Martyrs Day (Shaheed Diwas) Why is Celebrated?
Who is a Martyr?
A martyr is a person who chooses to die rather than reject his faith by words or deeds; such behaviour is granted special, institutionalised recognition in most major religions around the world. The word may also apply to someone who, for the sake of morality, gives up his life or something of great importance.
Martyrs are people who have died in the name of their religion. They are just like soldiers who are killed in the line of duty or while protecting their country.
What is Martyr’s Day?
Martyrs’ Day is an annual commemoration of soldiers who died in the line of duty while protecting the country’s sovereignty. The exact date can differ from one country to the next.
When does India celebrate Martyr’s Day?
Every year, India celebrates two Martyrs’ Days, also known as Shaheed Diwas. Mahatma Gandhi, Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, Sukhdev, and countless other brave Indian freedom fighters made sacrifices for India’s democracy, glory, and welfare on January 30 and March 23, respectively. Martyrs’ Day is commemorated in India and 15 other countries around the world to remember the brave warriors.
Is Martyr’s Day also known as Shaheed Diwas?
Yes, Martyr’s Day is also known as Shaheed Diwas in India and is observed on several dates. It is termed Shaheed Diwas because it is observed as the remembrance of people who had sacrificed their life for the honour of the country. On March 23rd it is celebrated in honour of three remarkable Indian revolutionaries who were hanged by the British, namely Bhagat Singh, Shivaram Rajguru, and Sukhdev Thapar.
These freedom fighters were selfless and unconditional in their sacrifices towards the country and they did not even worry about losing their lives for the country. They just wanted to liberate India by all means and hence followed their mind to put up a daring fight for India’s freedom.
They followed various freedom fighters like Mahatma Gandhi’s direction and they undeniably sacrificed their lives for the welfare of our country. They are a source of inspiration for India’s youth. They came forward at such a young age and fought valiantly for freedom. As a result, Martyr’s Day is observed on March 23rd to commemorate these three revolutionaries.
On January 30, 1948, Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the Nation, was assassinated in the Birla House by Nathuram Godse during his evening prayers. Gandhiji was a freedom fighter, a simple man with a strong will, a man who gave his life for India’s independence, welfare, and progress.
Why did Nathuram Godse assassinate Mahatma Gandhi?
Nathuram Godse killed Gandhiji and justified his crime by blaming Gandhiji for the country’s partition and the deaths of thousands of people during the freedom struggle. He declared Gandhiji a pretender and in no way felt bad for his crime. Godse was sentenced to death on November 8th. So, on this day, the 30th of January, Bapu died and was martyred.
How is Martyr’s Day celebrated across the country?
On January 30, the President, Vice President, Prime Minister, and Defense Minister gather at the Rajghat to pay tribute to Mahatma Gandhi’s Samadhi by placing a garland of flowers on the Bapu’s statue. Armed forces members and inter-services contingents also pay tribute to the martyrs with a respectful salute.
There is a two-minute silence in honour of the Father of the Nation, Bapu, and other martyrs across the world. There are also a few bhajans and religious prayers sung. On this day, several schools hold programmes in which students perform patriotic songs and plays.
Several other days have been designated as Sarvodaya or Shaheed Diwas at the national level to honour the nation’s martyrs as below:
i. 13 July: In Jammu and Kashmir, this day is Martyr’s Day, commemorating the deaths of 22 people. These people were killed by royal soldiers on July 13, 1931, while demonstrating near Maharaja Hari Singh of Kashmir.
ii. 17 November: In Odisha, this day is observed as Martyr’s Day to commemorate the death anniversary of Lala Lajpat Ray, also known as the “Lion of Punjab.” He was also a key figure in India’s fight for independence from British rule.
iii. 19 November: In Jhansi, this day is also known as Martyr’s Day because Rani Lakshmi Bai was born on November 19th. During the 1857 rebellion, she also gave up her life for the country.
Must read – Life history of Lala Lajpat Rai
Takshila learning celebrates the day by honouring the spirit of these martyrs and respecting their moral values. Takshila learning wishes to instill a spirit of freedom within the aspirants from the student community so that they too stand up for the country’s values and culture. It is the responsibility of the future citizens that they ensure the development of a harmonious and peaceful scenario in the nation. We must all realise this and salute these martyrs and vow to become like them to stay together and protect the country’s rights.
Let us celebrate Martyrs Day and voice out for our country’s freedom
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