Martyr’s Day (Shaheed Diwas) in India 2019: Death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and Facts

On 30 January, every year Martyr's Day or Shaheed Diwas is celebrated to honour our brave martyrs who have sacrificed their life for the country. Let us tell you that, in India, Shaheed Diwas or Martyr's Day is celebrated on different days, but mainly 2 dates of Martyr's are known more and celebrated across the country. In fact out of 15 nations, India is the one which celebrate Martyr's Day every year. This is because we can't forget our brave leaders or fighters who fought for the freedom of the country against the British rule or colonialism. Let us study more about Shaheed Diwas or Martyr’s Day, why it is celebrated, how it is celebrated, importance etc. through this article.

Martyr’s Day

The first Martyr's Day, which is also known as Sarvodaya Diwas or Shaheed Diwas, is celebrated all over India on 30th January, while the second Martyr's Day is celebrated on 23rd March. Both have different reasons, but on 30 January, it is celebrated to pay homage to Mahatma Gandhi and for those freedom fighters that fought for the country's independence and sacrificed their lives.

Who was Mahatma Gandhi?


Mahatma Gandhi was born on 2nd October, 1869 in Porbandar, Gujarat, India and his full name was Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. He was married at the age of 13 and went to England for his studies.

Gandhi ji returned to India from South Africa in January 1915, on the request of Gopal Krishna Gokhale.

He was a prominent political and spiritual leader of Indian Independence movement. He also received international fame for his non-violent protest theory to achieve political and social progress. Mahatma Gandhi is not only a name but a symbol of peace and non-violence in the whole world.

No doubt, he became popular as the Father of the Nation by his followers and is also known as Bapu ji.

Thousands of people, leaders had supported him, his works, thoughts and walked on their footsteps. They made non-violent rebellion in Kheda, non-cooperation movement in the early 1920s and led the famous Dandi March in 1930 and made other agitations and with their significant efforts, India received independence in 1947.

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Why Martyr’s Day is celebrated on 30 January?

The Father of Nation, Mahatma Gandhi was murdered by Nathuram Godse in the Birla House during his evening prayers on 30 January, 1948. Gandhi ji was a freedom fighter, a simple man with huge determination, a man who had sacrificed his life for the independence, welfare and development of India.

Nathuram Godse was trying to justify his crime by holding Gandhi ji and saying that he is responsible for the partition of the country and the killing of thousands during the freedom struggle. He called Gandhi ji a pretender and in no way felt guilty for his crime. On 8th November, Godse was sentenced to death. So, on this day i.e. 30 January Bapu breathed his last and was martyred. The Government of India announced the day as Shaheed Diwas or Martyr’s Day.

Why Martyr’s Day is celebrated on 23rd March?

As, we know that 30 January is celebrated as Shaheed Diwas or Martyr’s Day  in the memory of Mahatma Gandhi and 23rd March is celebrated as Martyr's Day to remember the sacrifice of three extraordinary freedom fighters of India. By the British, on 23rd March three heroes of our Nation were hanged to death namely Bhagat Singh, Shivaram Rajguru and Sukhdev Thapar. No doubt, they also sacrificed their life for the welfare of our nation whether they have chosen different path from Mahatma Gandhi. They are the source of inspiration for the youth of India. At such a young age, they came forward and for the independence they fought with bravery. So, to pay homage to these three revolutionaries Martyr's Day is celebrated on 23rd March.

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About Bhagat Singh and his companions

Bhagat Singh was born on 28 September, 1907 in the Lyallpur, Punjab. Bhagat Singh together with his companions Rajguru, Sukhdev, Azad and Gopal fought for the assassination of Lala Lajpat Rai. Bhagat Sing became an inspiration for youngsters today due to his daring adventures. He with his companions on 8th April, 1929 threw bombs over the Central Legislative Assembly by reading the slogan "Inquillab Zindabad". And for this, murder case was charged against them and on 23rd March, 1931 in the Lahore Jail they were hanged. Their body was cremated at the banks of the Sutlej River. Now a day, a big Shaheedi Mela or Martyrdom Fair is held in the birthplace, at the National Martyr's Memorial in the Hussainwala or Indo-Pak border.

How Martyr’s Day is celebrated across the country?

The President, the Vice President, the Prime Minister and the Defense Minister on 30 January get together at the Rajghat to the Samadhi of the Mahatma Gandhi to pay honour by putting garland of flowers to the statue of the Bapu. An honourable salute is also given by the armed forces personnel and inter-services contingent to pay respect to the martyr's. 2 minutes silence was kept there in the memory of the Father of Nation, Bapu and other martyr's throughout the country. Several bhajans, religious prayers are also sung. Many schools have programs on this day in which students display patriotic songs and plays.

To honour the martyr's of the Nation, several other days at National level also declared as Sarvodaya or Shaheed Diwas.

13 July: It is celebrated as the Martyr's Day in Jammu and Kashmir to memorise the death of 22 people. On 13 July, 1931, peoples were killed by the royal soldiers while demonstrating adjacent to the Maharja Hari Singh of the Kashmir.

17th November: This day is celebrated as Martyr's Day in Odisha to observe the death anniversary of Lala Lajpat Ray also known as "Lion of Punjab". He also played an important role in the freedom struggle of India from Britishers.

19th November: This day is also celebrated as Martyr's Day in the Jhansi. As, on 19th November, Rani Lakshmi Bai was born. She also sacrificed her life during the 1857 revolt.

So, now you may have come to know about the Martyr’s Day or Shaheed Diwas. Why this is celebrated and how it is celebrated.

“The people who have really made history are the martyrs.” – Aleister Crowley
“It is the cause, not the death, that makes the martyr.” – Napoleon Bonaparte

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