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Title : Gandhi Jayanti (Father of the Nation) Previous topic PreviousNext Next topic

"I offer you peace. I offer you love. I offer you friendship. I see your beauty. I hear your need. I feel your feelings. My wisdom flows from the Highest Source. I salute that Source in you. Let us work together for unity and love." By Mahatma Gandhi

Gandhi Jayanti or Mahatma Gandhi Jayanti is a national holiday in India celebrated on 2nd October. The birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, popularly known as the ‘Father of the Nation', is celebrated as Gandhi Jayanti with reverence all over the country.

He was the man who played a significant role for achieving independence for India from the British Empire, with his simplicity and strong willpower. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, better known as 'Bapu', or Gandhiji, was born on the October 2nd 1869. Gandhiji was a preacher of truth (Satyagraha) and 'ahimsa' (non-violence). He started the 'Satyagraha' movement for the Indian freedom struggle. He believed in living a simple life and in 'Swadeshi'. He proved to the world that freedom can be achieved through the path of non-violence - a true symbol of peace and truth. He was against the addictions like smoking, drinking and non-vegetarianism.

Born in a small coastal town Porbandar in Gujarat, Gandhi married Kasturbai Makhanji at the age of 13. His childhood memories and experiences are vividly depicted by him in his autobiography "My experiments with Truth". Gandhi at the age of 18 went to England to study law and returned to India in 1915. After his homecoming, he led nationwide stir for achieving Sawaraj, abolition of social evils, empowering women rights and improving economic conditions of peasants and farmers. He further strengthened his movement against the British Raj and led Indians in protesting Dandi March Salt in 1930 that was later followed by the popular Quit India in 1942 calling British to leave India. The partition of India and Pakistan came as a personal shock to Gandhi. When the nation was rejoicing independence (1947), Gandhi went to Naokhali to ameliorate the conditions of the communal riot victims. On 30 January 1948, Gandhi was assassinated in New Delhi.

The man of the century had the courage of heart and spirit of the unafraid. His life and teaching reflect the values of this country and the values of humanity. He had been a beacon light to an army of freedom fighters who practised non-violence in world and deed.

On this day of Gandhi Jayanti, the President and Prime Minister, along with other eminent political leaders, pay homage at Raj Ghat, the memorial of Mahatma Gandhi where he was cremated. Gandhi Jayanti is a national holiday and hence, all offices and schools, throughout the country, remain closed. Verses and prayers are read out from the holy books of all the religions. Gandhi's favorite song, 'Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram' is invariably sung at all the meetings associated with him. Additionally as a tribute to this great soul, the Indian government mint rupee notes and also issue postage stamp depicting Mahatma Gandhi's photo. In May 19, 2011 at Geneva, a 1948 10 Rupee Mahatma Gandhi stamp was auctioned for a whopping price of US $205,000 making it a world record as the most pricey modern postal stamp from any country.

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