Mahatma Gandhi Jayanti – History, Significance and Importance

Mahatma Gandhi Jayanti is a national festival falls every year to celebrate the birth anniversary of the “Father of the Nation”, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. It is among the three national holidays in the country. Though the title is not declared officially because Indian constitution doesn’t allow the title of father of the nation, but it is usually awarded to him. On June 15, 2007, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the resolution declared October 2 as the International Day of Non-Violence.

Commemoration

Mahatma Gandhi Jayanti

Gandhi Jayanti is celebrated on October 2 every year. It is among the three national holidays in the country which is officially declared and observed in all of the union territories and states. Gandhi Jayanti is celebrated with tributes and prayer services across the country. He was cremated in Gandhi’s Memorial, New Delhi. Some of the popular activities are commemorative ceremonies, prayer meetings, in various cities by government institutions, colleges and socio-political institutions. Essay competitions and paintings are taken and awards are offered are granted for projects in the community and schools, on the themes of non-violence, glorifying peace and his efforts in freedom struggle. Raghupathi Raghava Raja Ram, his favorite bhajan is sung in his loving memory.

Significance of Gandhi Jayanti

On October 2, 1869, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi aka Mahatma Gandhi was born at Porbandar, Gujarat. Karamchand Gandhi, his father, hailed from Hindu Modh community and, Putlibai, his mother hailed from Hindu Pranami Vaishnava community. His mother was fourth wife of his father and the last three wives died on childbirth. He attended high school in Rajkot after attending middle school in Porbandar. After studying law in the UK, he went to South Africa for his law practice. He left the practice and came back to India for his country and to fight for freedom.

He became the leading political leader and fought for the country. He became popular among the British and Indians because of his traits of standing out of the crowd. He undertook Salt March to Dandi from Ahmadabad, covering up to 388 km, to protest against the taxes charged on salt. He was behind the philosophy of truth (Satyagraha) and non-violence (Ahimsa).  He was the man of spirit and courage and got imprisoned several times for freedom struggle.

Against all odds and hurdles, he managed to go ahead and play a vital role to provide independence to the nation. He also announced a 21-day long fast for Harijans. The “Quit India” movement was the last warning for the British dominion in the country. He has invaluable practice and teachings for the nation and is used largely to provide peaceful services to solve existing conflicts. His birthday is celebrated in the memory by the whole country. His simple living, high thinking and robust willpower led him to become the respected leader of the country. On his birthday, post offices, government offices and banks remain closed. Several business organizations, stores and offices may reduce office hours or closed during the gazetted holiday.

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