On October 2nd each year the nation pays homage to "Bapu" otherwise also known as the "Father of the Nation" who played a significant role in Indian Independence. Mohandas Karamachand Gandhi also referred as 'Gandhiji' was an iconic figure in India and around the globe for his unique practices of non-violence or ahimsa. He believed in the power of non-violence and in the philosophy of truth known as "Satyagraha" and adopted these beliefs in his leadership that helped in achieving India's Independence. With his strong philosophy on non-violence and truth he proved the world that the path ahead may not be the easy, but it is certainly the most effective methods of achieving the goals. It was this belief that got him noticed and appreciated by historians as one of the greatest freedom fighters that the world had ever seen. As such, India observes a national holiday on this day to pay reverence to this great soul. Besides his contribution towards the country's freedom struggle, Gandhi will always be remembered around the globe for his distinctive ideologies that inspired many great leaders, such as Martin Luther King, James Lawson, Nelson Mandela, all of whom drew inspiration from Gandhi's non-violence theory.
When Gandhi was in South Africa during the 1890's, he was subjected to the injustice of the colonial imperialism in the nation. He was a victim of racial discrimination and social bigotry that plagued the nation that had not only impacted him, but also led to his social activism. In 1894, he was responsible for forming the Natal Indian Congress in South Africa with the help of the Indian community which later, molded into a strong political party in the country. In 1906 when his political members conducting a peaceful protest were subjected to harsh and violent treatment by the local government, he formed the idea of "Satyagraha", meaning the force of truth. When he left for India, Gandhi witnessed similar treatment in the country and carried out his work to help protest against the dominance of the British Raj. In the years to come his non-violence principle was witnessed, first in 1920 when the Non-Cooperation Movement took place and later seen in the Dandi March in 1930 as well as in the The Quit India Movement. Gandhi may have not been a martyr in the true sense but he dedicated his entire life to attain freedom by resisting violence. Thus, Gandhi Jayanthi is an important day for all Indians.
Celebrations and Rituals
Mahatma Gandhi was born on 2nd October 1869 in Porbandar. A legendary leader, he revolutionized the meaning of freedom fighting around the globe. On this day, people in the country hold several prayer services and community functions to pay tribute to the Father of the Nation. Art lover hold exhibition that reflect the Gandhian principles of life and freedom, an interpretation of Gandhi's ideologies on canvas. This way, they honor his contribution towards India's freedom struggle in an aesthetic manner. In some places awards are given away to non-violence projects or acts in honor of him. Special speeches are given addressing his life and work of Gandhi with the view to educate young minds on his ideas and beliefs.
Gandhi Jayanti is celebrated each year on October 2nd in India. The day has been declared as a national holiday. Schools, colleges, offices and institutions remain close on this day. Lately, October 2nd has also been honored as the International Day of Non- Violence by United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). The idea was first propagated by Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi, before it was accepted by the Indian National Congress and the United Nation.
Gandhi Jayanti is one of the three Indian National Holidays. Know more about it with this article.