Nation celebrates the 146th Birthday of our 'Father of the Nation'
by Elizabeth Menon

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Nation celebrates the 146th Birthday of our 'Father of the Nation'
(2 October 1869-30 January 1948)


The Birthday of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi - our 'Father of the Nation' would have been 146 years today, 2nd October 2015, and that would have been possible in the Biblical times, as people lived longer then! But we are living in the modern age and our life span rarely goes over 100, and more over, our Baappuji's life was sadly cut short by an assassin's bullet on 30 January 1948! Gandhiji's birthday on 2 October is one of the three declared holidays in all States and Union Territories of India and people celebrate the big day with special prayers (15 August, the Independence Day and 26 January, the Republic Day mark the other two declared holidays) The United Nations announced on 15 june 2007 that 2 october will be celebrated as the 'International Day of Peace', as a mark of respect for Mahatma Gandhi who stood for peace and non-violence!

Prayer meetings are held all around the Nation and flowers laid at Raj Ghat in New Delhi at Gandhi-Samadhi where Gandhiji is cremated. It is customary for the President, Prime Minister and other dignitaries also to place flowers at Raj Ghat on this day. As it is public holiday schools and other institutions organise various programmes to celebrate the day and remind ourselves what 'Father of the Nation' means to us all! His favourite prayer , “Raghupati Raghav Raaja Ram...” would be sung at prayer meetings. Gandhiji stood for Nonviolence and Self -reliance and he hoped that the Nation would follow! We like to think that we follow in his footsteps, but one hopes that we are wise enough to learn from the wisdom and the teaching he has left behind for the betterment of our Country!


“Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram


Patita Pavan Sitaram Sitaram, 

Ishwar Allah Tero Nam,


Sabko Sanmati De Bhagawan


Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram


Patita Pavan Sita Ram...”


© E Menon

 

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