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Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th Birth Anniversary

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Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th Birth Anniversary

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On October \(2^{nd}\), 2019, India Celebrating the Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th Birth Anniversary of our ‘Father of the Nation’. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (2 October 1869 – 30 January 1948) was an Indian lawyer, Anti-Colonial Nationalist, and Political Ethicist, who Employed Nonviolent Resistance to lead the Successful Campaign for India’s Independence from British Rule, and in Turn, Inspire Movements for Civil Rights and Freedom Across the World.

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  • Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born on 2 October 1869 into an Indian Gujarati Hindu Modh Baniya family in Porbandar (also known as Sudamapuri), a coastal town on the Kathiawar Peninsula and then part of the small princely state of Porbandar in the Kathiawar Agency of the Indian Empire.

  • His father, Karamchand Uttamchand Gandhi (1822–1885), served as the diwan (chief minister) of Porbandar state.

  • In May 1883, the 13-year-old Mohandas was married to 14-year-old Kasturbai Makhanji Kapadia (her first name was usually shortened to “Kasturba”, and affectionately to “Ba”) in an arranged marriage, according to the custom of the region at that time.

  • In late 1885, Gandhi’s father Karamchand died. Gandhi, then 16 years old, and his wife of age 17 had their first baby, who survived only a few days. The two deaths anguished Gandhi.

  • The Gandhi couple had four more children, all sons: Harilal, born in 1888; Manilal, born in 1892; Ramdas, born in 1897; and Devdas, born in 1900.

  • In November 1887, the 18-year-old Gandhi graduated from high school in Ahmedabad.

  • In January 1888, he enrolled at Samaldas College in Bhavnagar State, then the sole degree-granting institution of higher education in the region. But he dropped out and returned to his family in Porbandar.

  • Gandhi came from a poor family, and he had dropped out of the cheapest college he could afford. Mavji Dave Joshiji, a Brahmin priest and family friend, advised Gandhi and his family that he should consider law studies in London.

  • On 10 August 1888, Gandhi aged 18, left Porbandar for Mumbai, then known as Bombay. Upon arrival, he stayed with the local Modh Bania community while waiting for the ship travel arrangements.

  • Influenced by Henry Salt’s writing, he joined the London Vegetarian Society and was elected to its executive committee under the aegis of its president and benefactor Arnold Hills.

  • Gandhi had a friendly and productive relationship with the President of the London Vegetarian Society, Arnold Hills, but the two men took a different view on the continued LVS membership of committee member Dr. Thomas Allinson.

Legacy and Depictions in Popular Culture:

  • The word Mahatma, while often mistaken for Gandhi’s given name in the West, is taken from the Sanskrit words maha (meaning Great) and atma (meaning Soul). Rabindranath Tagore is said to have accorded the title to Gandhi.

  • In his Autobiography, Gandhi nevertheless explains that he never valued the title, and was often pained by it.

  • Innumerable streets, roads, and localities in India are named after M.K.Gandhi. These include M.G.Road (the main street of a number of Indian cities including Mumbai and Bangalore), Gandhi Market (near Sion, Mumbai) and Gandhinagar (the capital of the state of Gujarat, Gandhi’s birthplace).

Global days that celebrate Gandhi

  • United Nations General Assembly declared Gandhi’s birthday 2 October as “The International Day of Nonviolence.

  • First proposed by UNESCO in 1948, as the School Day of Nonviolence and Peace (DENIP in Spanish), 30 January is observed as the School Day of Nonviolence and Peace in schools of many countries In countries with a Southern Hemisphere school calendar, it is observed on 30 March.


  • Time magazine named Gandhi the Man of the Year in 1930.

  • The University of Nagpur awarded him an LL.D. in 1937. (LL.D. – Doctor of Laws in English) is a Doctorate-Level Academic Degree in Law, or an Honorary Doctorate, Gandhi was also the Runner-Up to Albert Einstein as “Person of the Century” at the end of 1999.

  • The Government of India Awarded the Annual Gandhi Peace Prize to Distinguished Social Workers.

  • Indians widely describe Gandhi as the Father of the Nation. Origin of this title is Traced Back to a Radio Address (on Singapore radio) on 6th July 1944 by Subhash Chandra Bose where Bose addressed Gandhi as “The Father of the Nation“.

Currency and stamps

  • The Government of India Introduced the Mahatma Gandhi Series of Currency Notes in Rupees 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 Denomination. Today, all the Currency Notes in Circulation in India contain a Portrait of Mahatma Gandhi. In 1969, the United Kingdom Issued a Series of Stamps Commemorating the Centenary of Mahatma Gandhi.

  • There have been Approximately 250 Stamps Issued Bearing Gandhi’s Image from 80 Different Countries Worldwide.

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Remembering Mahatma Gandhi on his 150th Birth Anniversary

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  • When Gandhi was invited to have tea with King George V at Buckingham Palace in 1931, a reporter asked: “Mr. Gandhi, do you think you are properly dressed to meet the king?”
    Gandhi Replied: “Do not worry about my clothes. The king has enough clothes on for both of us.”

  • Journalists were often at the receiving end of his quips. Small wonder that he once remarked: “I believe in equality for everyone, except reporters and photographers.”

  • A reporter once asked Gandhi: “Why do you always choose to travel by third class on a train?”

  • Gandhi replied: “Simply because there is no fourth class as yet”

  • Gandhi was nominated five times for the Nobel Peace Prize but he never won it. But at least six Nobel Peace Prize winners have cited him as an inspiration for their principles.

  • Gandhi had taken a vow not to consume cow and buffalo milk, to protest against animal cruelty.

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Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th Birth Anniversary – Highlights

  • Government of India will commemorate the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, Father of the Nation, during the period from \(2^{nd}\) October 2019 to 2nd October 2020.

  • Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th Birth Anniversary has been decided to celebrate the event at both national and international levels, to propagate the message of the Mahatma.

  • A National Committee (NC) headed by Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has been constituted for this purpose.

  • This Committee includes the Chief Ministers of all the states of the country, representatives from across the political spectrum, Gandhians, thinkers, and eminent persons from all walks of life.

  • The Committee will guide and approve policies/programs/activities for the commemoration and will also supervise the implementation of the decisions taken from time to time.

  • On the same day, nearly 1,000 students of Sharjah Indian School will take part in a solar lamp making a workshop. All together 200 solar lamps will be assembled in the workshop.

  • The Indian mission in Dubai will hold a number of events, involving members of the local community, to mark Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary from October 2.

  • UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has declared 2019 as the ‘year of tolerance‘, highlighting the UAE as a global capital for tolerance via its various legislative and policy-oriented goals.

  • Swachhta hi Seva is a massive nationwide awareness and mobilization campaign on Swachhta. The Swachhta Hi Seva 2019 is being organized from September 11 till October 2, 2019. PM Modi had set the goal of making India ODF by October 2, the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi under the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM).

  • Several hundred prisoners, who have not been convicted for murder, rape, and corruption, will be released from jails across India on October 2 to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, officials said.

  • The year was 1925, the place, the Bhagavathy Amman temple in Kanyakumari. Refused permission to enter the inner shrine by temple authorities, who cited his visit to England, Gandhi offered worship standing outside.

  • Australia is gearing up to celebrate Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary, with a series of events lined up to honor the Indian leader’s lasting legacy.

  • The book in Gujarati was published in 1927. The Malayalam version stole a march in terms of sales despite coming into print only in 1997.