Gandhi Jayanti is celebrated to honour Mahatma Gandhi, the political ethicist, anti-colonial advocate, spiritual leader, and Indian Lawyer. Words fall short when talking about Mahatma Gandhi, the short-statured, soft-spoken, and immensely empathic person who brought all Indians together and made them understand the significance of staying united against all odds. For his visionary leadership, India was able to break free from the shackles of colonialism and become a free nation. Gandhi led the freedom movement bringing all National leaders together while advocating peace and non-violence. He employed non-violent resistance that acted as a catalyst in the Indian Independence Movement against British Rule. To remember his unparalleled contributions to the country, Gandhi Jayanti is marked as one of the national holidays of India. In 2007, October 2 was declared the International Day of Non-Violence by the UN General Assembly.
Significance of Gandhi Jayanti
Gandhi Jayanti is celebrated on October 2 to mark the birth anniversary of the "Father of the Nation," Mahatma Gandhi. It is the day when all countrymen come together to pay tribute to this great man who helped the country get free from colonial rule. He firmly believed in religious pluralism and forerunner of truth and non-violence. He worked tirelessly to make India a secular country. Gandhi Jayanti is, thus, a day to pay homage to the iconic leader who guided people to fight for their rights following the non-violent approach. He also denounced untouchability and the caste system in the country. Based on his principles and teachings, India launched the 'Swachh Bharat Abhiyan,' i.e.,Clean India Mission, on October 2, 2014, to improve solid waste management in rural and urban areas and eradicate open defecation in India. Gandhi Jayanti holds immense significance to the people of India. Moreover, it is not just a celebration but a day to remember and follow the beliefs, teachings, and ideals of Mahatma Gandhi.
Life Journey of Mahatma Gandhi
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, aka Bapu, was born on October 2, 1869, in Porbandar, Gujarat. He was the youngest child of Karamchand Gandhi and Putlibai. His foundation years spent at his home steeped in Vaishnavism instilled a firm belief in the eternalism of the Universe. Thus, noninjury to all living beings or Ahimsa, fasting for self-purification, vegetarianism, mutual tolerance between people from different castes and creeds were taken for granted in his household. After completing his early education in India, he was sent to England to become a barrister. He returned to India in 1891, and he started working as a lawyer amidst many challenges. Unfortunately, he found that a career as a barrister was not a sure-shot guarantee of a lucrative career.
In 1893, he left for Natal, South Africa, to work in an Indian firm. He spent two decades in South Africa and faced many challenges, most prominently of all, racial discrimination. He came back to India and decided to explore the country and understand the challenges and hardships faced by common men. He travelled by train and came in close contact with locals who shared their problems and agonies. It was then that Gandhiji decided to face the problem headlong. From here on, a series of movements started that gently steered India towards a serious effort to attain freedom from the oppressive British Rule. His austere and simple life impressed everyone, even his staunchest opponents, who were forced to support him in their bid to get freedom from colonialism. Decades of hard work, efforts, and his amazing vision helped the country break free from British Rule's shackles.
Amazing Facts About Mahatma Gandhi
Gandhiji or Bapu’s name is so famous worldwide that it doesn’t need any introduction. His principles like non-violence, peace, non-cooperation, satyagraha, etc., were the most impactful ways of fighting the centuries-old colonial rule in India. Besides the known story of Mahatma Gandhi, many facts about him make him an interesting personality. Let us have a look at them.
#Fact 1. Gandhi and the famous writer Leo Tolstoy were very good friends. They used to interact with each other through letters. He also set up a Tolstoy Farm, 21 miles from Johannesburg, South Africa. Sprawled on an 1100 acre site, this farm was set up for colleagues who helped him during the Satyagraha struggle.
#Fact 2. He relentlessly worked for the upliftment of the weaker section of the society and ‘untouchables’ who he named them as Harijan or children of God. He fasted for them and demanded fair treatment for them.
#Fact 3. In 1982, a movie was made on the life of Mahatma Gandhi where his character was played by Richard Attenborough. This movie won a lot of awards, appreciation, and accolades. It also includes winning the most prestigious Academy Award for the best motion picture category.
#Fact 4. Mahatma Gandhi was featured on the Time Magazine Man of the Year which is a great honour. This honour is bestowed on a very chosen few dignitaries of the world.
