Programs to inculcate Gandhian thoughts to the school children to be held on October 2

As part of celebrating the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th Birth Celebration on October 2, 2018, one of the members of the Organising Committee, retired Supreme Court Judge, Justice Ashok Kumar Ganguly had told the media that it would organise programs to familiarise school children with his ideas and principle, according to a PTI report. While speaking to the media in Kolkata, Justice Ganguly said, “As part of our initiative to introduce the current generation to the thoughts and work of Gandhiji, we will organise year-long programs in schools starting from October 2, his birth anniversary.”

Senior Congress leader and MP Pradip Bhattacharya, who is another committee member, said the committee would hold functions at the Gandhi Ashram in Barrackpore on October 2 to spread the ideas and vision of Bapu.  Bhattacharya also regretted the present day youth have “forgotten” about Gandhiji and his movement of non-violence. The October 2 programme will be attended by former Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court and former Governor of West Bengal Justice Shyamal Sen, Trinamool Congress MP Dinesh Trivedi, Congress leader and opposition leader in West Bengal assembly Abdul Mannan and officiating Vice-Chancellor of Visva Bharati University Sabujkaali Sen among others. The 12-member Mahatma Gandhi 150 Celebration Committee consisted of people from different walks of life. There will be inter-school essay competition on various topics of Gandhian thoughts and related issues, a mobile exhibition and interactive programmes in different schools across the state, added the report.

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was an Indian activist who was the leader of the Indian independence movement against British rule. Practising non-violent civil disobedience, Gandhi led India to independence and inspired changes for civil rights and freedom across the world. Born and raised in a Hindu Vaishya family in coastal Gujarat, India, and trained in law at the Inner Temple, London, Gandhi first employed nonviolent civil disobedience as an expatriate lawyer in South Africa, in the resident Indian community’s struggle for civil rights. After his return to India in 1915, he set about organising peasants, farmers and urban labourers to protest against excessive land-tax and discrimination. Assuming leadership of the Indian National Congress in 1921, Gandhi led nationwide campaigns for various social causes and for achieving Swaraj or self-rule.

Gandhi famously led Indians in challenging the British-imposed salt tax with the 400 kilometres Dandi Salt March in 1930 and later in calling for the British to Quit India in 1942. He was imprisoned for many years, upon many occasions, in both South Africa and India. Gandhi lived modestly in a self-sufficient residential community and wore the traditional Indian dhoti and shawl, woven with yarn hand-spun on a charkha. He ate simple vegetarian food, and also undertook long fasts as a means of both self-purification and political protest.

Gandhi’s vision of an independent India based on religious pluralism, however, was challenged in the early 1940s by a new Muslim nationalism which was demanding a separate Muslim homeland carved out of India. Eventually, in August 1947, Britain granted independence, but the British Indian Empire was partitioned into two dominions, a Hindu-majority India and Muslim-majority Pakistan. As many displaced Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs made their way to their new lands, religious violence broke out, especially in the Punjab and Bengal. Eschewing the official celebration of independence in Delhi, Gandhi visited the affected areas, attempting to provide solace. In the months following, he undertook several fasts unto death to stop religious violence. The last of these, conducted on 12 January 1948 when he was 78, also had the secondary goal of pressuring India to pay out some cash assets owed to Pakistan. Some Indians thought Gandhi was too accommodating. Among them was Nathuram Godse, a Hindu nationalist, who assassinated Gandhi on January 30, 1948, by firing three bullets into his chest. Captured along with many of his co-conspirators and collaborators, Godse and his co-conspirator Narayan Apte were tried, convicted and hanged to death while many of their other accomplices were given prison sentences. Gandhi’s birthday, 2 October, is commemorated in India as Gandhi Jayanti, a national holiday, and worldwide as the International Day of Nonviolence.

Leave a Comment