Thursday, 2 October 2008

Gandhi Jayanthi : Global Non-Violence Day

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Mahatma Gandhi, the apostle of peace and the Father of the Nation was born on 2nd October 1869 at Porbandar in Gujarat.

Gandhi Jayanti is celebrated on the very day every year as the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, Father of India.

In his autobiography My experiments with Truth Gandhi recalls that his childhood and teen age years were characterized by education in a local school, marriage to Kasturba at the age of 13 and an intrinsic love for ‘truth’ and ‘duty’.

                        Mahatma Gandhi Statue, San Franscisco, California

Gandhi, as he was popularly called, proved that non-violence is the most effective instrument of social change. His teachings are promoted even today to avoid violence and find peaceful solutions to conflicts.

Through his sheer dedication and self-belief, Gandhi freed India from the British Raj (British Rule). He proved to the world that freedom can be achieved through the path of non-violence.

His ideologies and philosophies are like none other on earth. He was the pioneer of satyagraha- the resistance of tyranny through mass civil disobedience, and also firmly founded upon ahimsa or total non-violence-, which lead to India's independence. Gandhiji said that, u can hit me, u can kill me, u can insult me, but u can never forget me. It is almost impossible that gandhiji's name will be wiped out from the pages of history. The Indian currency notes have a picture of his, every city in India has a street named after him and statues of the Great Mahatma are made at many places. He believed in simplicity, truth, non violence and spiritual and practical purity. His highly effective ideologies still inspire people from all over the world.

For Gandhi ‘Non-violence’ and truth were two inalienable virtues. He summed up the entire philosophy of his life as : "The only virtue I want to claim is truth and non-violence. I lay no claim to super human powers : I want none".

The United Nations General Assembly announced on 15th June, 2007 that October 2nd will be celebrated as the International Day of Non-Violence.

Some of the famous quotes by Mahatma Gandhi have been listed below :
  • Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.
  • Fear is not a disease of the body; fear kills the soul.
  • The principle of majority does not work when differences on fundamentals are involved.
  • Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.
  • It is better to be violent, if there is violence in our hearts, than to put on the cloak of nonviolence to cover impotence.
  • It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err.
  • You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.
  • Honest differences are often a healthy sign of progress.
  • Whatever you do may be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.