As we all know, After facing more than two hundred years of slavery and exploitation, our beautiful country got freedom from the cruel British regime on August 15, 1947.
For us, ‘Freedom’ maybe just a word today, but it contains a long history of struggle and sacrifices within itself.
It is because it didn’t come our way so easily as it seems but it was taken by the sacrifices and struggle of our own people who, without caring about their lives, kept fighting the battle of freedom till the country’s freedom.
Many freedom movements and many freedom fighters of our country made this happen so that we, the upcoming generation, could live freely without any fear.
People of our generation didn’t see the time when our country was a colony of Britishers, due to which, many of us are not even aware of the extent of cruelty and hardship our people suffered during the pre-independence era.
The oppression of Indians by the colonial British Regime is the most painful and dark chapter of India’s history. Lakhs of our people made their supreme sacrifices and got martyred in the battle of taking our freedom back from the Britishers.
If these people didn’t make their supreme sacrifices that time, today we would not be in the situation to enjoy our freedom without any fear.
So to give our honor and respect to our freedom fighters, our country celebrates Martyrs Day or Shaheed Diwas annually.
Although the Shaheed Diwas is observed on different days in different parts of India, today we are going to discuss Martyrs Day, which is celebrated on January 30, to commemorate Gandhi Ji.
Martyrs Day (30th January) History
India celebrates Martyrs Day (Shaheed Diwas) to pay homage to the Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi, for the supreme sacrifice he made for our country.
On January 30, 1948, after five months of Independence from the Britishers, Nathuram Godse assassinated Gandhi Ji, during his visit to Birla House for evening prayer in New Delhi.
Godse Shot Gandhi Ji in the chest three times at point-blank range in front of a big crowd, which resulted in the death of Gandhi Ji.
He justified the assassination by saying that Gandhi favored the political demand of British India’s Muslims during the partition of India in 1947.
He planned the assassination of Gandhi with Narayan Apte and six other people and was sentenced to death for his crime on November 8, 1949. Later he was executed at the Ambala Central Jail on November 15, 1949.
To commemorate the sacrifice of Gandhi Ji, we celebrate his death anniversary as Martyrs Day or Shaheed Diwas on January 30 annually. This year will mark the 74th death anniversary of the Father of the Nation.
Mahatma Gandhi: Birth and Early Life
Gandhi Ji was born as Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi to Karamchand Gandhi and Putlibai Gandhi on October 2, 1869, into a Gujarati Hindu Modh Bania Family in Porbandar Gujarat.
His father Karamchand Uttamchand Gandhi served as a dewan (Chief Minister) of Porbandar state. His mother was a homemaker and religious lady who would not even think of taking her meals without prayers.
Gandhi ji was an average student during his school time. He married Kasturbai Makhanji Kapadia, who was popularly known by her name Kasturba, at the age of 14.
After completing his school education and being dropped out from a college in Mumbai, he went to London with the intentions of becoming a barrister and took admission to University College, London.
In 1893, he went to South Africa and spent a long period of 21-years there, where he developed his political views, ethics, and politics.
After the request of Gopal Krishna Gokhale, whom Gandhi regarded as his political guru, he returned to India from South Africa in 1915 and joined Indian National Congress later.
Seeing his own people suffering from the atrocities of the cruel British regime, Gandhi participated in many freedom movements during the pre-independence era.
He led many popular freedom movements including Champaran Satyagraha (1917), Kheda Satyagraha (1918), Non-cooperation Movement (1920), Salt Satyagraha or Dandi March (1930), and Quit India Movement (1942) etc.
Inspired by Gandhi Ji’s anti-colonial nationalism, political ethicism, and his great support in the favor of non-violence and truth, Rabindranath Tagore gave him the title of “Mahatma”.
Martyrs Day 2023 Significance
Martyrs Day has a lot of significance as it marks the death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, to whom the nation called “Bapu” (father).
His values and ideology of non-violence and truth will keep inspiring the upcoming generation. The whole nation owes to him for his sacrifices and his advocacy of truth and equality.
For his secular and non-discriminatory ideology, Gandhi Ji is admired in India and abroad as well. He is regarded as the symbol of peace and non-violence worldwide.
He was a simple man, a prominent political and spiritual leader with great determination, who sacrificed everything to fight the battle of independence against the Britisher
How Martyrs Day is Celebrated in India?
On 30th January, every year the President, the Vice President, the Prime Minister, and the Defense Minister of the country get together at Rajghat to the Samadhi of the Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi.
To pay him a tribute, the garlands of flowers are put on the statue of Bapu. An honorable salute is also given by Armed force personnel and inter-service contingents to pay homage to the brave Martyrs of the country.
Two minutes of silence is kept in the memory of Gandhiji and the other great sons/daughters of the soil to honor their supreme sacrifice for the country.
Several Bhajans, patriotic songs, and religious prayers are also sung. Various cultural programs like dramas, dance competitions, singing competitions are organized in schools and various organizations throughout the country in memory of Gandhi Ji.
The best tribute, we as citizens of this country can give to Gandhi Ji is, following his ideas of non-violence, truth, equality, non-discrimination for the betterment, welfare, and development of the country.