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India remembers Mahatma Gandhi and Lal Bahadur Shastriji

Gandhi Bapu, a peaceful freedom fighter who believed in non-violence lead the successful movement for India’s independence from British Rule was born on October 2, 1869. Fondly remembered as the Father of the Nation, he is known to have inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world. Mahatma Gandhi‘s birthday, October 2, is not only commemorated in India as Gandhi Jayanti, a national holiday, but is celebrated worldwide as the International Day of Nonviolence and cleanliness. October 2 also happens to be the birth anniversary of Lal Bahadur Shastri, who was instrumental in India’s freedom struggle. Both Mahatma Gandhi, and Lal Bahadur Shastri’s lives are exemplary and a source of motivation for students. Both these men are known to exhibit simplicity and serenity even in situations that created panic. Their clarity of thoughts and resolve to act is something students can learn from.

Lal Bahadur Shastri is known for his calm demeanor and composure even in the most critical situations. He also believed in self-reliance and putting nation first before self. Lal Bahadur Shastri was a simple man who believed in action. While his simplicity is something that one should definitely learn from, another thing to learn is his composure even in extreme situations.

Lal Bahadur Shastri’s contribution to India’s growth is unparalleled. Shastri shares the birthday with the father of the nation and many also call it his ill fate that his birthday doesn’t get celebrated because Gandhi’s legacy overshadows it.

On October 2, the nation celebrates Gandhi Jayanti on account of Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday but somehow we forget to mention the man who contributed towards the growth of India.

But the man who resurrected a nation’s broken self-confidence after the defeat against China in 1962 and led it to victory in 1965 war against Pakistan deserves to be remembered with respect. Another thing to learn from his life is to act instead of procrastinate.

Former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela, Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, Steve Biko, and Aung San Suu Kyi all are believed to have been influenced by Mahatma Gandhi. In fact, in his early years, Mandela was a follower of Gandhi’s philosophy of non-violent résistance. European author Romain Rolland too discussed Gandhi in his 1924 book Mahatma Gandhi and Brazillian feminist Maria Lacerda de Moura too wrote about Gandhi in her work on pacifism. The influence of Gandhi was also seen in European physicist Albert Einstein, who called Gandhi a role model for future generations. Einstein even would go on to credit Gandhi with having created a new and humane means for the liberation war of a country that was oppressed. Gandhi’s influence was even seen in the works of Lanza del Vasto who arrived in India in 1936 intending to live with Gandhi and later returned to Europe to spread the Gandhian philosophy and start the Community of the Ark, modelled on Gandhi’s ashrams.

John Lennon too referred to Gandhi when discussing his views on non-violence and former US Vice-President and environmentalist Al Gore spoke of Gandhi’s influence on him. In fact, former US President Barack Obama too spoke about the Gandhian influence in 2009 when on reply to a question “Who was the one person, dead or alive, that you would choose to dine with?” he referred to Mahatma Gandhi. Notably, Gandhi’s best influence as a world leader can be seen in the fact that the International Day of Non-Violence is observed on 2 October, the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi.

When you open your history books, you will find India’s history to be rich and your teacher would tell you to read up all about the famous freedom fighters and politicians of the early period. Lal Bahadur Shastri was the 2nd Prime Minister of India. He was also a member of the Indian National Congress Party. When you open your history books, you would find his name along with prominent names like Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru. Shastri was in high school when he met the influential Nishkameshwar Prasad Mishra. He offered financial help to Shastri by allowing him to teach his children. Mishra was a patriotic man and seeing his devotion and patriotism; Shastri became interested in the freedom struggle. He started reading history and works of Mahatma Gandhi, Annie Besant and Swami Vivekananda. These great leaders inspire us even today.

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Dr Vaidehi Taman
Dr Vaidehi an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with Honourary Doctorate in Journalism, Investigative Journalist, Editor, Ethical Hacker, Philanthropist, and Author. She is Editor-in-Chief of Newsmakers Broadcasting and Communications Pvt. Ltd. for 11 years, which features an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, monthly magazines like Hackers5, Beyond The News (international) and Maritime Bridges. She is also an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Security Analyst and is also a Licensed Penetration Tester which caters to her freelance jobs.

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