Gandhi Jayanthi

Gandhi Jayanti is celebrated annually on 2nd October to commemorate the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. This year, contemplating on Gandhiji’s contribution to India, I remembered that historians concede: “the most massive and historically effective example of non-violent activism was that of the movement organized by Mahatma Gandhi.”

How is it usually celebrated?

Several places organize commemorative activities and cultural events in various cities by colleges, local government institutions and socio-political institutions. Painting and essay competitions are held on glorifying peace, non-violence and Gandhi’s effort in the Indian Freedom Struggle. Often, Gandhi’s favourite devotional song, Raghupathi Raghava Rajaram, is sung in memory of him. This holiday is a dry day in India when the sale of alcohol is not permitted. Since Gandhi Jayanti is a national holiday in India, it is observed across all states and union territories. The President and Prime Minister of India also pay homage at Raj Ghat, a memorial dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi in Delhi, India. 

    The following three places play a vital role in celebrating Gandhi Jayanti:
  • 1.The Martyr’s Column is the place where Mahatma Gandhi was attacked on January 30th 1948.
  • 2.The Raj Ghat, the place where the body of Mahatma Gandhi was scalded on January 31st 1948. 
  • 3.The Triveni Sangam is where the river Ganga, the river Yamuna, and the river Saraswati join together.

It was under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi that for the first time in human history a non violent movement culminated in such resounding success. Gandhiji used the peaceful or non violent method to usher in a political change, resulting in India’s independence on 15th August 1947. Mahatma Gandhi also wanted to herald social change in India on the basis of non violence. But before he could achieve his second target, he was tragically removed from the scene of action.

On this day, I feel that each and every Indian should take an oath to involve himself to fulfil Mahatma Gandhi’s unfulfilled mission of bringing about social change through the Gandhi Andolan. In my view, there is only one way of using the non-violent method for the reform of a society, and that is, to bring about a change in the thinking of the individual, who is the basic unit of society and the nation.

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