Gandhi Jayanti 2021: Remembering the Mahatma
On Saturday, October 2, 2021, the nation will pay homage to Mahatma Gandhi on what will be the 152nd birth anniversary of the “Father of the Nation.” Gandhi Jayanti, as the occasion is known, coincides this year with the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, which was inaugurated on March 12 by prime minister Narendra Modi, on the 91st anniversary of a significant event in Gandhi's life, the Dandi March.
The Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav will be celebrated till August 15, 2023, the 77th Independence Day.
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, who shares his birthday with another legendary personality, former PM Lal Bahadur Shastri (born 1904), was born on October 2, 1869, in Porabandar, in present-day Gujarat. A lawyer whose life changed through his experiences in South Africa, Gandhi played the most significant role in India's independence movement, holding demonstrations through non-violent means.
Though it is commonly believed that the title “Mahatma” was bestowed upon Gandhi by India's first Nobel laureate, “Gurudev” Rabindranath Tagore, the Gujarat government has disputed this, claiming instead that this title was given by a local journalist from Saurashtra. However, the leader is also commonly referred to as “Bapu” (father).
Gandhi is the most frequently invoked Indian personality by world leaders, most of whom, during a visit to India, visit his resting place in Delhi. US president Joe Biden quoted the freedom fighter during his meeting with PM Modi at the White House last week.
Internationally, October 2 is observed as the Day of Nonviolence in remembrance of the “Mahatma.” In India, it is a full holiday, and one of three national festivals, along with Republic Day (January 26) and Independence Day (August 15).