Celebrated on October 2nd every year to commemorate the birth anniversary of the father of our nation, Gandhi Jayanti is more than what is presumed. Mahatma Gandhi was a person with a true vision for the future. The 2nd of October this year marks the 154th birth anniversary of Gandhi. Globally, this day is also celebrated as International Non-Violence Day.
‘His timeless teachings continue to illuminate our path. Mahatma Gandhi’s impact is global, motivating the entire humankind to further the spirit of unity and compassion’. Prime Minister Narendra Modi posted on X (previously Twitter).
President Draupati Murmu, PM Narendra Modi, and many other prominent figures were present at Rajghat in New Delhi as a part of the birth anniversary commemoration. It is here that the Gandhi Memorial is located. PM Modi and the President paid homage to Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhi was assassinated by Nathuram Godse, an extremist Hindu nationalist, on January 31, 1948. The President also garlanded the memorial where Gandhi’s body was cremated. Earlier in September, the President unveiled a 12-foot-long statue of Gandhi while inaugurating a ‘Gandhi Vatika’ to the public in Delhi.
Gandhi Jayanti History
While celebrating this auspicious day, it is also important to remember the contributions he made towards freeing India and its people. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, popularly known as Mahatma Gandhi, was born on October 2nd, 1869, in Porbandar, a city in Gujarat. He was one of the popular leaders of modern India who understood the spirit of the masses. Long before starting his political experiments and struggles in India, he began his political career in South Africa. By profession, a barrister, Gandhi was more than that. His epithets range from social activist to writer, and so on. He believed in the doctrine of truth, Satyagraha, peace, and non-violence for freeing India from external forces, particularly the British.
Gandhi, who started his career as a law practitioner in South Africa, returned to India on January 9, 1915, at the request of his political guru, Gopala Krishna Gokhale. Since then until his death, Gandhi has participated in various movements associated with the freedom struggles of the Indian nation. The Champaran Satyagraha of 1917 was the first major movement led by Gandhi. It is often called the first civil disobedience movement in India. In a similar fashion, many events took place in history with Gandhi as its leader. Some of them were mass movements, while the others were individual satyagrahas. Kheda Satyagraha in 1918, the Ahmedabad Mill Strike in 1918, the Non-Cooperation Movement in 1920, the Civil Disobedience Movement in 1930, and the Quit India Movement in 1942 were some of the major movements in his political career.
His vision for India was a country united by love and peace rather than divisions based on religion, race, color, or region. He made constant efforts to unite the ideologically different groups. He worked hard for the upliftment of the downtrodden section of society by making efforts to eradicate untouchability and discrimination connected with one’s caste. Whether the efforts yielded fruitful results is a question worth analyzing. Though Gandhi had ideological differences with many political leaders, including Ambedkar and S. C. Bose, none can deny the pivotal role that Gandhi played in connecting with the masses, mobilizing them, and preparing them for the Indian national freedom movements in line with non-violence.
Today, as we celebrate the 154th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, it is noteworthy to say that his life and teachings continue to inspire many to this day, 75 years after his demise. While it is also crucial to say that religious tensions and atrocities towards Dalits persistently occur even today in many parts of the country, celebrating this great soul will help at least spread the phenomenal vision propounded by Gandhi.