October 2nd, 1869, was the date when a great thinker, philosopher, freedom fighter and modern India’s most well-known statesman, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, was born in Porbandar, Gujarat. Nearly a century and a half after his birth, Mahatma's Gandhi birthday is still an important national event- in fact, one of the three national holidays in the Indian calendar.
This day is not a day for exuberant celebrations, but rather one for repose and religious discourse. National leaders and ministers pay homage to ‘The Father of the Nation’ at his memorial (at Raj Ghat, in Delhi). This is followed by public assemblies where verses are read from religious scriptures and hymns are sung. October 2 is a national holiday in India and hence, all offices and schools, throughout the country, remain closed.
About Mahatma Gandhi
Gandhiji or Bapu, as he was popularly known studied in a local school and was married to Kasturba at the age of 13. His autobiography ‘My experiments with Truth Gandhi,’ states his intrinsic love for ‘truth’ and ‘duty.’ Gandhi proved that non-violence is the most effective instrument of social change and his teachings are promoted even today to shun violence and find peaceful solutions to conflicts. As he said: "Anger is the enemy of non-violence and pride is a monster that swallows it up."
- Mohandas Gandhi
Gandhi was a great freedom fighter who played a significant role in achieving independence for India from the British Raj by following the path of non-violence. According to him one should have strong willpower and simplicity and two essential virtues non-violence and truth. His entire philosophy of life sums up in his statement where he said: "The only virtue I want to claim is truth and non-violence. I lay no claim to super human powers : I want none."