Today is Gandhi Jayanti - the birthday of Mohandas Gandhi.
Mahatma Gandhi has inspired the lives of many and has certainly inspired millions to live by his principles of Ahimsa i.e living a life by following non-violence. Mahatma Gandhi has many wise sayings and quotes, but for some this one stands out: "BE THE CHANGE YOU WISH TO SEE IN THE WORLD."
Please enjoy the caption below written in the Times of India today.
Gandhi Jayanti - A tribute to 'Father of the Nation'
Gandhi Jayanti or Mahatma Gandhi Jayanti is observed every year as a national holiday to commemorate the birth of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (October 2, 1869 - January 30, 1948). His non-violence or satyagraha continues to influence political leaders and movements till date. The celebration and essence of Gandhi Jayanti is not restricted within India and also observed by the United Nations as the International Day of non-violence that aims to disseminate his philosophy, principle and believe in non-violence through proper education and public awareness.
Celebration of Gandhi Jayanti is also a moment to relive Mohandas Gandhi's life and contribution in India's Independence. Born in a small coastal town Porbandar in Gujarat, Gandhi married Kasturbai Makhanji at the age of 13. His childhood memories and experiences are vividly depicted by him in his autobiography My experiments with truth. Gandhi at the age of 18 went to England to study law and returned to India in 1915. After his homecoming, he led nationwide stir for achieving Sawaraj, abolition of social evils, empowering women rights and improving economic conditions of peasants and farmers. He further strengthened his movement against the British Raj and led Indians in protesting Dandi March Salt in 1930 that was later followed by the popular Quit India in 1942 calling British to leave India.
At Raj Ghat, New Delhi, and across India, people gather to observe Gandhi Jayanti in innovative ways that includes offering flowers on Gandhi's pictures, statues and singing his favourite devotional song Raghupati Raghava Raja Ram.
The government offices, banks, schools and post offices remain closed on Gandhi Jayanti to pay homage to 'Father of the Nation'. Additionally, as a tribute to this great soul, the Indian government mint rupee notes and also issue postage stamp depicting Mahatma Gandhi's photo. In May 19, 2011 at Geneva, a 1948 10 Rupee Mahatma Gandhi stamp was auctioned for a whopping price of US $205,000 making it a world record as the most pricey modern postal stamp from any country.
Many ardent followers make effort to preserve Gandhi's belongings, works and writings through various means with the support of governments and non-profit organizations. Online portals are also acting as major contributors in preserving and providing information on Mahatma Gandhi and about Gandhi Jayanti celebration.
The significance of Gandhi Jayanti celebration transcends beyond commemorating Mahatma Gandhi's birth and his life as followers renounce violence and entirely devote themselves to Gandhi's philosophy and principles of Ahimsa i.e living a life by following non-violence.
The celebration of Gandhi Jayanti conventionally kicks off by singing prayers, offering flowers, lighting candles and garlanding Gandhiji's photo or statue. Mahatma Gandhi's life and principles has inspired lives of all ages. And if you are enthusiastic to explore more about him and Gandhi Jayanti, then Gandhi Jayanti 2012 is the right time to become familiar with his perpetual and valuable philosophy, and also his role as an architect of Indian Independence.