#Fact 5. Mahatma Gandhi was nominated five times for the Nobel Peace Prize. The last nomination was just a few days before he was murdered in 1948.
#Fact 6. Mahatma Gandhi was a prolific writer. His collected works have 50,000 pages. And do you know that the honour of Mahatma was conferred on him by Rabindranath Tagore, the Nobel Prize winning Bengali Poet.
#Fact 7. 21 years after his death, Great Britain against whom Mahatma Gandhi fought to get his nation independent, released a stamp to honour him.
#Fact 8. The funeral of Mahatma Gandhi witnessed a eight kilometer long funeral procession.
Places In India That Are Dedicated To Mahatma Gandhi
Recently, the nation celebrated the 152nd birth anniversary celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi. Let us have a look at places that have Bapu immortalized forever.
1. Sabarmati Ashram
Referred to as Gandhi Ashram, Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad was the center of freedom struggle movement in India. Gandhi used this Ashram as his base where he experimented with non-violence, peaceful protests, and truth.
As per Gandhiji, India’s condition could only be ameliorated with village level improvements. This ideology was put to practice in Wardha at Sevagram. Gandhi used this ashram as his experimental laboratory from 1934 to 1940.
How to Reach Wardha
Nearest Airport. Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport, Nagpur
This place finds frequent mentions in history books. It is the place where Bapu, Kasturba Gandhi, and Mahadev Desai, secretary of Gandhiji, were imprisoned during the Quit India Movement. Today, paintings and photos of Gandhiji are exhibited here in the Gandhi National Memorial.
It is the place where Gandhiji was assassinated while going for the morning prayers by Nathuram Godse. Today, this place, erstwhile Birla House has been conserved as Gandhi Smriti.
How to Reach Delhi
Nearest Airport. Indira Gandhi International Airport
Nearest Railway Station. New Delhi Railway Station
Major Attractions Of Gandhi Jayanti
Although Gandhi Jayanti is observed in all parts of India, the celebration in Delhi is something you shouldn't miss. Here are some of the major attractions to venture on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti.
1. Raj Ghat
Raj Ghat is a memorial dedicated to Gandhi Ji. The term 'Raj Ghat' translates to the royal platform, which features a blue-black marble platform. On Gandhi Jayanti, people from different parts of the country gather at Raj Ghat to pay homage to Mahatma Gandhi. Closer to Daryaganj, Raj Ghat is located on the Ring Road, which is also known as Mahatma Gandhi Road.
Gandhi Jayanti is a day to remember the sacrifices and contributions of Mahatma Gandhi and all the freedom fighters who helped India gain independence from the British. Hence, India Gate is the perfect place to visit on this occasion. One of the largest war memorials in India, India Gate is located near Rajpath that was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens. The Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate is visited by the Prime Minister on Republic Day to pay tribute to the martyrs of the Indian Armed Forces who died in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971.
3. Connaught Place
No matter what the occasion, the people of Delhi never miss out on visiting Connaught Place. One of the significant commercial spots in the national capital, Connaught Place, is home to some of the oldest eateries and shops. The massive Indian tricolor flag near Rajiv Chowk fills you with a sense of patriotism and is something you must venture while in Delhi during Gandhi Jayanti.
4. Red Fort
It is customary that the Prime Minister hoists the Indian national flag on Independence Day of the country and addresses its citizens at Red Fort. But you can definitely visit the historic fort on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti as well. Built in the 17th Century, the monument is of utmost importance to the nation and depicts its intricate history.
Frequently Asked Questions About Gandhi Jayanti
Q. When is Gandhi Jayanti celebrated?
A. Gandhi Jayanti is celebrated on 2nd October to commemorate the birthday of the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi. Recently, the country celebrated the 152nd birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
Q. How is Gandhi Jayanti celebrated?
A. The birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi falls on 2nd October. Every year, the nation comes together to celebrate this day with a National Holiday and prayer meets at Rajghat.
Q. Why do we celebrate Gandhi Jayanti?
A. Gandhi Jayanti is a day to remember the sacrifices and contributions of Mahatma Gandhi and all the freedom fighters who helped India gain independence from the British.
Q. Why is Gandhi referred to as Father of Nation?
A. Gandhi ji is referred to as the Father of Nation because it was he who helped the country gain freedom from the oppressive rule of Britishers.
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