On this day (January 30) in 1948, Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi was shot dead at Birla House in Delhi. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi or Gandhiji was on his way to address a prayer meeting, when a "fanatic" Nathuram Godse fired three bullets from a Beretta 9 mm pistol into his chest from a point-blank range.
Gandhiji dedicated his life to discovering and pursuing truth and called his movement as satyagraha, which means "appeal to the truth". He strongly advocated non violence or ahimsa, and constantly urged his followers to strongly abide by it.
Mahatma Gandhi's role in India's freedom movement needs no elaboration. India got independence because of the efforts of countless revolutionaries and activists, but it was Gandhiji who became a rallying point for freedom struggle which was otherwise scattered.
The Quit India movement launched by him dealt the final blow to the mighty British rule and India finally got freedom on August 15, 1947. Gandhiji strongly wanted India to be a secular nation, and the partition really pained him.
"There must be no impatience, no barbarity, no insolence, no undue pressure. If we want to cultivate a true spirit of democracy, we cannot afford to be intolerant. Intolerance betrays want of faith in one's cause," he wrote in one of his books.
Gandhi spent the day of independence not celebrating the end of the British rule, but appealing for peace among his countrymen by fasting and spinning in Calcutta on 15 August 1947. The partition had gripped the Indian subcontinent with religious violence and the streets were filled with corpses.
Remembering Gandhiji, Prime Minister Modi in his last 'Mann ki Baat' address said, "The path of peace and non-violence, is the path of Bapu and this is applicable not only for India or the world but also for a person or a family or a society. The ideals which Bapu practiced in his life, things that he imparted are relevant even today."
On Mahatma Gandhi's 70th death anniversary, the Twitter was flooded with tributes to the great soul:
On Martyrs’ Day, we gratefully remember Mahatma Gandhi and the countless freedom fighters who sacrificed their all for our Independence #PresidentKovind— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) January 30, 2018
पूज्य बापू की पुण्यतिथि पर उन्हें श्रद्धांजलि. Remembering Bapu on his Punya Tithi.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) January 30, 2018
We bow to all those martyrs who have sacrificed themselves in service of our nation. We will always remember their courage as well as dedication towards the nation.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) January 30, 2018
Respectful tribute to Mahatma Gandhi, Father of the Nation, on his Punya Tithi. Truth and non-violence always guided the political thought of Mahatma Gandhi. We remember his life, works and ideals on his Punya Tithi and follow the path shown by him.— Arun Jaitley (@arunjaitley) January 30, 2018
राष्ट्रपिता महात्मा गांधी जी की पुण्यतिथि पर उन्हें विनम्र श्रद्धांजलि। pic.twitter.com/rqWXwyQe6a— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) January 30, 2018
बापू को शत शत नमन।— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) January 30, 2018
अहिंसा और भाईचारे के बापू के संदेश की आज भारत को सबसे अधिक ज़रूरत है।