Mahatma Gandhi Jayanti

Festivals and holidays are very common in India, but there are some holidays that have historic reasoning and are highly important. Indeed, one of the most crucial national holidays in the history of India that is celebrated every year is the Mahatma Gandhi Jayanti. Also, this particular day is considered as the International Day of Non-Violence, as decided by the United Nations General Assembly on 15 June 2007.

What is Gandhi Jayanti?

Celebrated on the 2nd of October, Gandhi Jayanti is one of the three main Indian national holidays. It is the birth date of Mahatma Gandhi, and this holiday honors his birth anniversary and his contribution to the Indian national struggle for independence. Owing to this, it is considered as one of the most important days in Indian history and is regarded so in the entire country.

It is observed yearly and the entire nation, which includes all of its states and national territories gives tribute to this historic figure. The other two holidays that share the same level of national heritage in India are Independence Day and Republic Day.

Who is Mahatma Gandhi?

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was one of the most notable personas involved in the freedom struggle of India during British rule. Mahatma Gandhi Jayanti is celebrated on 2nd October, the day he was born in the year 1869. Indeed, he was intimately involved in helping the Indians fight against the British, but without the use of violence. Owing to his charismatic and confident personality and care for the regular masses, he became a great leader in the eyes of most Indians.

Once a lawyer, Gandhi was disheartened to see the conditions of Indians during the British Sarkar and joined the independence movement. He was one of many major players in this matter, alongside the freedom fighters like Bhagat Singh, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, Khudiram Bose, etc. However, his approach was a little different and changed the perspective of many individuals.

Many people felt inspired by his words and practices of non-violence or ‘ahimsa’ and a new era of Indian fight started. His influence and teachings spread over the entire nation, and various signs of rebellions started up all over the country. In fact, he was one of the main reasons behind the Civil Disobedience Movement, which marked the beginning of a nationwide protest against the British Raj.

He preached non-violence and that resonated with a lot of the working-class Indians and gave them a new strength of will. Under his tutelage and guidance, India finally gained her independence on 15th August 1947. However, he died a year later because of an assassination attempt on 30th January 1948.

What occurs during Gandhi Jayanti?

As Mahatma Gandhi Jayanti is a national holiday, every governmental workspace is closed during the day. Similarly, the private organizations and shops also remain closed, while some exceptions maintain a half-day. Plus, public transport too is not open for the most part; however, some declare a particular timetable.

There are many celebrations that many citizens get into, to honor the life and death of Gandhi. For example, one of his favorite songs during his life was ‘Raghupati Raghava Raja Ram’. And many Indians sing that in honor of him during Mahatma Gandhi Jayanti.

Moreover, many of the communities and organizations honor his legacy through commemorative ceremonies and prayer services throughout India. People watch movies and read books regarding his story and his ideals, and some organize essay competitions and art exhibitions at the junior school levels.

His basic philosophy of non-violence or SatyaGraha is known to all, and many people honor that through awards. Many organizations and projects that preach a similar thought process are given such awards and recognition. Items like alcohol and meat are not popular on Mahatma Gandhi Jayanti, in remembrance of his simplistic lifestyle.

Indeed, many such shops are closed, with legal bans put on liquor shops on that particular day in many cities. Furthermore, people go up to his statues in the cities they live in and place flower garlands on them or flower bunches near the statue’s feet.

Symbolic areas

With the Mahatma Gandhi Jayanti, there are three names that are interlinked and are major spots during the celebration. These include the Trivedi Sangam, Raj Ghat, and Gandhi Smriti. To be specific, the first area is visible near Allahabad, specifically in the water where the three rivers Saraswati, Yamuna, and Ganga join together.

Raj Ghat is the place where his body was cremated back on January 31st, situated on the riverbank of Yamuna. And in the Gandhi Smriti, the Martyr’s Column, made to mark the spot of his assassination, is another such symbolic area. Both of the last two places are present in New Delhi, the capital city of India.

150th Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi

The 150th year since his birth was celebrated wonderfully in different ways. The Hon. Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi paid homage to Gandhi in Raj Ghat, alongside other major political leaders. Also, he released the coin of 150 rupees on the very same day to mark the significance of the day. Congress, the political organization, pledged their allegiance to his memory and promised to carry forward his mission.

Congress leader, Sonia Gandhi and former prime minister Manmohan Singh are some of the notable names who went to Raj Ghat to pay their respects. PM Modi also went to the Sabarmati Ashram and addressed 10,000 sarpanches in the evening of the same day. The Swachh Bharat Mission was a good success during this time. Furthermore, the Central Railway Zone also did something special for Mahatma Gandhi Jayanti. They painted the picture of Gandhi with the national tricolor in the background on the surface of diesel locomotives.

Even the artistic industry took their part in celebrating his actions and life through an art exhibition, Picture Postcards For Gandhi. This exhibition honored the legacy of Gandhi and his contributions to the environment, and the theme was organized by Professor Farhat Basir Khan. And the place where the entire exhibition took place was in Jamia Millia Islamia, or more specifically, the M.F. Hussein Art Gallery. Of course, some local festivities were also held in different local communities throughout the country.

Leave a Comment