By: Manmeet Kaur Tura
Gandhi Jayanti is a national festival of India that marks the birth anniversary of one of the most revolutionary man in the history of Indian independence, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi or Mahatma Gandhi. He is also popularly known as Baapu and is the “Father of the Nation’. Mahatma Gandhi is an iconic figure in the history of Indian Independence and his ideologies, his sacrifices and his guidance were the major reasons why India was able to get Independence. He very strongly believed in non-violence and paved the pathway for nonviolent freedom struggles during that time.
Gandhi Jayanti 2018-
On the occasion of Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary, the Tourism Ministry will include the words “The land of Gandhi” in the logo of its flagship program ‘Incredible India’ to honor him.
The government will celebrate the occasion in India and abroad from October 2, 2018 to March 30, 2019. The tourism ministry has plans to distribute literature on Gandhiji in the ministry’s overseas offices and create awareness about his life.
A huge budget of 150 crores will be spent on his celebrations in India and Abroad as per a statement given by the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley during the budget session.
An insight into the history-
The United Nations General Assembly announced on 15 June 2007 that it adopted a resolution which declared that 2 October will be celebrated as the International Day of Non-Violence.
Gandhi Jayanti is celebrated yearly on 2 October and is one of the official declared national holidays in the country. This day is observed in all states and union territories of the country. Baapu was born on 2nd October 1869 into a Gujarati Hindu family in Porbandar, Gujarat. He was married to Kasturbai Makhanji Kapadia also known as Kasturba at the age of 14.
He received his education at Rajkot. For higher studies he went to London and studied Law there. He spent 21 years in South Africa for his practice and it was there, that he developed his political views, ethics and politics. He faced racial discrimination by the Europeans there and fought against it. But he always followed his principle of Satyagraha or non violent protest. Gandhi returned to India in 1915 and actively took interest in the fight for independence against the British rule. He started silent and peaceful protests like the Non- cooperation movement and the Dandi March that brought the nation together in the fight against the British. He followed his policy of Satyagrah throughout his life. He made some remarkable efforts that lead to the independence in 1947. It was on 30 January 1948 at 5:17 pm that he took his final walk when Nathuram Godse fired bullets on him. He left the world and the country was swept in remorse and sadness.
Baapu has lived in our hearts forever since then. On the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti prayer services and tributes are organized all over India. Special prayer services are also organized at Gandhi’s memorial in New Delhi where he was cremated.
Schools and colleges organize prayer meetings, commemorative ceremonies. Painting and essay competitions are conducted for kids and they are taught about his principals and ideologies. Gandhi's favorite bhajan (Hindu devotional song), Raghupati Raghava Raja Ram, is usually sung in his memory. Alcohol is completely banned in the country on this day.