- POSTED: 02 Oct 2013 19:40
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Indian political leaders in New Delhi gathered on Wednesday to pay tribute to Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, the lawyer turned political activist who played a major role in India's freedom struggle.
NEW DELHI: India on Wednesday marked the 144th birthday of Mahatma Gandhi.
Considered the father of the India, Gandhi is known worldwide for his philosophy of non-violent civil disobedience as a method of protest against injustice.
In the bright morning sunlight, Indian political leaders in New Delhi gathered to pay tribute to Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, the lawyer turned political activist who played a major role in India's freedom struggle.
They paid floral tributes at Rajghat - the site where Gandhi was cremated after his assassination in 1948 - and observed a minute's silence.
Observances of Gandhi's birthday actually began on Monday, when the Indian President launched a certification mark that will be placed on labels of all clothes made of "khadi" - a hand-spun fabric.
President Pranab Mukherjee said: "Both as a symbol of self-reliance and credible instrument of rejuvenation for the rural sector, Khadi instantly bring to our minds its profound association with our father of nation, Mahatma Gandhi. Bapu saw Khadi as a medium to arouse the masses towards nationalism and inspire them to live a life of dignity."
In Rajkot, in the western state of Gujarat, it was a rare collection of stamps that bore Gandhi's mark.
Paresh Upadhyay, president of Rajkot Philatelic Society, explained: "Currently there are 190 countries in the UN. Almost 88 of them have issued stamps on Gandhi, and I have all of them.
"There are many unique stamps here, like one made of khadi, stamps on which Gandhiji's name is misspelled, and other such unique and new things. It was interesting to see them. It's nice."
While in Vadodara, an exhibition of Gandhi memorabilia drew enthusiasts.
All over India, events were held to mark the birthday of the man respected by many as "Mahatma" or "Great Soul".
On this national holiday, Indians remember with pride that Gandhi's most important legacy is the philosophy of non-violent protest - an idea adopted by several world leaders, and which continues to stand out as a unique form of resistance against oppressors.