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Leaders and citizens commemorate Mahatma Gandhi's legacy on Gandhi Jayanti

People from diverse backgrounds and leaders commemorate Mahatma Gandhi's timeless role in India's fight for independence on his 154th birth anniversary

PTI New Delhi Published 02.10.23, 09:04 PM
Prime Minister Narendra Modi pays homage to Mahatma Gandhi on the occasion of his birth anniversary, at Rajghat in New Delhi, Monday, Oct. 2, 2023

Prime Minister Narendra Modi pays homage to Mahatma Gandhi on the occasion of his birth anniversary, at Rajghat in New Delhi, Monday, Oct. 2, 2023 PTI Photo/Atul Yadav

People from all walks of life paid tributes to 'Father of the Nation' Mahatma Gandhi on his 154th birth anniversary on Monday and recalled his role in India's fight for independence.

President Droupadi Murmu, Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar and Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the country in paying homage to the iconic freedom fighter.


Chief Justice of India (CJI) D Y Chandrachud and Maharashtra Minister for Cultural Affairs Sudhir Munganitwar took part in Gandhi Jayanti celebrations in London.

Members of the Indian diaspora gathered at the iconic Gandhi statue at Tavistock Square in London to remember 'Bapu', as Gandhi was fondly referred to.

Murmu and Dhankhar visited the Gandhi Smriti museum, formerly Birla Bhavan where Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated on January 30, 1948, and attended a 'Bhajan Sandhya'.

Renowned singer Vidya Shah sang devotional songs, including Gandhi ji's favourite bhajan 'Ram Dhun' at the programme, Gandhi Smriti vice-chairman Vijay Goel said.

Almost 350 students from 35 schools in Delhi and NCR also paid a mesmerising musical tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on the occasion, he said.

On the occasion, a message from United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was also read out.

"On this International Day of Non-Violence, we commemorate not only the birth of Mahatma Gandhi but also the timeless values he championed: mutual respect and understanding, justice, and the power of peaceful action," the UN secretary-general's message read.

October 2 is observed as the International Day of Non-Violence.

Modi reached Rajghat around 8 am and offered floral tributes to Gandhi and bowed before his memorial. An interfaith prayer service was also held at Rajghat.

"I bow to Mahatma Gandhi on the special occasion of Gandhi Jayanti. His timeless teachings continue to illuminate our path. Mahatma Gandhi's impact is global, motivating the entire humankind to further the spirit of unity and compassion," the prime minister said in a post on X.

Several Union ministers and bureaucrats were present at Rajghat, situated on the banks of the Yamuna.

Modi also paid respects to former prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri, who was born on this day in 1904, at his memorial Vijay Ghat.

In a post on X, Modi said Shastri's iconic call for 'Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan' resonates even today.

"His unwavering commitment to India's progress and his leadership during challenging times remain exemplary. May we always work to realise his vision for a strong India," the prime minister said.

Rajghat also witnessed a protest by the Trinamool Congress (TMC) demanding the release of funds for West Bengal by the Centre.

TMC general secretary Abhishek Banerjee along with hundreds of party workers and leaders sat on a dharna at Rajghat. The protesters also paid tributes to Gandhi at his memorial.

In Jammu and Kashmir, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha unveiled a statue of Gandhi and a 'charkha' (spinning wheel) installation at the Civil Secretariat in Srinagar as a tribute to him.

Sinha said 'charkha' was a significant tool used by Gandhi in the fight against British rule. It is a symbol of the Swadeshi movement, self-reliance and economic freedom, he said.

In Jammu, political parties held separate functions to pay homage to Gandhi.

In his address at the party's provincial headquarters Sher-e-Kashmir Bhawan in Jammu, National Conference president Farooq Abdullah said October 2 not only commemorates Gandhi's birth anniversary, but also his timeless values of nonviolence, social justice and communal harmony.

Pradesh Congress Committee president Vikar Rasool Wani along with party leaders and activists assembled at the Gandhi statue at Satwari Chowk and paid tributes to Gandhi and Shastri.

Jammu and Kashmir BJP president Ravinder Raina and other party leaders also paid respects to Gandhi and Shastri at Satwari Chowk.

Many chief ministers, including Himanta Biswa Sarma, Pinarayi Vijayan, Bhupendra Patel and M K Stalin also remembered Gandhi.

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma visited the Gandhi Mandap atop Sarania hill near Ulubari.

"We bow to Pujya Bapu on this Gandhi Jayanti. His timeless teachings will inspire us towards a Viksit Bharat," he said.

In a post on Facebook, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said Gandhi always upheld democracy, secularism and brotherhood, and challenged sectarian politics.

Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel visited Kirti Mandir in Porbandar, Gandhi's birthplace on the occasion. He said the entire world worships Gandhi for his belief in non-violence.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin and his Andhra Pradesh counterpart Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy also recalled Gandhi's contributions to India's freedom struggle.

CJI Chandrachud, who is in the UK for a service at Westminster Abbey to mark the start of the legal year in England and Wales, delivered a special address at the annual celebrations at the Gandhi statue at Tavistock Square in central London.

Gandhi's legacy extends far beyond the boundaries of India. His ideas have inspired countless individuals and people's movements around the world, transcending cultural and geographical barriers, the CJI said.

Students of the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan in London performed a selection of Gandhi's favourite bhajans, including 'Raghupati Raghav' and 'Vaishnava Jan', at the event that was also attended by community leaders and parliamentarians.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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