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Gandhiji's 70th Death Anniversary: Principles of 'non-violence', 'secularism' relevant even today

By Vikas

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.

Mahatma Gandhi

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:

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