On the eve of Gandhi Jayanti, President Pranab Mukherjee said "Gandhi Jayanti is an occasion for us to reflect on the life and contribution of the Father of our Nation."
President recalled the words of Jawaharlal Nehru on Bapu's demise, "the light is gone and yet it will shine for a thousand years."
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born in Porbandar, Gujarat on 2 October 1869.
He was the prominent leader of India's freedom struggle against British. Gandhi employed nonviolent, civil disobedience movement and led India to independence.
He inspired leaders of civil rights and freedom across the world including Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela.
Gandhi was assasinated on 30 January1948 by Nathuram Godse, a Hindu nationalist.
Relevance of Gandhi's principles in today's world
The main pillars of Gandhi's philosophy were non-violence, tolerance of others, respect for all religions and a simple life.
The recent incident of lynching of a man in Uttar Pradesh following rumours that he consumed beef, reflects everything that is wrong with our society today. This goes against the ideals that Gandhiji believed in.
His values are more relevant today than ever.
Gandhi's influence on modern India
Gandhi's views and beliefs regarding untouchability, women's empowerment, Gram Swarajya, basic education, small scale industries, cleanliness etc. influenced and shaped the modern India.
Most of the above ideas formed a part of the directive principles of state policy in our constitution.
Organizing village Panchayati raj, promoting cottage industries, promoting educational and economic interests of weaker sections of the people,etc. are few of them.
Swachh Bharat, the campaign inspired by Gandhi
Gandhi was a strong advocate of cleanliness. He famously said, "Everyone must be his own scavenger."
PM Modi launched the nation-wide cleanliness campaign- Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, on the occasion of Gandhi's birth anniversary on 2 Oct, 2014.
"A clean India would be the best tribute India could pay to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150 birth anniversary in 2019," said the PM.
Some inspiring quotes of Gandhi
"Be the change that you wish to see in the world."
"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, and then you win."
"There are many causes I would die for. There is not a single cause I would kill for."
"The greatness of humanity is not in being human, but in being humane."
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International Day of non-violence
The United Nations General Assembly in 2007 announced that it adopted a resolution which declared that 2 October, the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, will be celebrated as the International Day of Non-Violence.