Gandhi Jayanti, an Occasion to Pay Our Respects to the Father of the Nation
Indians celebrate Gandhi Jayanti on 2nd October in memory of Mahatma Gandhi whom we call ‘Bapu’ or ‘The Father of our Nation’. Gandhiji was an outstanding leader who taught us to live simply and truthfully. He was responsible for getting India freedom and is respected all over the world for the principles he stood for. On Gandhi Jayanti, people pay their respects by offering flowers on his statues, singing bhajans, lighting candles, and saying prayers.
About Gandhi Jayanti
Gandhi Jayanti is also celebrated worldwide as the International Day of non-violence as Gandhiji was a follower of truth and peace. Gandhiji’s non-violent campaigns opposing the British rule, such as the Dandi March, non-cooperation movement, Champaran Satyagraha, and the Quit India movement are popular all over the world. His principles, such as Ahimsa or non-violence and self-reliance are very much relevant even in today’s times.
How Do We Celebrate Gandhi Jayanti in India?
All-important organizations in India remain closed on Gandhi Jayanti as a mark of respect. People organize various programs to pay respects to him.
People celebrate Gandhi Jayanti in India in the following manner:
- Paying tribute: On the occasion, India’s President, the prime minister, and other important members of government pay their tributes at the memorial, Raj Ghat in New Delhi. Raj Ghat is the cremation spot of Gandhiji. During the event, the prime minister lays a wreath at Gandhiji’s statue.
- Special events: Government organizations hold Prayer meetings and special ceremonies and other social and political bodies in honour of Gandhiji at various cities in India.
- Bhajans: Everywhere, people sing Gandhiji’s favourite bhajans ‘Raghupathi Raghav Raja Ram’ and ‘Vaishnava janato’ in his memory.
- Paying respect: On this day, people pay their respects to his ideologies by abstaining from non-vegetarian food and alcohol and being peaceful and truthful.
- Celebrations at Sabarmati Ashram: Gandhiji stayed at Sabarmati Ashram for a major part of his life. He initiated many of these freedom struggle movements from there like the Dandi March. Thus, Sabarmati Ashram has various celebrations on Gandhi Jayanti.
What to Do During Gandhi Jayanti in India
We have to be thankful to Gandhiji for the freedom we enjoy today as Indian citizens. On his birth anniversary, all of us should take time out to remember him and make the event special.
Here are some ways to make Gandhi Jayanti a special event:
- If you are studying at a school or college, you can participate in the special events thereby singing Gandhiji’s songs or dressing up as him for plays. You can read out speeches made for him, mentioning the various campaigns initiated by him and praising his virtues.
- You could organize a commemorative gathering at your society and invite all members for the occasion. Children can participate in drawing and essay competitions in memory of Gandhiji. They can put garlands on the Mahatma’s photo and sing his favourite bhajans in his honour.
- On occasion, you can wear clothes made in India. Go preferably for hand-woven khadi fabrics, which Gandhiji himself used to spin on his charkha (spinning wheel) and wear.
- It would be a nice tribute to Gandhiji if you could not eat non-vegetarian food or drink liquor on the occasion
- Gandhiji stood for discipline and paid a lot of significance to hygiene. You could initiate a cleanliness drive in your building or area in his honour.
- You could pay a visit to organizations that help the poor and needy and volunteer your services for the day. It would be an excellent way to spend the public holiday in India since Gandhiji was known for his efforts to help the downtrodden.
Gandhi Jayanti is an excellent occasion for every Indian to remember the sacrifices he made for the country. In this festival, we pay respect to the ideologies of truth, non-violence, satyagraha, and Sarvodaya he followed.