and their families.

The South African Government had to heed to the voice of reason and in 1914 repealed most of the obnoxious acts against the Indians. The weekly Indian Opinion (1903) became Gandhi’s chief organ of education and propaganda.

Gandhi returned to India in 1915. After an interrupted stay in Shanti Niketan in February-March, 1915, Gandhi collected his companions of Phoenix and established the Satyagraha Ashram in Ahmedabad city. This was shifted in June 1917 to the banks of the Sabarmati. This Ashram became platform for carrying out his cherished social reforms prime among which were Harijan welfare rehabilitation of lepers and self-reliance through weaving Khadi.

Gandhi Jayanti

Between 1917 and 1918 Gandhi participated in two peasant movements in Champaran (Bihar) and Kaira (Gujarat) and in the labour dispute in Ahmedabad itself. World War I ended on 11 November 1918; Gandhi protested against the Rowlatt Bills and founded the Satyagraha Sabha (28 February 1919). The end of the World war also saw the dismemberment of the Khilafat (Caliphate). This hurt the Indian Muslims deeply. Gandhi was approached for counsel; and in a meeting of the All India Khilafat Conference on 24 November 1919, he proposed that India should respond by non-violent non-cooperation.

The year 1926 was declared by Gandhi to be his year of silence. His famous march to Dandi in March 1930 started a countrywide movement to violate the Salt-Law. Gandhi was arrested on 4 May 1930, and the Government struck hard to crush the movement, but failed.

So Gandhi was set free on 26th January 1931; and following a pact between him and the British Viceroy, Lord Irwin (5 March 1931), he was prevailed upon to represent the Congress at the second Round Table Conference in London.

Gandhi was completely disillusioned with the attitude of the British, which had renewed its policy of ruthless repression. As a result the Civil Disobedience Movement was resumed in January 1932.

Gandhi was in prison when the Communal Award was announced in August 1932, providing for the introduction of separate electorate for the Depressed Classes.

He opposed this attempt to divide the Hindu community and threatened to fast unto death to prevent it. He started his fast on 20th, September 1932. It created consternation in the country, but the situation was saved by the conclusion of the Poona Pact, which provided for special reservation of seats for the Depressed Classes in legislatures, but under joint electorate.

Gandhi Jayanti

On 8th, May 1933 he announced a fast for 21 days for the Harijan cause. After coming out of prison Gandhi devoted himself exclusively to the cause of the ‘Harijans’.

The weekly Harijan now took the place of the Young India, which had served the national cause from 1919 to 1932. After 1934, Gandhi settled down in Sevagram near Wardha to form a new Centre for his enlarged Constructive Programme, which included Basic Education (1937), designed to bring about the universalisation of education.

In 1942, his ‘Quit India’ slogan was to serve as the final signal to British dominion in India. The partition of India and Pakistan came as a personal shock to Gandhi.

Timeline:

– 2nd October 1869: Birth of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

– 1891: Gandhi returned to India after studying law in England

– 1893: He received an offer from an Indian firm in South Africa

– 1910: A Satyagrahi’s camp known as the Tolstoy Farm was established at Lawley, 21 miles from Johannesburg

– 1915: Gandhiji returned to India in 1915. He also established the Satyagraha Ashram in Ahmedabad city the same year.

– 1917: The Ashram was shifted to the banks of Sabarmati.

– Between 1917-1918: Gandhi participated in two peasant movements in Champaran (Bihar) and Kaira (Gujarat)

– 28 February 1919: Founded the Satyagraha Sabha

– 24 November 1919: At the All India Khilafat Conference, he proposed that India should respond by non-violent non-cooperation.

– March 1930: Started his famous march to Dandi to violate the salt law.
– 4 May 1930: Gandhiji was arrested
– 26 January 1931: He was set free
– 5 March 1931: Following a pact between him and the British Viceroy he was prevailed upon to represent the Congress at the second Round Table Conference in London
– January 1932: The Civil Disobedience Movement was resumed.
– 20 September 1932: He started his fast unto death to prevent the attempt of the British to divide the Hindu Community
– 8 May 1933: He announced a fast for the Harijan cause
– 1942: His ‘Quit India’ slogan served as the final signal to British dominion in India
– 30 January 1948: Gandhi was assassinated

Assassination

When the nation was rejoicing independence (1947), Gandhi went to Naokhali to ameliorate the conditions of the communal riot victims.

On 30th January 1948, Gandhi was assassinated inNew Delhi by Nathuram Godse who held him responsible for weakening India by insisting upon a payment to Pakistan.

The man of the century had the courage of heart and spirit of the unafraid. His life and teaching reflect the values of this country and the values of humanity.

He had been a beacon light to an army of freedom fighters who practised non-violence in world and deed.

Gandhi’s memorial at Raj Ghat in New Delhi bears the epigraph ‘He Ram’ which is believed to be his last words when he was shot.

Jawaharlal Nehru addressed the nation by saying that :

“Friends and comrades, the light has gone out of our lives, and there is darkness everywhere, and I do not quite know what to tell you or how to say it. Our beloved leader, Bapu as we called him, the Father ofthe Nation , is no more. Perhaps I am wrong to say that; nevertheless, we will not see him again, as we have seen him for these many years, we will not run to him for advice or seek solace from him, and that is a terrible blow, not only for me, but for millions and millions in this country.”

Gandhi’s ashes were immersed in some of the world’s major rivers like the Thames, Nile etc as he had wished.

Mahatma Gandhi was a simple man, with simple tastes and high values. Respecting that, even though Gandhi Jayanti is one of the three official national holidays, the festivities are minimal.

A prayer meeting is held at Rajghat, Gandhi’s samadhi in New Delhi. To mark the respect that Gandhi had for all the religions and communities, representatives from different religions take part in it.

Verses and prayers are read out from the holy books of all the religions. Gandhi’s favourite song, Raghupati Raghava, is invariably sung at all the meetings associated with him. Prayer meetings are held in various state capitals as well.

Gandhi Jayanti is observed all over the country, both in government and non-government forums.

Raj Ghat

Celebration

Mahatma Gandhi was a simple man, with simple tastes and high values. Respecting that, even though Gandhi Jayanti is one of the three official national holidays, the festivities are minimal.

A prayer meeting is held at Rajghat, Gandhi’s samadhi in New Delhi. To mark the respect that Gandhi had for all the religions and communities, representatives from different religions take part in it. Verses and prayers are read out from the holy books of all the religions. Gandhi’s favourite song, Raghupati Raghava, is invariably sung at all the meetings associated with him. Prayer meetings are held in various state capitals as well.

Gandhi Jayanti is observed all over the country, both in government and non-government forums.

Gandhi Jayanti

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