Martyrs’ Day or Shaheed Diwas 2023
On January 30, 2023, India observed Martyrs’ Day or Shaheed Diwas to pay tribute to all the freedom fighters who sacrificed their lives for the country. The day is also marked as the death anniversary of the nation’s ‘Bapu’, Mahatma Gandhi. On this day in 1948, Gandhi was assassinated by Nathuram Godse in the compound of Birla House after one of his routine multi-faith prayer meetings. Godse, a member of Hindu Mahasabha, blamed Gandhi for favouring the Muslim community during the partition of India in 1947. It is said that the last words Gandhi uttered were “Hey Ram”.
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Notably, Martyrs’ Day is also observed in India on March 23 to pay respect to Bhagat Singh, Shivaram Rajguru and Sukhdev Thapar, who was hanged death on this day in 1931.
Significance of Shaheed Diwas
The significance of Shaheed Diwas lies in the fact that Mahatma Gandhi, who is known as the ‘Father of the Nation’, led major movements against British rule through a non-violent approach. His death anniversary is observed as Shaheed Diwas or Martyrs’ Day, and his philosophy was based on the principles of non-violence, the fight for truth (satyagraha), and political and individual freedom (Swaraj).
Every year, on January 30, India celebrates Martyrs’ Day by paying tribute to Mahatma Gandhi’s Samadhi at Raj Ghat in Delhi. The President, Vice President, Prime Minister, Defense Minister, and the three Service Chiefs (Army, Air Force, And Navy) pay their respects to the father of the nation.
About Mahatma Gandhi
Mahatma Gandhi was born on 2nd October 1869 in Porbandar city of Gujarat. He went to London to complete his law degree and then went to South Africa to practice barrister. When he was in South Africa, he observed that Indians were treated poorly and belonged to a lower section of people along with the other people of color.
In 1915, he joined the Indian National Congress. During this time, he started various movements to fight against British rule in India which affected the nation severely. The various movements include Quit India Movement, the Dandi March, and the Non-cooperation Movement. He was known as ‘Bapu’. He chooses the path of non-violence to fight against the injustice of the British government. He also opposed the partition of India.
In modern Indian history, Mahatma Gandhi remains one of the greatest freedom fighters in India. His thoughts and view of fighting against the British government influenced all Indians to come together and raise their voice. He chooses satyagraha and ahimsa over guns and wars to achieve the Independence of India. The philosophies, thoughts, and ideas will always remain embedded in the ethos and culture of India.
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