Which are the most important commemorative days of Gandhiji?

            The birthday of Gandhiji is celebrated in India as Gandhi Jayanti that is on 2nd October. It is one of the national holidays of the country.

            This day is also celebrated internationally as the Day of Non-Violence by the UN. Gandhiji was a man who believed in the power of universal brotherhood and harmony.

            Gandhi Jayanti is marked by prayer services and tributes all over India, and at Gandhiji's memorial in New Delhi where he was cremated.

            Popular activities include prayer meetings, commemorative ceremonies in different cities by colleges, local government institutions and socio-political institutions.

            Schools celebrate the day of complete cleaning and conduct various competitions on Gandhiji and Gandhian philosophies.

            The day of Gandhiji’s assassination, 30th January is observed as the Martyrs’ Day. 

What is the purpose of the Gandhi Peace Award?

          The Gandhi Peace Award is an award and cash prize presented annually since 1960. The Gandhi Peace Award was conceived by Promoting Enduring Peace’s founder, Yale professor Jerome Davis. Its main purpose is to promote international peace and goodwill. It is named in honour of Mahatma Gandhi. The award is presented to peace heroes. The award is also intended to recognise individuals for having made significant contributions, through cooperative and non-violent means in the true spirit of Gandhi. It recognizes the struggle to achieve a sustainable world civilization founded on enduring international peace.

          The Award consists of a medallion and a certificate with an inscription summing up the recipient’s work. The medallion features Gandhi’s profile and his words “Love Ever Suffers/Never Revenges Itself” cast in bronze. Some notable winners are Medea Benjamin, U Thant, Bill McKibben, Amy Goodman etc.


What makes the International Gandhi Peace Prize unique?

          The International Gandhi Peace Prize, named after Mahatma Gandhi, is awarded annually by the Government of India.

          The Government of India launched this prize in 1995, on the occasion of the 125th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. This is an annual award given to individuals and institutions. This award is open to all individuals, regardless of their nationality, creed or race.

          A jury consisting of the Prime Minister of India, the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, the Chief Justice of India, and two other eminent persons decides the awardee each year. The awardee gets an amount of 1 crore in cash, a plaque, and a citation.

          The first recipient of the award was Julius Nyerere, who was a political leader of Tanzania. Nelson Mandela received this award in the year 2000. 

In which movies does Gandhiji appear as a character?

            There are numerous documentaries and feature films centred on Gandhiji’s life. There are films that also have Gandhiji as a character. One such example is the film ‘Sardar’, where it fundamentally highlights how both Patel and Gandhiji together strived for Independence. 

            Jahnu Barua’s Maine Gandhi Ko Nahin Mara (I did not kill Gandhi), places contemporary society as a backdrop with its vanishing memory of Gandhi’s values. This film was released in 2005.

            Besides, there were many documentaries based on Gandhiji. One such famous documentary was ‘Mahatma: ‘Life of Gandhi’. The documentary was released by Vithalbhai Jhaveri in 1968.

            Another celebrated documentary on Gandhiji is ‘Mahatma Gandhi: 20th Century Prophet’. It is directed by Stanley Neal, and written by Quentin Reynolds. It features the life of the Mahatma. 

What made ‘The Making of the Mahatma’, a unique film?

             The Making of the Mahatma, Shyam Benegal’s film, portrays Gandhiji’s transformation from an introverted lawyer to a freedom fighter.

             This film was about Gandhi’s experiments with truth and non-violence in colonial South Africa and was produced by India and South Africa jointly.

             It was based on the book ‘Apprenticeship of a Mahatma’ by Fatima Meer, and was directed by one of India’s most respected directors, Shyam Benegal.

             ‘The Making of the Mahatma’ premiered in November at New York’s Guild Theatre. The film deliberately lacks the panoramic proportions and epic scale of Attenborough’s “Gandhi”.

               The film documents Gandhi’s 21 years in South Africa, from age 19, and the changes which came over this Anglicized, London-trained advocate as he encountered the racial discrimination and bias of the colonists in South Africa.

               Rajit Kapur gives a solid performance as Gandhi, and Pallavi Joshi portrays his wife Kasturba. The Hindi title is ‘Gandhi se Mahatma Tak’.