Gandhi Jayanti and Shastri Jayanti 2023 – October 2 is a special day for India as it marks the birth anniversary of two of its most revered and influential leaders: Mahatma Gandhi and Lal Bahadur Shastri. Both of them played a crucial role in shaping the history and destiny of the nation with their vision, courage, and dedication. On this day, the nation pays tribute to their contributions and remembers their teachings and ideals. In this article, we will explore the significance and celebration of Gandhi Jayanti and Shastri Jayanti 2023.
Gandhi Jayanti: The International Day of Non-Violence
Gandhi Jayanti is celebrated as the birthday of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, popularly known as Mahatma Gandhi or Bapu. He was born on October 2, 1869, in Porbandar, Gujarat. He is widely regarded as the Father of the Nation and the leader of the Indian independence movement against British colonial rule. He is also recognized as a global icon of peace and non-violence.
Gandhi’s philosophy of non-violent resistance, or Satyagraha, inspired millions of people across the world to fight for justice, freedom, and human rights. He led several campaigns and movements such as the Non-Cooperation Movement, the Salt March, the Quit India Movement, and the Civil Disobedience Movement. He also advocated for social reforms such as abolishing untouchability, promoting communal harmony, empowering women, and promoting education and health.
Gandhi’s life and message have influenced many prominent figures such as Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, Dalai Lama, Barack Obama, and Malala Yousafzai. In 2007, the United Nations General Assembly declared October 2 as the International Day of Non-Violence to honor Gandhi’s legacy and to spread his principles of peace and non-violence.
Shastri Jayanti: The Man of Simplicity and Integrity
Shastri Jayanti is celebrated as the birthday of Lal Bahadur Shastri, the second Prime Minister of independent India. He was born on October 2, 1904, in Mughalsarai, Uttar Pradesh. He was a man of simplicity, honesty, and humility who dedicated his life to serving the nation.
Shastri joined the Indian National Congress at a young age and participated in the freedom struggle. He was jailed several times by the British for his involvement in various movements. He held various portfolios such as Home Minister, Railways Minister, Transport Minister, and Commerce Minister before becoming the Prime Minister in 1964 after Jawaharlal Nehru’s death.
Shastri faced many challenges during his tenure as Prime Minister such as food shortage, economic crisis, and war with Pakistan. He successfully dealt with these issues with his strong leadership and diplomatic skills. He gave the slogan “Jai Jawan Jai Kisan” (Hail the Soldier Hail the Farmer) to boost the morale of the army and the farmers. He also promoted the Green Revolution and the White Revolution to increase agricultural production and milk supply.
Shastri died on January 11, 1966, in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, after signing a peace agreement with Pakistan. His death remains a mystery till date. He was posthumously awarded the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honor.
How are Gandhi Jayanti and Shastri Jayanti Celebrated?
Gandhi Jayanti and Shastri Jayanti are celebrated with great respect and reverence across India. They are national holidays and various events are organized to commemorate their lives and achievements. Some of the common ways of celebrating these days are:
- Visiting Raj Ghat in New Delhi, where Gandhi’s memorial is located, and Vijay Ghat, where Shastri’s memorial is located. People pay floral tributes and observe silence at these places.
- Attending prayer meetings and cultural programs at various places where Gandhi’s and Shastri’s statues or portraits are installed. People sing devotional songs such as “Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram” and “Vaishnav Jan To” that were dear to Gandhi.
- Watching documentaries or movies based on Gandhi’s and Shastri’s lives such as “Gandhi”, “Lage Raho Munna Bhai”, “The Making of Mahatma”, “Hey Ram”, “Gandhi My Father”, “Lal Bahadur Shastri: Zindagi Aur Maut”, “Jai Jawan Jai Kisan”, etc.
- Reading books or articles on Gandhi’s and Shastri’s works such as “The Story of My Experiments with Truth”, “Hind Swaraj”, “An Autobiography”, “The Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi”, “Shastri: The Man and His Ideas”, “Lal Bahadur Shastri: A Life of Truth in Politics”, etc.
- Participating in social service activities such as cleaning, planting, donating, volunteering, etc. inspired by Gandhi’s and Shastri’s ideals of service and cleanliness.
- Taking pledges to follow Gandhi’s and Shastri’s principles of non-violence, truth, simplicity, integrity, and patriotism in our daily lives.
Gandhi Jayanti and Shastri Jayanti are not just occasions to celebrate the birthdays of two great leaders but also to remember their legacy and to learn from their examples. They are days to reflect on the values and virtues that they embodied and to apply them in our personal and professional lives. They are days to honor the sacrifices and contributions that they made for the nation and to express our gratitude and respect. They are days to reaffirm our commitment to the ideals of democracy, secularism, and unity that they upheld and to work towards building a better and brighter India.