Why is ‘Father of Nation’ death anniversary remarked as ‘Shaheed Divas? Everything you need to know

Every year to pay homage to Mahatma Gandhi, “Martyrs Day or Shaheed Diwas” is celebrated on this day.

On Friday, 30th January 2021, people across India, observed ‘Martyrs Day’  also known as ‘Shaheed Divas’ in Hindi, on the 73rd death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhi, who is accredited with the title of “Father of the Nation” was assassinated and killed by Nathuram Godse on 30th January 1948.

Therefore the Martyrs Day is observed every year on 30th January in India, to pay homage and honour those who sacrificed their lives during the war of India’s independence. In India particularly, ‘Martyrs Day’ is observed every year on 23rd March also to pay tribute to Bhagat Singh, Shivaram Rajguru, and Sukhdev Thapar, who were hanged to death in 1931 on that day.

Mahatma Gandhi’s full name is Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. He was born on 2nd October 1869 in Porbandar, Gujarat. Mahatma Gandhi completed and obtained his Higher Education in England before returning to India and fighting the war of independence against the British rule. He also brought up “Ahimsa or Non-Violence” in India and started a strong stand of non-violence towards the British protests. His principles are being followed all around the world and are described as a manual for ‘living the right way’. Mahatma Gandhi was given the title of ‘Baapu’, He was an admirable person who emitted honesty, non-violence and simplicity.

Gandhi was assassinated and killed by Godse at the evening prayer meeting held at Birla House in Delhi. Godse shot Gandhi 3 times on his chest and abdomen and killed him. The entire world was shocked by this incident. Godse was eventually captured and sentenced to death. Godse claimed that Gandhi was responsible for the division and partition of the country.

Read more: India celebrates the 156th Birth Anniversary of Lala Lajpat Rai

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Every year on 30th January, the President, the Vice President, the Prime Minister, the Defense Ministry and the three Service Chiefs (Army, Air Force, and Navy) lay wreaths made of multicoloured flowers and pay homage at his Samadhi at Raj Ghat in Delhi. At 11 a.m., the entire nation observes a two-minute silence in commemoration of Indian martyrs.

“Satya Aur Ahimsa” are the fundamental principles of Mahatma Gandhi. Mahatma Gandhi was one of the leading members of the Indian Independence movement. These were the two principles which acted as a tool to provide freedom for this country with the assistance of many other freedom fighters, such as Vallabh Bhai Patel, Subhas Chandra Bose, Lala Lajpat Rai, Jawaharlal Nehru and Gandhi.

As we pay homage to the iconic leader here are a few lesser-known facts about Mahatma Gandhi.

  • Mahatma Gandhi was responsible for the Civil Rights movement taking place in 12 countries and 4 continents.

  • Mahatma Gandhi has won the Nobel prize 5 times. Yet he wasn’t awarded even a single prize.

  • The funeral procession of Mahatma Gandhi was 8km long.

  • Mahatma has had a conversation through letters, with many eminent and renowned personalities. Tolstoy, Einstein, Hitler and Charlie Chaplin were amongst them.

  • 53 major roads in India and 48 roads outside India are named after Mahatma Gandhi.

  • Mahatma Gandhi was married at the age of 13, her wife Kasturbah was 14

  • He established three football clubs in South Africa. All of which were called “Passive Resisters”.

  • Mahatma Gandhi earned $15,000 a year while practising law in South Africa.

  • Gandhi was given the title Mahatma by Rabindranath Tagore.

  • Mahatma Gandhi also got a chance to serve the army during the Boer War.

  • Mahatma Gandhi was selected as Time Magazine’s, Person of the Year in 1930.

  • The United Nation observes 2nd October as International Day of Non-Violence.

Let’s have a look at some of the inspirational quotes by Mahatma Gandhi:

  • “If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. We need not wait to see what others do.”

  • “A man is but a product of his thoughts. What he thinks he becomes.”

  • “I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.”

  • “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is an attribute of the strong.”

  • “An ounce of practice is worth a thousand words.”

  • “Nobody can hurt me without my permission.”

  • “Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.”

  • “Service which is rendered without joy helps neither the servant nor the served.”

  • “If we are to teach real peace in this world, and if we are to carry on a real war against war, we shall have to begin with the children.”

  • “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

  • “In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”

  • “It’s the action, not the fruit of the action, that’s important. You have to do the right thing. It may not be in your power, may not be in your time, that there’ll be any fruit. But that doesn’t mean you stop doing the right thing. You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result.”

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