Martyr’s day is celebrated on 30th January in memory of the brave Indian soldiers who gave their lives for India. It also commemorates the day Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated in 1948. Mahatma Gandhi, fondly called Bapu in India, was a brave freedom fighter who took the tough way and fought the war of independence with non-violence.
Martyr’s Day is celebrated in over 15 nations around the world to pay respect to their soldiers. Originally Shaheed Diwas or Martyr’s Day was celebrated in India on January 26th. Later on, the day of Bapu’s death was announced as the day to pay homage to Gandhi and all those who breathed last fighting the British.
Why is Martyrs Day Celebrated on 30th January in India?
On January 30th 1948, Mahatma Gandhi was shot down in the Birla House during evening prayers. This was the saddest day for the country as he had played an important role in the fight for freedom. Bapu was a believer in harmony. He urged the crowds to lay down their arms and face the Englishmen with nothing but courage. He believed in the power of non-violence.
He convinced the whole country of the force that we could be as nation without any arms. He believed we could end British Raj with non-cooperation. His thoughts brought the nation together which was divided by the British men. He taught the nation importance of unity. And it proved to be true; divided we fell, united we stood. He got his due on 15th August, 1947 when India took a free breath free from the British Raj.
However, Nathuram Godse held him responsible for the partition which is why he shot Bapu amidst a huge crowd. He was hanged on November 15, 1949 for this deed. The whole country mourned the death of the national hero who showed courage like none other. Since then, Mahatma Gandhi is remembered along with the thousands of soldiers who sacrificed their lives for the freedom and growth of the nation.
How is Martyrs Day Celebrated in India?
While this is one of the saddest days in the history of India, Martyr’s Day of India is a celebration of freedom, development and our achievements.
The Prime Minister and the three Chiefs of the Armed Forces salute the soldiers at India Gate. The President, Prime Ministers and other dignitaries pay homage to Bapu by laying wreaths on his memorial at Raj Ghat.
Civilians all across the country take part by keeping silence for 2 minutes at 11 am. Schools and Government Organizations hold prayers to pay their respects to the heroes who gave their lives for the coming generations. Army men showcase the latest technologies in weapons and armory that celebrates the military’s might.
Songs of India’s greatness are sung, Bhajans are played that celebrate the courage of the many soldiers who never gave up, and plays are organized in schools and colleges that commemorate the efforts of Bapu.
Army men blow bugles that instill the hearts of young men with patriotism, courage, love for their motherland and enthusiasm to take their country to further heights of greatness. Followers of Mahatma Gandhi worship the Father of the Nation singing songs of his utmost courage and participation in the war for independence.
While many wonder what makes Martyr’s Day or Shaheed Diwas a day for celebration, it’s the respect and admiration for the souls, young and old, who gave up families, friends and lives for the freedom of their motherland that instills the hearts of the crowds. Indians around the world remember the unsung heroes of the long war that took years and years of struggle to win.
They commemorate the soldiers who are still on duty, away from their families, fighting our battles in the far out corners of the country. This is the day youngsters pledge to be there when the country calls for it. The feeling of nationalism fills the multitude as they promise to keep the sacrifices of our freedom fighters in their hearts forever and do everything they can to maintain the dignity of the country in the years to come.