Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, who later came to be known as Mahatma Gandhi, was the preeminent leader of the Indian independence movement; he was the man who led the masses in India to gain Independence from the British Rule. The man who succeeded in achieving something which was next to impossible, through the non-violent, civil-disobedience and non-co-operative movement, which everyone else failed to achieve. The man who made life for the British so difficult in India that they finally gave us the independence that we were seeking, and finally left India in 1947 after 89 years of colonial rule. The birthday of Mahatma Gandhi is celebrated across India, and also all over the world on the 2nd of October every year, and is termed as Gandhi Jayanti. 2nd October is also celebrated as the International Day of Nonviolence across the globe.
Celebrations Every Year
Every year the celebrations of the birth anniversary of the Father of the Nation are conducted with great fervour in the following manner:
- Prayer meetings are held to pay homage, in front of the statue at the Raj Ghat New Delhi. Which is attended by the President and Prime Minister of the India. The devotional song Raghupati Raghava Raja Ram is sung in the memory of him.
- Celebrations are also held in schools where students participate in fancy dress competitions, sing Mahatma Gandhi’s favourite hymns and present their own insights on the Gandhian philosophy.
- Statues of Mahatma Gandhi across the country are refurbished and garlanded as people pay their respect to the man who got them independence.
- When Narendra Modi took over the office of the Prime Minister of India, he for the first time in the history of India abolished Gandhi Jayanti as a national holiday for the Government staff. Being a staunch believer of the ideologies of Mahatma Gandhi, he urged the government officials to follow in the footsteps of the Father of the Nation, the icon of India, and work towards the betterment of India by taking the oath of Swachh Shapath.
- Since the time Prime Minister Modi introduced the Swachh Bharat Campaign, cleanliness drives are conducted in different localities where people come together and contribute towards cleaning the area around.
This year we will be celebrating the 147th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi also known as Bapu, the Father of the Nation.
Apart from the regular celebrations, this year a Khadi exhibition is being held in Ranchi from the 30th of September till the 2nd of October, 2016.
- The three-day mini Khadi fair will be organized on Udyog Bhavan campus at Ratu Road to mark the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti.
- The exhibition is being held to promote the Khadi industry as well as other cottage industries and individual artisans of Jharkhand.
- Chairman of Jharkhand State Khadi and Village Industries Board, Sanjay Seth said that the state planned to make at least 10,000 women self employed by the end of 2016, and this fair would serve as a platform for these women to exhibit their products including handicrafts and food items.
- A world class showroom of Khadi is also on the cards to be inaugurated during the Navratras.
The Ideologies of Mahatma Gandhi go Global
With every country vying for power, with every country owning nuclear weapons, the leaders around the globe are also realising the value of peace, for violence they know will only result in the destruction of everything that has been created towards for the betterment of the world. Countries all over the globe are showing a growing interest in the non-violent alternative of presenting their opinion. Thus, Gandhi Jayanti is celebrated as the International Peace Day all across the world, and the values of Mahatma Gandhi are promoted for the world to know that non-violence is any day better than war and blood-shed.
In the recent years, Gandhi Jayanti has been celebrated with great pomp and show in Washington. The favourite hymns including ‘Vaishnav jana to’ and ‘Rahgupati Raghav Rajaram’ were sung at the Gandhi Centre in Washington followed by an exhibition of postage stamps from ninety countries honouring Mahatma Gandhi, during the 2014 celebrations.
India’s envoy to the US Ronen Sen recalled the role played by Gandhi in inspiring freedom movement in countries under colonialism.
Several American nationals, who have been studying Gandhi’s life and works, also joined the people of Indian origin in singing of hymns and prayer songs likened by the Mahatma.
This year the 147th birth anniversary celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi will be conducted by Gandhi Memorial Centre in cooperation with the Embassy of India. The event will include devotional music, dance performances and special remarks on the ideologies of Mahatma Gandhi at the Golden Lotus Temple next to the Gandhi Centre.
The 145th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi saw Indians in the United Kingdom pay tributes to Bapu at the Tavistock Square, where the iconic statue of Mahatma Gandhi is located, through Vedic Prayers, Bhajans and Exhibition of Artwork
The event was organised by the Indian High Commission in London which was attended by High Commissioner Ranjan Mathai, Deputy Mayor of Camden, Councillor Lazarro Pietragnoli, British-Indian MPs Shailesh Vara and Virendra Sharma, Chairman of India League CB Patel and other representatives from the Indian community in Britain.
In 2016, the celebrations will again be held at 1100 hours at Tavistock Square Gardens, followed by a Gandhi Peace Walk towards the Mahatma Gandhi Statue at the Parliament Square.
The Evergreen Ideologies of the Mahatma
The Gandhian ideas and ideologies have the essence of universality and will remain relevant across generations. In fact, in today’s world, when world peace is of utmost requirement, Bapu’s ideologies based on non-violence seem to be more relevant than ever before. While we celebrate Mahatma Gandhi’s life every year on the occasion of his birth date, it is also important to seek his ideologies, and the exemplary life that he led, in reality. In Mahatma Gandhi’s words, “You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.”