Governor of Goa, Smt Mridula Sinha in her message on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti has said that Gandhi Jayanti is a national festival celebrated in India in the honour of birth anniversary of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi born on 2 October 1869 also lovingly called as ‘Bapu’ or the Father of the Nation. Internationally this day is celebrated as the International Day of Non-Violence as Gandhiji was the preacher of non-violence. He was a true symbol of peace and truth.
In his autobiography, “My experiments with Truth” Gandhiji described his childhood and teen age years and his sheer dedication for his mother land. He has set an example of simple living and high thinking. He was against the addictions like smoking, drinking and non-vegetarianism. Gandhiji was a pioneer of truth and non-violence. He started the ‘Satyagraha’ (non-violence) movement for the Indian freedom struggle. He proved to the world that freedom can be achieved through the path of total non-violence. Mahatma Gandhi proposed the acceptance and practice of truth, non-violence, vegetarianism, simplicity and faith in God. Though he would be remembered forever as the man who fought for Indian independence, his greatest legacies are the tools he used in his fight against the British. These methods inspired several other world leaders in their struggle against injustice.
Of all the social evils that beset India of his times perhaps none moved Gandhi ji quite as much as untouchability. He saw it as one of the principal obstructions in reforming and uniting Hindus and by extension the whole of the Indian nation. He realised the whole moral basis for asking for freedom from the colonial masters would be rendered void and hollow if Indians continued to condone and acquiesce into the practice of untouchability. Hence Gandhi focussed on removal of untouchability with an energy and zeal that was unprecedented in the history of Indian social and political movements.
Indians gained freedom under the leadership of Gandhiji, but his dream of a clean India is still unfulfilled. Mahatma Gandhi said “Sanitation is more important than independence”. He made cleanliness and sanitation an integral part of the Gandhian way of living. His dream was total sanitation for all. Cleanliness is most important for physical well-being and a healthy environment. It has bearing on public and personal hygiene. It is essential for everyone to learn about cleanliness, hygiene, sanitation and the various diseases that are caused due to poor hygienic conditions. The habits learnt at a young age get embedded into one’s personality. Mahatma Gandhi said, “I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.” Gandhiji dwelt on cleanliness and good habits and pointed out its close relationship to good health.
On the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti, we all should thank this great leader who fought to attain freedom for our motherland through ways of non-violence, truth, honesty, the Governor concludes.