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Mahatma Gandhi’s 74th death anniversary: The history behind observing Shaheed Diwas

Every year on January 30, India observes Martyrs’ Day or ‘Shaheed Diwas to mark the death anniversary of the father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi. He was shot dead by Nathuram Godse at Gandhi Smriti in Birla house on January 30, 1948, after his routine multi-faith prayer. This year we are observing the 74th death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

Mahatma Gandhi, who adopted non-violent ways to fight Britishers, inspired many nationalist and civil rights movements across the world and worked for national unity.

On January 30, the day Mahatma Gandhi was martyred, we recall his monumental contribution towards the freedom of the country.

On this day, the President, Vice President, Prime Minister and Defence Minister gather at Rajghat in New Delhi to pay tribute to Mahatma Gandhi.

According to central government directions, two minutes’ of silence should be observed at 11 am throughout the country remembering those who sacrificed their lives during India’s freedom struggle.

“The State/UT Governments are requested to ensure that the Martyrs’ Day is observed with due solemnity. They may issue instructions to all educational institutions and Public Sector Enterprises under their control for the observance of the Martyrs’ Day accordingly,” notes a letter from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).

March 23 is also observed as ‘Shaheed Diwas’ in the memory of freedom fighters Bhagat Singh, Shivaram Rajguru and Sukhdev Thapar, who were hanged to death by Britishers.

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