Martyr’s Day

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    • Recently, the Prime Minister of India paid tributes to Mahatma Gandhi on Martyrs’ Day.

    About

    • India observes January 30 of each year as the Martyrs’ Day or ‘Shaheed Diwas’ to mark the death anniversary of the father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi, and to pay homage to the freedom fighters, soldiers who sacrificed their lives for their Motherland.
      • Martyrs’ Day is also commemorated on 23 March to pay homage to freedom fighters Bhagat Singh, Shivaram Rajguru and Sukhdev Thapar.
        • On this day in 1931, these three courageous revolutionaries were hung by the British for assassinating British officer John Saunders in 1928
    • On January 30th, 1948, Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated by Nathuram Godse during his evening prayers in the Birla House.
    • Each year on January 30, the President, Vice President, Prime Minister, Defense Minister, and all the three Chiefs of armed forces (Army, Air Force, and Navy) pay homage to  Mahatma Gandhi at Raj Ghat in Delhi.

    Mahatma Gandhi:

    • He was an Indian lawyer, politician, social activist, and writer who became the leader of the nationalist movement against the British rule of India.
    • He was born on October 02, 1869, in Porbandar, Gujarat. 
    • He completed his early education at Gujarat and Bombay University.
    • He went to London on September 04, 1888, to become a barrister.
    • In 1893, he went to South Africa.
    • In January 1915, He returned to his homeland after two decades of residence abroad
    • His first major public appearance was at the opening of the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) in February 1916.

    Role in Freedom struggles 

    • He spent much of 1917 in Champaran, seeking to obtain for the peasant’s security of tenure as well as the freedom to cultivate the crops of their choice.
    •  The following year, 1918, Gandhiji was involved in two campaigns in his home state of Gujarat. 
      • First, he intervened in a labour dispute in Ahmedabad, demanding better working conditions for the textile mill workers
      • Then he joined peasants in Kheda in asking the state for the remission of taxes following the failure of their harvest
    • In 1919 he decided to launch a nationwide satyagraha against the proposed Rowlatt Act (1919).
      •  This Act had been hurriedly passed through the Imperial Legislative Council despite the united opposition of the Indian members. 
        • It gave the government enormous powers to repress political activities and allowed the detention of political prisoners without trial for two years. 
    • He also organized the Non Cooperation movement in 1920. 
    • He organized a civil disobedience movement in 1930, it is also known for Dandi Yatra.
    • The final nail in the coffin for British Raj in India was the Quit India Movement, led by Gandhi in 1942. 

    Other Contributions 

    • He worked for the upliftment of untouchables and gave them a new name ‘Harijan’ meaning the children of God.
    • Writing: ‘Young India,’ Navajivan’, My Experiments with Truth (Autobiography), Hind Swaraj.

     

    Government Initiatives to honour him 

    • Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA)
    • Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti is one of the institutions formed by the government of India in September 1984 by the merger of Gandhi Darshan at Rajghat and Gandhi Smriti. 
    • Gandhi Shilp Bazaar is a govt’s scheme to promote and Market Indian handicrafts and provide financial assistance to different eligible organizations to organize Crafts Bazar in various places.
    • The Bunkar Bima Yojana was introduced by the Government of India in December 2003. 
      • From 2005-06 this scheme was revised and has been implemented with the title “Mahatma Gandhi Bunkar Yojana”.
    • Mahatma Gandhi Pravasi Suraksha Yojana is a special social security scheme that includes Pension and Life Insurance.

    Source: PIB