My dear friends,
As you all know, today we are celebrating Gandhi Jayanthi. We are proud that a man like Gandhiji was born in India and he is our Father of the Nation. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born in Porbandar in Gujarat on October 2, 1869. He was educated in law at University College, London. In 1891, after having been admitted to the British bar, Gandhi returned to India and attempted to establish a law practice in Bombay. Two years later he went to Durban, South Africa, as a legal advisor. Arriving in Durban, Gandhi found himself treated as a member of an inferior race. He was appalled at the widespread denial of civil liberties and political rights to Indian immigrants to South Africa. He threw himself into the struggle for elementary rights for Indians. Later he returned to India and fought for India’s freedom which finally came on 15 August 1947.
Gandhi is man of peace. He always advocated non-violence. He was known for his fearlessness. That is why he could fight with a mighty power like the British. He was always guided by truthfulness. He influenced millions of people in India in varying degrees. Some changed completely; others were affected only partly. Different people reacted differently and each one had his own answer about the change. His call for action was two-fold. One involved in challenging and resisting foreign rule. The other was fighting against our own social evils. His principal aims were freedom through peaceful means, national unity, solution of minority problems, improvement of the depressed classes and the ending of untouchability.
Gandhi was not just a national figure but an international one. In 1948 he was killed by a fanatic named Nathuram Godse. When he died, Nehru said that The light has gone away from India’. On the 70th birthday of Gandhiji, in 1939, this is what Albert Einstein said about him: “Generations to come, it may be, will scarce believe that such a one as this, ever in flesh and blood, walked upon this earth.
As we celebrate Gandhi Jayanthi, we us pledge that we will follow the path of peace, fearlessness, truthfulness and tolerance which guided Ganhiji all his life. That is the greatest tribute we can pay him. Jai Hind!