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Gandhi Jayanti is celebrated on October 2 to mark the birth anniversary of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. One of India’s three national holidays, it celebrates the birth of one of the leaders of India’s freedom movement against the British.
History of Mahatma Gandhi Birthday
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born on October 2, 1869, in Porbandar, Gujarat. In 1930, he led the Dandi Salt March. Also known as the Salt Satyagraha, the Dandi March was a nonviolent civil disobedience movement. The march lasted from March 12 to April 6 as a campaign against the British salt monopoly. Gandhi left his Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad for Dandi, a village situated on the western coast, with 78 other Ashram members. They marched for about 240 miles. As an act of defiance towards the government, Gandhi picked up a handful of salt that had formed at Dandi by the evaporation of the sea. This was the beginning of a chain of civil disobedience movements across India, which included boycotts of foreign goods, refusal to pay taxes, and more.
On August 9, 1942, during WWII, Mahatma Gandhi launched the Quit India Movement, which demanded the end of British rule in India. It was a ‘do or die’ call for the British to leave. What followed were widespread movements directed at railway stations, government buildings, telegraph offices, and other bodies of British rule. This movement played a crucial role in uniting the Indians against the British.
As a social reformer, he was instrumental in abolishing the age-old practice of untouchability and racial discrimination. He wanted India to be a secular country and believed in religious pluralism. He also took a stand for women’s rights. His satyagraha deeply influenced personalities from other parts of the world like Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela.
“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” – Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.
Mahatma Gandhi Birthday timeline
Gandhi conceives ‘satyagraha’ as a response to a discrimination law passed by the British colonial government against Asians in South Africa.
Mahatma Gandhi publishes the Declaration of Independence of India.
Indian Independence becomes official and, along with it, the partition of India and Pakistan.
Mahatma Gandhi is assassinated by a Hindu nationalist, Nathuram Godse.
Mahatma Gandhi Birthday FAQs
Where did Gandhi practice law?
In 1893, Gandhi went to South Africa to practice law.
Why do we celebrate October 2?
Mahatma Gandhi fought for the civil rights of Indians. He was the leader of India’s nonviolent movement against British Rule and also helmed the Civil Disobedience Movement. His life and work are celebrated on October 2.
In which year will we celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi?
Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary was celebrated in 2019.
How to Observe Mahatma Gandhi Birthday
Read books by Mahatma Gandhi
Read books written by Gandhi and find out more about him, his life, and his ideas. Some famous books written by him include: “All Men are Brothers” (1953), “The Story of my Experiments with Truth - An Autobiography” (1927), “Satyagraha in South Africa” (1928), and “The Gospel of Selfless Action: Or, The Gita According to Gandhi” (1946).
Read books on Mahatma Gandhi
Find out more about him and his life from books by various famous authors. Some of the most famous books on him include “Mahatma Gandhi: The Father of the Nation” by Subhadra Sen Gupta, “Mahatma Gandhi: His Life and Ideas” by Charles F. Andrews, and “Arun Gandhi and The Life of Mahatma Gandhi” by Louis Fischer.
Watch movies and documentaries on Mahatma Gandhi
Gandhi was a very famous topic for movies and documentaries, as many filmmakers have tried to showcase his life on screen. Some must-watch ones include “Gandhi” (film — 1982), “Mahatma: Life of Gandhi” (documentary — 1968), “The Making of the Mahatma” (film — 1996), and “Nine Hours to Rama” (film — 1963).
5 Facts About Mahatma Gandhi
The title of ‘Mahatma’ (Sanskrit for ‘great soul’) was given to him by world-famous Bengali poet and Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore.
Father of the Nation
The title of ‘Father of the Nation’ was given to him by world-renowned Indian nationalist and freedom fighter ‘Netaji’ Subhas Chandra Bose.
Letters to Leo
Mahatma Gandhi and famous author Leo Tolstoy regularly interacted with each other through letters.
Man of the year
In 1930, he was nominated for “Time” magazine’s Man of the Year.
Numerous Nobel Peace Prizes
Mahatma Gandhi was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1937, 1938, 1939, 1947, and, in January 1948, a few days before his assassination.
Why Mahatma Gandhi’s Birthday Is Significant
It celebrates the life of the ‘Father of the Nation’
Gandhi Jayanti is celebrated to commemorate the birth anniversary of and pay tribute to the life of Mahatma Gandhi.
It makes us remember and learn from the experiences of Mahatma Gandhi
On this day, we learn from his way of life and his stellar role in India’s freedom through his satyagraha and nonviolent movement.
Gandhi’s birthday marks the beginning of the end of casteism
His dream for an India without religious differences and casteism paved and still paves the way for a modern India, and even a world, free of discrimination.
Mahatma Gandhi Birthday dates