Martyrs Day 2020: Remembering Mahatma Gandhi on his 72nd death anniversary
In India, five days are declared as Martyrs Day in honour of those who laid down their lives for the nation. Of these, the first falls on January 30, the day when Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated by Nathuram Godse in 1948.
Mahatma Gandhi led the struggle for Independence that culminated in India getting freedom from British rule on August 15, 1947. Bapu, as he was lovingly called, played one of the most prominent roles in India’s freedom struggle through non-violence and peaceful methods.
Assassination of Mahatma Gandhi
Mahatma Gandhi was shot in Birla House compound in New Delhi at the age of 78. He was killed by Nathuram Godse, who had opposed Gandhi’s views on the Partition of India.
How is Martyrs’ Day celebrated
Martyrs Day or Shaheed Diwas sees the President, Vice President, Prime Minister and Defence Minister gather at Mahatma Gandhi’s Samadhi at Raj Ghat.
The top-most leaders of the country lay wreaths in remembrance of the Mahatma. They are joined by three service chiefs as well.
This year, We The People Of India, a citizen’s initiative has called for the formation of a human chain on January 30 to remember Mahatma Gandhi’s martyrdom. The organisers have said they will form a human chain, observe day-long fasts and light candles to observe the occasion.
The other Martyrs’ Day observances in India
March 23 is celebrated as Martyrs’ Day to remember the deaths of Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev Thapar and Shivaram Rajguru.
October 21, which is the Police Martyrs Day, is observed by police departments nationwide. This day marks the ambush of a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) patrol party at the Indo-Tibetan border in Ladakh by the Chinese forces.
The death anniversary of Lala Lajpat Rai, another well-known Indian freedom fighter, which falls on November 17 is also observed as Martyrs Day.
November 19 celebrates the birthday of Rani Lakshmibai and honours those who gave their lives in the rebellion of 1857, also known as the First War of Indian Independence.