“My life is my message” - Mahatma Gandhi
International Day of Non-violence or Gandhi Jayanti is celebrated every year on a national and international level to pay tribute to the Father of the Nation. It is also celebrated as the International Day of Non-violence all over the world. Gandhi Jayanti has been declared by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on 15 June 2007 as the International Day of Non-Violence. His non-violence movement for Indian independence still affects the political leaders of the country as well as domestic and foreign youth leaders.
Gandhi was born in the small coastal town of Porbandar, Gujarat. He was devoted towards his country so; he devoted his whole life to the country which continues to influence people even in today's modern era.
Gandhiji has clarified the word non-violence as a principle on the basis of its generality. The entire philosophy of Gandhiji has stood on the pillar of non-violence. He believed that the lesson of non-violence cannot be given to a weak person. Non-violence can be practiced only by those who are courageous and powerful in thought, word, and deed. This is the calm ornament of the heroes. Gandhiji said that non-violence is not the way of the cowardly and cowardly people. This is the way of those heroes who know how to use weapons, yet find a peaceful solution and are not afraid of death.
Gandhiji considered non-violence as a symbol of supreme moral and spiritual power. According to him, non-violence is not only a philosophy but a method of action, a means of change of heart. He has considered the spirit of non-violence as an essential element for all three social, religious, and economic fields. According to him, the economic structure of the whole world should be such that everyone should get basic facilities like food, and clothes. Non-violence is a social religion because all the gifts of air, water, and nature are for all living beings. The monopoly of any community or nation on it is injustice and this is also a kind of violence.
As Gandhi rightly said non-violence is a weapon for strength not for weakness. They (Nathuram Godse) successfully killed Gandhi on 30 January 1948 but Gandhi is an idea, not a person who inspired Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther, and several thousands of leaders; his ideas of self-reliance still followed in many Panchayats.
He could have lived the life of a barrister but he didn't instead of that he chose to fight for freedom from Britishers. He could have worn fancy western dresses as we see in his younger day's photos but instead, he chooses to wear self-made khadi wears like Dhoti to inspire people during the non-cooperation movement.
Why do we celebrate this day?
The goal is to celebrate Gandhi Jayanti as International Day of Non-Violence to spread Bapu's philosophy, belief in non-violence, principles, etc. all over the world. To increase the awareness of the people all over the world, it is celebrated through the theme based on appropriate activities. Gandhi Jayanti covers the memorable life of Mahatma Gandhi and his contributions to Indian independence.
He has done great work for achieving Swarajya, removing untouchability from society, eradicating other social evils, improving the economic condition of farmers, women empowerment, etc. In order to help the Indian people, get independence from British rule, they started a non-cooperation movement in 1920, Dandi March or Salt Satyagraha in 1930, and Quit India in 1942. His Quit India Movement was a step for the Britishers to leave India.
Civil Disobedience Movement
The Civil Disobedience Movement started in 1919 with the non-cooperation movement in protest against the Jallianwala Bang incident. This movement gained a lot of fame after the Salt Satyagraha. We can also call it the beginning of the Salt Satyagraha or Dandi Yatra started by Mahatma Gandhi. This journey of Salt Satyagraha lasted for 26 days, this journey started on 12 March 1930 and ended on 6 April 1930 in a coastal village of Dandi.
Soon it took the form of a major disobedience movement and people started making salt themselves in huge quantities to challenge the law made by the British government. Although a large number of people were arrested as a result of this movement, the British government was unable to stop this movement.
People started opposing English goods and they stopped buying them. Along with this, people all over the country started burning English clothes and the farmers also refused to pay taxes to the British government. All these actions shook British rule.
Along with this, people started resigning from important posts of the British administration in order to raise their voice of protest on the orders of Gandhiji. Due to which teachers, soldiers and people working in important administrative posts resigned from their posts to support this movement happening across the country. Women also participated enthusiastically; this was the first time that women had participated in such a large number of movements.
Impact of Civil Disobedience Movement
The Civil Disobedience Movement shook the foundation of British rule and dealt a great blow to it at the economic and administrative levels. The boycott of English products affected imports from Britain to a great extent, reducing the import of English clothing and cigarettes by half. Along with this, the people refused to pay taxes to the government and also started the work of producing salt, due to which the British government suffered a lot financially. This movement, which started on 8 August 1942, became the last nail in the coffin of British rule. Due to which the British finally had to agree to give independence to India after the Second World War.
The Civil Disobedience Movement was a non-violent movement, in which not a drop of blood was shed, yet it played an important contribution in the Indian freedom struggle. It was Mahatma Gandhi, due to whom the Indian freedom struggle got an international platform and the whole world recognized the iron of his determination and willpower. He showed the world the power of non-violence and explained to the people that not every battle can be won by violence, but some battles can also be won by following the path of non-violence without shedding a single drop of blood.
How do people celebrate this day?
People organize prayer meetings, commemorative ceremonies, theatrical performances, speech lectures (on the theme of non-violence, praising peace and Gandhi's efforts in the Indian freedom struggle), essay writing, question-answer competition, painting competition, poetry Lessons take place in schools, colleges, local government institutions, and socio-political institutions. On Gandhi Jayanti, the student who performs the best in any competition is given the best prize. Government officials also celebrate this day by offering flowers to the Gandhi statue at Rajghat in New Delhi. Along with this, there is a ritual to sing “Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram”.
International Day of Non-Violence in a world that has a lot of potentials to live in harmony, but suffers from a lot of aggressiveness. This Violence also occurs against Mother Earth when we exploit her forests, her seas, and her mountains. By abusing the riches that belong to all species of plants and animals, we set aside our responsibility as guardians of life.
This is a reminder for us to bring love and compassion into our lives. It doesn't have to be a big step all at once. Every small step to create love and compassion will bring peace in our lives and to others. It's a ripple effect!
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