Martyrs’ Day is celebrated every year on January 30 by paying tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on his death anniversary. Gandhiji was given the title of ‘Mahatma’ (meaning great soul in Sanskrit) in 1915 by Nobel laureate Rabindra Nath Tagore. On January 30, 1948, Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated by Naturam Godse, a nationalist. Mahatma Gandhi who was going to one of his prayer meets was shot three times, once on the abdomen and twice on the chest.  

Reportedly a few days before his assassination, Gandhiji said, “If someone killed me and I died with a prayer for the assassin on my lips, and God’s remembrance and consciousness of His living presence in the sanctuary of my heart, then alone would I be said to have had the non-violence of the brave.” 

Martyrs’ Day Celebration in post-COVID-19 world.

Martyrs’ Day was observed by the President, Vice President, Defense Minister, Prime Minister, and other public service Chiefs who paid their respect to Mahatma Gandhi at Delhi’s Rajghat. Like every year, President and Prime Minister spread flower petals on the remembrance mark of Mahatma Gandhi, with one small difference. From security personnel to all the chief dignitaries, everyone was following the COVID-19 guidelines by wearing masks. 

A two-minute silence was observed in the memory of Mahatma Gandhi along with the soldiers who lost their lives serving for the country.  

A letter by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs sent to the Chief Secretaries of all the states said that the entire nation will observe a 2-minute silence on January 30.   

The letter said, “A notice by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs read that the State/Union territories governments may issue instructions to all educational institutions and public sector enterprises under their control for the observance of the Martyrs’ Day, accordingly. Talks, speeches on freedom struggle, national integration may be organized in hybrid mode.”  

President Kovind in one of his tweets said how “we should adhere to his ideals of peace, non-violence, simplicity, purity of means and humility.” 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter and said how on Martyrs’ day we “recall the heroic sacrifices of all those great women and men who devoted themselves towards India’s freedom and the well-being of every Indian.” 

New Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said how Mahatma Gandhi’s ideals of nonviolence which laid every force ineffective are still relevant in this day and age. 

Indian National Congress, which flourished under Mahatma Gandhi’s leadership after 1920 too took to Twitter in paying him tribute. 

Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath paid tribute to Mahatma Gandhi in Lucknow.