Mahatma Gandhi, the father of Nation, who is popularly known as ‘Bapu’ died on this day, January 30, 1948. This day is marked as the Martyr’s Day every year in India. The day marks the assassination of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. He was assassinated by Nathuram Godse in 1948 by Hindu fanatic, Nathuram Godse. He was found guilty of murdering him and was executed the following year. Gandhi took his last breath in the Birla House during evening prayers in New Delhi. He played an important role during the independence movement. The demise of Mahatma Gandhi in 1948 shook the nation.

How is the day observed?

On this day, president, vice president and prime minister, defense minister and all the three chiefs of defense services assemble at the Samadhi at Raj Ghat memorial and lay wreaths. Government organizations blow sirens and observe a two-minute silence in memory of Indian martyrs. Many hold prayers and sing tributes and pay respects to all Indian martyrs and Mahatma Gandhi. Several schools and educational institutes also commemorate the day. School kids dress like Bapu and conduct events and perform plays on this day.

Teachings by Mahatma Gandhi:

♦ “How can I make difference so that I may bring peace to this world that I love and cherish so much? A name flickers instantly in my mind.”

♦ Power is of two kinds. One is obtained by the fear of punishment and the other by acts of love. Power based on love is a thousand times more effective and permanent then the one derived from fear of punishment.

♦ There are many causes that I am prepared to die for but no cause that I am prepared to kill for.

♦ What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans, and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty and democracy?

♦ An eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind.

Gandhi was described as ‘restless like mercury’ by his sister. As per Raliatbehn Gandhi, Mahatma Gandhi either used to play or roam around in the streets when he was a child. The tales of Harishchandra and Shravana had a great impact on Mahatma Gandhi when he was a child. Although Gandhi was an average student, but in high school, he extensively studied English, arithmetic, history, geography and Gujarati. As per one of his report cards, Gandhi was “good at English, fair in Arithmetic and weak in Geography; conduct very good, bad handwriting”.

Gandhi was 24-year-old when he arrived in South Africa. He spent 21 years in South Africa where he developed his political views, ethics and political leadership skills. Gandhi returned to India in 1915. From then on, he started his service to the nation till the year 1947. Mahatma Gandhi was nominated for the Nobel Peace prize 5 times. As reported, the Nobel Prize committee regrets not awarding him a Nobel Peace prize when he was around. The prize is never given posthumously.

The father of our nation, Mohandas Gandhi, was taken under arrest for writing three ‘politically sensitive’ articles in his weekly journal Young India under the charges of sedition. He was sentenced to 6 years in jail.