Martyrs’ Day observed across India to honour the Father of the Nation
India commemorates the 76th death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi today, also known as Martyrs’ Day or Shaheed Diwas. The day is observed to honour the sacrifice of the Father of the Nation, who was assassinated by Nathuram Godse on January 30, 1948, at Birla House in New Delhi. Mahatma Gandhi, affectionately called Bapu, was the leader of the Indian independence movement and the pioneer of non-violence and peace. His philosophy and actions have inspired millions of people around the world to fight for justice and freedom.
President, Prime Minister and other dignitaries pay homage to Gandhi at Rajghat
President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other dignitaries paid floral tributes to Mahatma Gandhi at his samadhi at Rajghat in New Delhi. They also observed a two-minute silence at 11 am to remember the martyrs who laid down their lives for the country. The President and the Prime Minister also tweeted their messages on the occasion, hailing Gandhi as the epitome of truth, love and compassion.
The President said, “On behalf of a grateful nation, I pay homage to the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, who embraced martyrdom this day. We should adhere to his ideals of peace, non-violence, simplicity, purity of means and humility. Let us resolve to follow his path of truth and service.”
The Prime Minister said, “Tributes to the great Bapu on his Punya Tithi. His ideals continue to motivate millions. On Martyrs’ Day we recall the heroic sacrifices of all those great women and men who devoted themselves towards India’s freedom and the well-being of every Indian.”
Congress leaders and other opposition parties also remember Gandhi and his values
Congress leaders and other opposition parties also paid their respects to Mahatma Gandhi and his values of secularism, democracy and harmony. Congress president Sonia Gandhi, former prime minister Manmohan Singh, former party chief Rahul Gandhi and general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra visited Rajghat and offered flowers to the Mahatma. They also took part in an inter-faith prayer meeting organised by the party.
Rahul Gandhi tweeted, “On Martyrs’ Day, I salute the indomitable courage and sacrifice of the freedom fighters who devoted their lives to the nation. Mahatma Gandhi’s life and his message of truth, non-violence and love paves the way for us. We are committed to preserving his legacy and values.”
Other opposition leaders such as West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, DMK president M K Stalin and CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury also paid their tributes to Gandhi and his principles.
Various events and programmes organised to mark the occasion and spread Gandhi’s message
Various events and programmes were organised across the country to mark the occasion and spread Gandhi’s message of peace and non-violence. The Ministry of Culture organised a cultural event at Gandhi Smriti, where Gandhi was shot, featuring music, dance and poetry based on his life and teachings. The event was live-streamed on social media platforms and Doordarshan.
The National Gandhi Museum in New Delhi organised a webinar on “Gandhi and Godse: Contrasting Worldviews” to highlight the difference between Gandhi’s vision of inclusive and harmonious India and Godse’s ideology of hatred and violence. The webinar also discussed the relevance of Gandhi’s values in the present times.
The Gandhi Peace Foundation in Chennai organised a cycle rally to promote the use of eco-friendly and sustainable modes of transport. The rally was flagged off by the Governor of Tamil Nadu, Banwarilal Purohit, and covered a distance of 10 km. The participants also took a pledge to follow Gandhi’s ideals and protect the environment.
The School Day of Non-violence and Peace was also observed in various schools and educational institutions to instill the values of non-violence, tolerance and respect among the students. The day was initiated by the Spanish poet and pacifist Llorenç Vidal in 1964 and coincides with Gandhi’s death anniversary. The students participated in various activities such as painting, essay writing, poetry recitation, skit and drama based on Gandhi’s life and message.