The nation today remembered Mahatma Gandhi on his birth anniversary. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Ram Nath Kovind paid floral tributes to Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat today. Congress President Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi also paid their tributes to Gandhiji.
Every year, the nation pays homage to Mahatma Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, who was fondly called Bapu, on his birth anniversary on October 2, which is also known as Gandhi Jayanti. Born in 1869 in Gujarat's Porbandar, Mahatma Gandhi had his early political training in South Africa while working among the local Indian community facing discrimination.
Launching a two-year-long celebration marking the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday shared their messages on social media.
"Tribute to Bapu on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti. Gandhiji's life was devoted to the ideals of peace, brotherhood and harmony. Today, there is an opportunity to replicate our allegiance and resolve towards these ideals. Mahatma Gandhi's teachings are relevant to the whole of humanity," Kovind tweeted early in the day.
Sharing his op-ed to national dailies on the occasion, the Prime Minister said: "From today we are entering Pujya Bapu's 150th anniversary year. It is a great opportunity for all of us to fulfill their dreams. #Gandhi150."
In his op-ed he said: "He (the Mahatma) remains a shining beacon of hope for millions of people across the world who seek a life of equality, dignity, inclusion and empowerment. The impact he left on human society has few parallels...
"Let us think about how our actions can contribute to a cleaner and greener environment for the future generations. Almost eight decades ago, when the threats of pollution were not as much, Gandhiji took to cycling...
Modi also tweeted on the "insightful op-ed" by Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on "how India and Singapore are united in the pursuit of building a cleaner and better tomorrow for the coming generations".
Congress President Rahul Gandhi said truth and non-violence -- the two beacons of Mahatma Gandhi's life -- that he lived and died for, are India's foundation and true patriots must protect them.
"Gandhiji, is not an immobile statue, he is a living set of ideas and values flowing through India. Truth and non-violence, which he lived for and was killed for are the foundation of our country. True patriots must protect them," Rahul Gandhi tweeted.
Meanwhile, Congress president Rahul Gandhi and other senior party leaders participated in a prayer meeting at Sevagram Ashram in Sevagram in Maharashtra today on the 149th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
Besides Rahul Gandhi, United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi, former prime minister Manmohan Singh and Congress Working Committee (CWC) members paid tributes to Mahatma Gandhi at Bapu Kuti, residence of the Father of the Nation during his last years.
They were accompanied by senior All India Congress Committee (AICC) leaders Ashok Gehlot and Mallikarjun Kharge.
Rahul Gandhi planted a sapling in the ashram next to the tree which his father and former prime minister late Rajiv Gandhi had planted on this day in 1986.
This is the Congress chief's second visit to the ashram. He had earlier planted a sapling here on January 24, 2014.
Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel said the party practised the politics of "sadbhavna" (inclusiveness).
"Paying homage to Mahatma Gandhi is not new for us. It is the BJP which is remembering Gandhiji and Sardar Patel now," he told reporters.
The Congress leadership has converged in the Sevagram village, located around 10km from Wardha district headquarters, to attend the meeting of the CWC, the highest decision-making body of the party, to be held here after more than 70 years.
Holding the CWC meeting in Wardha has a lot of symbolism attached to it.
"The preliminary deliberations of Individual Satyagraha were held in Sevagram in 1940. The CWC met in Sevagram and adopted the resolution on Quit India movement on July 14, 1942," a Congress leader said earlier.
The Quit India movement was launched in Mumbai on August 8, 1942. Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, former Karnataka chief minister Siddharamaiah, Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy, ex-Union ministers Shivraj Patil, Sushilkumar Shinde and A K Antony, former Haryana chief minister B S Hooda and ex-Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat were present at the prayer meet.