It is now just more than 70 years since India’s independence of 1947. Like many colonized nations in the world, India had a long, painful, nerve breaking, human sacrifice, prolonged struggle for its independence. The achievement of independence was possible and mainly attributed to the courageous freedom fighters, activists, life sacrificing victims, noble persons, natives with love for their country, concern for the future of their families, culture, heritage, and holy land etc, at that time in history.
One of the greatest leaders in the Indian struggle for independence was Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, fondly known as Mahatma Gandhi. His birth was on the 2nd of October 1869 in Gujarat. Therefore, the 2nd of October each year is marked as Gandhi Jayanti, in remembrance, homage, tribute and honor to revered Mahatma Gandhi.
The Sanskrit word ‘Mahatma’ means a high-great soul. Mahatma Gandhi is also known as the ‘Father of the Nation’ and ‘Bapu’. Bapu means father or father figure. His endeavor through his life was to bring freedom from the foreign British Rule and bring about an ideal self-sustaining system in India. The 2nd of October is also marked as the International Day of Non-Violence. It was declared in the United Nations Assembly in 2007.
The word ‘Jayanti’ means anniversary. The Sanskrit word ‘Jayant’ means victory. The 2nd of October is a national holiday in India. Gandhi Jayanti is one of the three most important national holidays in India, the other two being the Republic Day and the Independence Day.
Honorable Mahatma Gandhi was associated with words like Ahimsa, Antyaja, Swaraj, Natal Indian Ambulance Corps, Khilafat Movement, Swadeshi Movement, Salt Satyagraha aka the Dandi Salt March, Quit India Movement, Untouchability, Vegetarian Society, Khaadi etc.
In the modern day, many schools, institutes, Government agencies etc observe a celebration at their own level and ways to mark Gandhi Jayanti. This is normally on the last working day before the Gandhi Jayanti leave. Many schools conduct debates, essays, have a recap-remembrance at the school assembly etc. India’s flag is hoisted with a salute, and often with the singing of the National Anthem. A prayer ceremony is organized at his resting place Raj Ghat and Gandhi Smriti where he was assassinated. Garlands, flowers, incense, Bhajans etc are organized and decorations are done. Jai Hind, Jai Bharat.
A famous Bhajan dear to Mahatma Gandhi is—
Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram,
Patit Paavan SitaRam,
SitaRam, Jai SitaRam,
Bhaj Pyaare Tu SitaRam,
Ishwar Allah Tero Naam,
Sab Ko Sanmati De Bhagavaan,
Ram Rahim Karim Samaan,
Ham Sab Hai Unki Santaan,
Sab Mil Mange Yaha Varadaan,
Hamara Rahe Manava Ka Gyaan.