“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”- Mahatma Gandhi
The preeminent National Leader Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was the prime force behind India’s independence movement. India is and will always remain indebted to him as he had put his heart and soul to set the country free from the British colonial rule. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born to Karamchand Gandhi and Putlibai Gandhi in Porbandar, a small town in Gujarat on 2nd October, 1869. To honour the sacrifices of this noble soul, each year 2nd October is celebrated as Gandhi Jayanti all across the country.
Mahatma Gandhi is lovingly called Bapu and also known as Father of the Nation. He was honoured with a coveted title of ‘Mahatma’ by India’s profound writer & poet –Rabindranath Tagore, owing to the simple living and high thinking philosophy that Gandhi ji advocated. Mahatma Gandhi’s teachings are cherished and widely used for solving conflicts and resorting to peaceful solutions, even in the present times.
He strictly advocated to follow the path of Ahimsa i.e. Non-violence. The Sanskrit phrase–”Ahimsa Paramo Dharma“was popularized by Mahatma Gandhi only. Besides being popular in India, Mahatma Gandhi was equally popular internationally, due his preaching on non-violence. Therefore, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution on 15th June, 2007, that declared that Gandhi Jayanti will also be celebrated as the International Day of Non-Violence, entirely dedicated to the symbol of peace and truth.
Traditional Celebrations on Gandhi Jayanti
2nd October is observed as a National holiday in our country. On this day, prayer meetings are held at Gandhi’s memorial, Raj Ghat in New Delhi where he was cremated. Tributes are paid and prayer services are accompanied in the presence of the President and Prime Minister of the country, along with other important dignitaries and they all pay homage there. In schools, Gandhiji’s most preferred devotional song ‘Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram’ is generally sung by the students in the sweet memory of this historic personality at commemorative ceremonies organized on 2nd October every year. Besides this, students take part in activities based on Gandhian philosophy such as poem recitation, speech competitions, etc. Teachers inspire the students to take a pledge to follow the path of truth and non-violence.
This Gandhi Jayanti, you can use the following tips to celebrate the day of historical significance:
- Plan to read books and documents on the contributions made by Mahatma Gandhi.
- Generate awareness among the general masses about Gandhian philosophy and motivate them to adhere to it.
- Narrate stories about Gandhiji’s preaching about peace, truth and non-violence to young children.
- Teach devotional songs such as ‘Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram’, ‘Vaishnava Jan Ko’ etc. to the children and help them to understand the lyrical content of them.
- Visit Raj Ghat and pay homage to the Father of the Nation.
- Watch movies such as Lage Raho Munna Bhai, Gandhi, Gandhi My Father, Hey Ram, The Making of a Mahatma, etc., based on Mahatma Gandhi’s life & journey.
- Attend seminars, events, cultural programmes, dramatic plays, etc. to gain insight as why non-violence was always promoted by Gandhiji.
So, take a pledge to follow the path of ‘Simple Living And High Thinking’ as was advocated and propagated by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.
Happy Gandhi Jayanti!