On Saturday October 2, 2021, the nation will commemorate Mahatma Gandhi on the 152nd anniversary of the birth of the “Father of the Nation”. Gandhi Jayanti, as the occasion is known, coincides this year with Azadi ka Amrit Mahutsav, which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 12, marking the 91st anniversary of an important event in Gandhi’s life, the Dandi March.
Azadi ka Amrit Mahutsav will celebrate until August 15, 2023, the 77th Independence Day.
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, who shares his birthday with another legendary figure, former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri (born in 1904), was born on October 2, 1869 in Purabandar, in the present-day state of Gujarat. Gandhi, a lawyer whose life was changed by his experiences in South Africa, played the most important role in India’s independence movement, organizing demonstrations by nonviolent means.
Although it is commonly believed that the title “Mahatma” was bestowed on Gandhi by India’s first Nobel laureate, “Gurudif” Rabindranath Tagore, the Gujarat government disputed this, claiming instead that the title was coined by a local Saurashtra journalist. However, the leader is also referred to as “Babu” (Father).
Gandhi is the Indian figure most recalled by world leaders, most of whom, while visiting India, visited his resting place in Delhi. US President Joe Biden quoted the freedom fighter during his meeting with Prime Minister Modi at the White House last week.
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Internationally, October 2nd commemorates the Day of Nonviolence in memory of the Mahatma. In India, it is a complete holiday, and one of three national festivals, along with Republic Day (January 26) and Independence Day (August 15).