Table of Contents
International Day of Non-Violence 2023
Every year on October 2nd, the International Day of Non-Violence reminds us of the enduring legacy of Mahatma Gandhi, a global icon of peace and non-violent resistance. Established by the United Nations, this day serves as a tribute to Gandhiji, who demonstrated that profound change can be achieved through love, truth, and peaceful actions.
Mahatma Gandhi Jayanti, on October 2nd, was chosen to celebrate this day, highlighting his unwavering commitment to non-violence. As we commemorate the International Day of Non-Violence, we reflect on the significance of this occasion and Gandhi’s timeless message of non-violence, which continues to inspire people worldwide. In this article, we will look into the history and importance of the International Day of Non-Violence 2023.
Gandhi Jayanti 2023
Gandhi Jayanti, which falls on October 2nd every year, is a day to remember and honour Mahatma Gandhi, a great leader who played a vital role in India’s struggle for independence. In 2023, a special initiative is taking place ahead of Gandhi Jayanti, and it’s all about cleanliness and unity.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called upon the people of India to participate in a cleanliness drive on October 1st, starting at 10 a.m. He believes that keeping our surroundings clean is a shared responsibility, and every effort counts.
The campaign is called ‘Ek Tareekh, Ek Ghanta, Ek Saath,’ which means ‘One Date, One Hour, Together.’ It’s a mega cleanliness drive to celebrate Gandhi Jayanti. This initiative is a prelude to the ‘Swachhata Pakhwada – Swachhata Hi Seva’ 2023 campaign.
During his 105th episode of Mann ki Baat, PM Modi urged everyone to join this campaign. You can participate by cleaning your street, neighbourhood, park, river, lake, or any public place. The goal is to work together to make India cleaner and healthier.
International Day of Non Violence Theme 2023
The UN chose Gandhi’s birthday for the International Day of Non-Violence for a good reason. Gandhi’s dedication to India’s independence and his methods have been the foundation of civil and human rights movements worldwide. The theme for Nonviolence Day 2023 has not been determined as of now. There are three main categories of non-violence action:
- Protest and persuasion, including marches and vigils;
- Non-cooperation; and
- Non-violent intervention, such as blockades and occupations.
Why is Gandhi Jayanti Celebrated on 2nd October?
Gandhi Jayanti is celebrated on the 2nd of October each year to commemorate the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, one of India’s most revered leaders. This date was chosen for several significant reasons. First and foremost, it marks the historical significance of Gandhi’s birth. Mahatma Gandhi was born on October 2, 1869, in the coastal town of Porbandar in the Indian state of Gujarat. This date symbolizes the beginning of his remarkable life journey, and it is a way to pay tribute to his birth and the legacy he left behind.
In addition to its historical importance, October 2nd is also observed as the International Day of Non-Violence. This international recognition was established by the United Nations to honour Gandhi’s philosophy of nonviolent resistance and his profound contributions to promoting peace and civil rights. Mahatma Gandhi is widely regarded as the pioneer of nonviolent protest as a means of achieving social and political change. His commitment to peaceful methods, civil disobedience, and Satyagraha, which means ‘truth force,’ inspired not only India but people all around the world.
Moreover, Gandhi’s birthday is significant because of his role in India’s struggle for independence from British colonial rule. He played a pivotal part in this freedom movement, leading it with the principles of non-violence and peaceful resistance. His approach influenced and motivated millions of Indians to join the fight for freedom through non-violent means, such as peaceful protests, boycotts, and hunger strikes. Mahatma Gandhi’s legacy as the Father of the Indian Nation and his philosophy of non-violence continues to be celebrated on October 2nd as a reminder of his enduring impact on India and the world, emphasizing the power of peace and truth in achieving social and political change.
Gandhiji and Struggle for Non-Violence Philosophy
Mahatma Gandhi, often called the father of non-violence, didn’t invent the concept of non-violence, but he elevated it to an unparalleled level. He believed that non-violent action held immense power and could bring about significant social and political change. Gandhi’s influence on non-violent protests is profound and global.
Forms of Violence
Gandhi’s approach to non-violence was rooted in his belief that violence only begets more violence. He identified two forms of violence: passive and physical. Passive violence, he argued, occurs daily, both consciously and unconsciously, and it fuels physical violence. Gandhi’s understanding of violence came from the Sanskrit word “himsa,” meaning injury. He believed that in a world filled with violence, individuals who embraced non-violence were truly blessed.
For Gandhi, violence perpetuated hatred and offered only temporary solutions. A true practitioner of non-violence would willingly accept suffering upon themselves rather than inflict harm on others. Gandhi believed that even in the pursuit of human rights, it was vital to accept violence and self-suffering, not as acts of cowardice but as acts of courage.
Gandhi also saw violence as a product of social disintegration rather than a natural human tendency. He believed that violence was learned behaviour and that a perfect weapon against it was non-violence. He traced the roots of non-violence to the Sanskrit term “Ahimsa,” which he translated as love. Gandhi viewed non-violence as a potent force, mightier than any weapon, and superior to brute force. He saw it as a living, boundless power that defied measurement.
Truth was central to Gandhi’s philosophy of non-violence. He considered truth and non-violence to be inseparable. Gandhi famously said, “Truth is God,” and believed that truth was an integral part of non-violence. He saw truth as a force that could never be destroyed and as the foundation of Satyagraha, his philosophy of nonviolent resistance.
Power of Non-Violence Philosophy
Non-violence, for Gandhi, required courage and fearlessness. He considered the possession of arms a sign of fear and cowardice. In the face of violence and injustice, Gandhi argued that violent resistance was preferable to cowardly submission. He believed that true non-violence and fearlessness were intertwined.
At the heart of Gandhi’s contribution to non-violence was Satyagraha, a concept that combines “satya” (truth) and “agraha” (firm grasping). Satyagraha means devotion to truth, remaining unwaveringly committed to truth, and resisting untruth actively but non-violently. It’s a philosophy that seeks to convert opponents through love and patient suffering rather than crushing them.
Satyagraha involves various tools of civil disobedience, non-cooperation, non-violent strikes, and constructive actions. Gandhi believed in training individuals to become Satyagrahis—practitioners of non-violence who possessed unwavering faith in truth and non-violence lived chaste lives, and were free from intoxicants. They were willing to undergo self-suffering for their cause.