Saturday, October 9, 2010

October 2: International Day of non-violence observed

October 2: International Day of non-violence observed:

THE INTERNATIONAL Day of Non-Violence or IDN (October 2) is a global observance but it is not a public holiday except in India as Gandhi Jayanti.

Recognised by United Nations, IDN has strong connections with the works, beliefs, and methods of India’s political and spiritual leader Mahatma Gandhi, who subscribed to the principle of non-violence to free India from the British rule.

It is held that the principle of non-violence, also known as non-violent resistance, rejects the use of physical violence to achieve social or political change. Inspired by Gandhi, many groups throughout the world use this method in social justice and political reform campaigns. There are three main categories of non-violence action:
Protest and persuasion, including marches and vigils;
Non-violent intervention, such as blockades and occupations.
The UN recognises a philosophical connection between the human rights principles in its universal declaration and those that Mahatma Gandhi used. UN had declared October 2, Gandhiji’s birthday, as International Day of Non-Violence. On June 15, 2007, the United Nations General Assembly decided to observe the International Day of Non-Violence each year on October 2 – the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, who helped lead India to independence and inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world.

A short biography of Mahatama Gandhi goes like this. He was born in India on October 2, 1869, in Gujarat. He obtained his law degree from Britain. He spearheaded the peaceful disobedience movement for racial discrimination in South Africa. He is remembered today for his contributions towards India’s freedom and for sharing with the world a doctrine for dealing with injustice and disharmony through peaceful interventions. He taught people the ‘philosophy of ahimsa’, which encourages the use of non-violence as a tool for the peaceful resolution of differences. India gained its freedom on August 15, 1947, through Gandhi’s non-violent efforts. He was assassinated on January 30, 1948.

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