Every year on 2nd October we celebrate International nonviolence day. It basically is the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of our Nation. In India, the day is called Gandhi Jayanti, a national holiday. But worldwide it is celebrated as International Day of Nonviolence. Gandhi Jayanti is one of the significant days celebrated in India.
About Mahatma Gandhi
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was an Indian lawyer. He was an anti-colonial nationalist and political ethicist. Gandhiji employed non-violent resistance to lead the successful campaign for India’s independence from British rule and in turn, inspired movements for civil rights and freedom worldwide. Mahatma Gandhi was born and raised in a Hindu family in coastal Gujarat. Gandhiji trained in law at the inner temple London and was called to the bar at the age of 22 in June 1891. After two uncertain years in India when he was unable to start a successful law practice, he moved to South Africa in the year 1893. it was in South Africa that Gandhiji first employed nonviolent resistance in a campaign for civil rights. He returned to India and set about organizing farmers and urban laborers to protest against excessive land text and discrimination. He assumed leadership of the Indian National Congress in the year 1921. Gandhiji led nationwide campaigns for easing poverty, expanding women’s rights, building religious and ethnic amity, and above all achieving Swaraj or self-rule.
He was an active nonviolent leader and a freedom fighter when India was not independent. He worked hard with his nonviolent actions supporting all Indians. His work reflects in all whatever he has done for the nation and that is the reason he is called as Father of Nation.
Remembering the Vision of Gandhiji on Gandhi Jayanti
In 1921 Gandhiji adopted the use of an Indian cloth dhoti and shawl. Both were woven with yarn handspun on a traditional Indian spring wheel chakra. It was a sign of identification with India’s rural culture. The poor also began to live modestly in a self-sufficient residential community. He himself ate simple food. Furthermore, he undertook long fast as means of self-purification and political protest bringing anti-colonial nationalism to the common Indians. Gandhiji let them in challenging British imposed salt tax with the 400 km Dandi salt march in the year 1930. He called for the British to quit India In 1942. Sadly, he was imprisoned many times and for many years in both South Africa and India.
Gandhi’s vision for an independent India based on religious pluralism was challenged in early 1940 by a new Muslim nationalism; demanding a separate Muslim homeland carved out of India. In August 1947 Britain granted independence but the British Indian Empire was partitioned into two dominions. He indeed is a great soul. After all these years of his death, we still remember his struggles, his sacrifices throughout his life, for the freedom of the country. His work is a reflection of what India is now. We have remembered him by making a compilation of all his works together in museums. Gandhi Jayanti is celebrated every year as a mark of respect to him.
Top 5 Gandhi Memorials to visit in India
National Salt Satyagraha memorial or Dandi museum
The National Salt Satyagraha Memorial is a memorial in Dandi, Gujarat. It has been constructed to honor the activists and participants of Salt Satyagraha. Satyagraha was an act of nonviolent civil disobedience in colonial India. It was led by Mahatma Gandhi in 1930. The memorial is spread over an area of 15 acres. It is located in the coastal town of Dandi where the salt march ended on April 5th, 1930. The British salt Monopoly was broken by producing salt by boiling seawater. The project was developed at an estimated cost of 89 crores INR. Inside that museum, there is an artificial lake; created to symbolize to sea source aspect of the Salt Satyagraha. There are solar trees in order to reinstate the virtue of self-sufficiency reinforced by Gandhi in the freedom struggle. There are solar salt-making pans in order to engage the visitors. Also, there are many statues, murals that tell a story about when, how, and for how much time this Satyagraha happened. Everything inside this museum makes this memorial a net-zero energy project; a beautiful place to visit.
Sabarmati Ashram is also known as Gandhi ashram. It is located in the Sabarmati suburb of Ahmedabad, Gujarat. This was one of the many residences of Mahatma Gandhi who lived at Sabarmati. He lived in Sabarmati for a total of 12 years with his wife Kasturba Gandhi and followers. The Bhagavad-Gita was recited here daily as a part of the ashram schedule. Some of his belongings are still present there. It was from here that Gandhi led Dandi March also known as Salt Satyagraha on 12 March 1930. In recognition of the significant influence that this March had on the Indian independence movement; the Indian government has established an ashram as a National monument.
National Gandhi Museum and Library
The National Gandhi Museum or Gandhi memorial museum is a museum located in New Delhi. It showcases the life of principle of Mahatma Gandhi. The museum first opened in Mumbai shortly after Gandhi was assassinated in 1948. It was relocated several times before moving to Rajghat in 1961. At the general studies library, the books are divided into two sections. One section has books written by or about Gandhi. The other section has books on other subject matters. There are currently over 35,000 books or documents in the museum library. The national gallery has a large number of paintings and personal items of Mahatma Gandhi. The most notable items in the collection are Satyagraha woodcut, one of Gandhi’s walking sticks, the shawl and dhoti worn by Gandhiji himself, one of the bullets that were used to kill Gandhiji. The museum also displays some of Gandhi’s teeth and his ivory toothpick. It is a beautiful and must-visit place.
Gandhi Sangrah Alaya
Gandhi Smarak Sangrah Alaya is a museum and public service institution. It showcases the life and principles of Mahatma Gandhi and his role in Bihar during the independence struggle of India. The museum is one of the eleven Gandhi Sangrah Alayas in the country. Years after the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi in 1948, an appeal was made to the citizens of India nationwide to build a memorial for Gandhiji. With the help of the contributions of poor and rich citizens of India, a trust was established with the name Mahatma Gandhi national memorial trust for this cause. The Patna Sangrah Alaya was established in 1967 near the northwestern corner of Gandhi maidan. Since then Gandhi Sangrah Alaya Patna has been an enormous institution. The museum is located in a quiet place. It contains a visual biography of Bapuji containing photos, paintings, sculptures, manuscripts, and quotations; all the major events in his life. There is also a section containing photographs of his childhood. It is a definite place to visit, when in Bihar.
Gandhi Jayanti is a special day for all Indians. On this special day, we offer our homage and respect to the great man who struggled relentlessly for India’s independence.
Apoorva is a Data Analyst by profession, Data Enthusiast, and likes to work and analyze data. She is a published poet, writer, painter, art, and music lover. It’s her belief that life is a series of tiny miracles and we just need to notice them, we just need to enjoy the ‘life’ ride patiently. She likes to chant Vedas and loves reading books in several genres.