Gandhi Jayanti – Celebrating One Man; Two Virtues
When it happens: October 2, 2012
Where it happens: India
Gandhi Jayanti is a national holiday celebrated in India to mark the birth of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, who is best known by Indians as their ‘Father of the Nation’. It is held every October 2 of the year in honor of the date of birth of Gandhi which is October 2, 1869. It is an event officially declared as a National Holiday of India and it is observed in all Indian states and union territories. In honor of Gandhi, even the United Nations General Assembly declared that every 2nd of October is International Day of Non-Violence.
Gandhi proved that non-violence is the most effective instrument of social change. His teachings are even taught today to promote and seek peaceful solutions to avoid violence and to unwanted situations from escalating from simple problems. Even the direst situations can be resolved through peaceful negotiations and Gandhi proved that it is possible. This is best depicted in his dedication and experienced hardships during his campaign to free India from British Rule. Since then, the path of non-violence had become popular all over the world. For Gandhi, “Anger is the enemy of non-violence and pride is a monster that swallows it up”.
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, or popularly known as Mahatma Gandhi, was a great thinker, philosopher and freedom fighter. His birthday remained an important national event in India today and in fact it is one of the three national holidays in the Indian Calendar – the other two of which are India’s Independence Day and Republic Day.
Unlike most celebrations, however, Gandhi Jayanti is not a day for enthusiastic or high spirited celebration. It is a day for repose to pay homage and respect for India’s ‘Father of the Nation’. In his memorial at Raj Ghat in Delhi, public assemblies are held wherein verses are read from religious scriptures and hymns are sung in honor for such great man whom the Indian people loved so much.
It is no surprise that the way Gandhi lived his life that the celebration to commemorate his birth is not filled with lively dances of flamboyant fashion. Because of his religious way of life, it is only proper to celebrate Gandhi Jayanti with piety and humbling virtue. And as Gandhi would say, “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever”.
Gandhi’s life pursuit was based on the virtues of truth and non-violence. Gandhi Jayanti isn’t just to celebrate the man who fought for India’s liberation, but it is also a celebration for the virtues of truth and non-violence that this same man based all his life for. Gandhi has left his influence on the world forever, and by celebrating this occasion, he lives forever.