A Tribute to Gandhi Ji
"Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram, Patit Pavan Sita Ram,
Sita Ram Sita Ram, Bhaj pyare tu Sitaram,
Ishwar Allah tero naam, Sab ko Sanmti de Bhagawan"
- Mahatma Gandhi
October 2nd, famously known as Gandhi Jayanti, marks the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, the Bapu (Father) of the Nation. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, born on October 2nd 1869 at Porbandar in Gujarat, is referred to as Bapuji by his intimate friends and acquaintances, Gandhiji by most other Indians including his critics, and Mahatma Gandhi by the rest of the world. The 'Father of the Nation' is a symbol of peace and humanity. We remember him on his birthday and every other solemn occasion as the United Nations has declared October 2 as the International Day of Non-Violence (External website that opens in a new window).
In 1942, his "do or die" slogan during the "Quit India" movement served as the final signal to the British dominion in India. India got freedom on August 15, 1947. But the partition of India and Pakistan came as a personal shock to Gandhi. And, when the nation was rejoicing independence, he went to Naokhali to ameliorate the conditions of the communal riot victims. On 30th January 1948, the Mahatma was assassinated in New Delhi.
Gandhi Jayanti, a national holiday, is celebrated with great enthusiasm throughout the country. The President, Prime Minister and other eminent leaders pay tribute to this beloved of nation at Raj Ghat, Delhi. The enchanting bhajan 'Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram', a favourite of Gandhiji, adds melody to the occasion. Philosophies, ideologies, verses and teachings of Gandhiji are remembered on this occasion, reflecting our love and respect towards the selfless great man India has ever produced.
Ideologies of The Mahatma
Gandhiji's philosophy and his ideologies of Satya (truth) and Ahimsa (non-violence) were influenced by the Bhagavad Gita and the Hindu beliefs, the Jain religion and the pacifist Christian teachings of Leo Tolstoy.
Gandhiji, a vegetarian and a follower of the Hindu idea of Brahmacharya - spiritual and practical purity, spent one day of each week in silence. He believed that abstaining from speaking brought him inner peace, an influence drawn from the Hindu principles of Mouna (silence) and Shanti (peace).
Returning from South Africa, Gandhiji gave up wearing Western-style clothing, which he associated with wealth and success. He advocated the use of homespun cloth (khadi). Gandhiji and his followers adopted the practice of weaving their own clothes from thread. They themselves spun, and encouraged others to do so. The spinning wheel was later incorporated in the flag of the Indian National Congress.
Gandhiji speaks of his philosophy and way of life in his autobiography 'The Story of my Experiments with Truth'.
The Constitution of India, through the fundamental rights, granted equality before the law to all citizens of India. It prohibits discrimination on the grounds of caste, religion, race, sex or birth and abolishes untouchability. India follows the values of truth and non violence even as the country's democratic set-up represents the ideal of Swaraj.
Gandhiji and Freedom Struggle
Gandhiji returned from South Africa in 1915, and joined the Indian National Congress movement for freedom of the country, emerging as one of the top leaders of the party later. The Satyagrah of Champaran, Bihar where workers on indigo plantations complained of oppressive working conditions, boasts of being the first introduction of Gandhiji in Indian freedom struggle. His rapid ascendancy to the helm of nationalist politics is signified by his leadership of the opposition to repressive legislation, known as the "Rowlatt Acts" in 1919. The Non-Cooperation Movement in 1920, the Epic Fast (21 day fast) to preserve Hindu-Muslim relations in 1924, the Dandi March in 1930, the Civil Disobedience Movement in 1921, the Round Table Conferences in 1930-32, and the Quit India Movement in 1942 etc. are some of the famous movements/incidents related to Gandhiji that changed the course of the Indian Freedom Struggle.
Emancipation of the Underprivileged
Gandhiji once said, "The removal of untouchability is one of the highest expressions of ahimsa". Working from his Sabarmati Ashra, also known as Harijan Ashram, Gandhiji was always approachable. It was from here that he started the national movement for the upliftment of people from underprivileged sections of society and equality of all mankind.
Bapu used Satyagraha as a means to improve the condition of people and bring about social justice in areas such as universal education, women's rights, communal harmony, eradication of poverty, promotion of khadi and so on.
Gandhiji enumerated Seven Social Sins, which are -
- Politics without Principles.
- Wealth without Work.
- Pleasure without Conscience.
- Knowledge without Character.
- Commerce without Morality.
- Science without Humanity.
- Worship without Sacrifice.
Tribute to Gandhiji
The word Mahatma is taken from the Sanskrit words maha (Great) and atma (Soul). Rabindranath Tagore is said to have accorded the title Mahatma to Gandhiji. He influenced important leaders and political movements.
"Mahatma Gandhi came and stood at the door of India's destitute millions, clad as one of themselves": Rabindranath Tagore
"The only ray of light - He was the only ray of light to help us through these darkest days": Khan Abdul Gafar Khan
"A leader of his people, unsupported by only outward authority; a politician whose success rests not upon craft nor mastery of technical devices, but simply on the convincing power of his personality; a victorious fighter who has always scorned the use of force; a man of wisdom and humility, armed with resolve and inflexible consistency, who has devoted all his strength to the uplifting of his people and the betterment of their lot; a man who has confronted the brutality of Europe with the dignity of the simple human being, and thus at all times risen superior".
Generations to come, it may be, will scarce believe that such one as this ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth": Albert Einstein
"Like most people, I had heard of Gandhi, but I had never studied him seriously. As I read, I became deeply fascinated by his campaigns of nonviolent resistance.... The whole concept of Satyagraha was profoundly significant to me": Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr
"I and others may be revolutionaries but we are disciples of Mahatma Gandhi, directly or indirectly, nothing more nothing less": Ho Chi Minh
"He was right; he knew he was right, we all knew he was right. The man who killed him knew he was right. However long the follies of the violent continue, they but prove that Gandhi was right. 'Resist to the very end', he said, 'but without violence'. Of violence the world is sick. Oh, India, dare to be worthy of your Gandhi": Pearl S. Buck
"Impressions of Gandhi? You might well ask for someone's impression of the Himalayas": Bernard Shaw
"Mahatma Gandhi will go down in history on a par with Buddha and Jesus Christ": Earl Mountbatten
Literary Works of Gandhiji
No one can deny that Gandhiji was a prolific writer. He edited several newspapers e.g. Harijan, Indian Opinion, Young India and Navajivan.
Gandhiji also wrote several books including his autobiography - An Autobiography of My Experiments with Truth. His other works include Satyagraha in South Africa, Hind Swaraj or Indian Home Rule, and Key To Health among many of his famous books.
Gandhiji's complete works were published by the Indian government under the name The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi (External website that opens in a new window) in 1960s. The writings comprise about 50,000 pages published in about a hundred volumes.
Famous Quotes by Gandhiji
Some of the famous quotes by Mahatma Gandhi:
Send warm and hearty Gandhi Jayanti greetings to your loved ones. Check out the online e-Cards and send your wishes.
'We all bow our heads in respect to our beloved Bapu'