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Gandhi Jayanti: Celebrating India's Journey to Freedom


Famous Personalities  •  29 Sept, 2023  •  37,680 Views  •  ⭐ 5.0

Written by Anand Swami


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On Gandhi Jayanti, India reverently remembers Mahatma Gandhi, the unwavering champion of non-violence and pivotal leader of the Indian independence movement. Journey through the highlights of his life and monumental role in India's freedom, discovering lesser-known facts and reaffirming Gandhi’s enduring legacy in the pursuit of justice and equality.

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Early Life and Racial Awakening

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Born in Porbandar in 1869, Gandhi's early encounters with racial injustice in London and South Africa deepened his commitment to civil rights, laying the groundwork for his later endeavours in India. This period marked the emergence of his unwavering commitment to non-violence and equality, principles that would guide his path towards India's independence.

Philosophy of Non-Violence (Ahimsa)

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Gandhi’s principle of non-violence, or ahimsa, defined his leadership. He demonstrated its power with the Dandi March in 1930, a non-violent protest against the oppressive British salt tax. Ahimsa's resonant impact united millions in peaceful opposition to British rule, ultimately leading to India’s freedom and serving as a global model for peaceful resistance.

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Pivotal Role in the Indian National Congress

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Gandhi's leadership within the Indian National Congress was crucial in galvanizing national support for independence. His call for boycotts against British goods and institutions underscored the importance of self-reliance and economic independence, as seen in his promotion of homemade goods like khadi (hand-spun, hand-woven cloth).

Quit India Movement

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In 1942, the Quit India Movement epitomized Gandhi’s commitment to total independence from British rule. His emphatic “Do or Die” slogan rallied the masses to a fervent, non-violent fight against oppression. This campaign significantly eroded British control, marking a defining moment in India’s march towards independence.

Gandhiji’s Fasting Movements

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Gandhi’s use of fasting as a means of protest underscored his commitment to non-violent opposition and moral integrity. He undertook numerous fasts to express dissent, draw attention to societal issues, and advocate for change. One notable instance is his 1932 fast against the segregation of untouchables, emphasizing unity and equality in the struggle for independence.

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Salt March to Dandi

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In 1930, Gandhi led the iconic Salt March, symbolizing resistance against the British salt monopoly. Over 24 days, Gandhi and thousands of followers marched approximately 240 miles to Dandi on the Arabian Sea coast. There, Gandhi made salt from seawater, defiantly breaking British law, inspiring a nationwide civil disobedience movement, and reinforcing his philosophy of peaceful protest and self-reliance.

Uplifting the Marginalized

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Gandhi's activism extended to social issues, especially the upliftment of the untouchables. His advocacy for their rights and his relentless pursuit of social equality reflects his broader vision for an inclusive and equitable India, reinforcing his role beyond political leadership.

Global Impact and Enduring Legacy

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Beyond India’s borders, Gandhi's principles have influenced global leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela. Although he was assassinated in 1948, Gandhi’s legacy as a bastion of non-violence and equality continues to guide contemporary movements for civil rights and freedom worldwide.

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Conclusion

Gandhi Jayanti offers a solemn occasion to reflect on Mahatma Gandhi’s unparalleled contribution to India’s independence and global thought on peaceful resistance and social equality. His lasting legacy, commemorated on this day, continues to inspire and guide the pursuit of justice, equality, and freedom across the world, transcending borders and generations.

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