People from all walks of life paid tributes to ‘Father of the Nation’ Mahatma Gandhi on his 154th birth anniversary on Monday and recalled his role in India’s fight for independence. President Droupadi Murmu, Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar and Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the country in paying homage to the iconic freedom fighter.
Murmu and Dhankhar visited the Gandhi Smriti museum, formerly Birla Bhavan where Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated on January 30, 1948, and attended a ‘Bhajan Sandhya’.
On this occasion, Modi said his timeless teachings “continue to illuminate our path.” He also hailed former prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri on X, saying his iconic call for ‘Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan’ resonates even today.
“His unwavering commitment to India’s progress and his leadership during challenging times remain exemplary. May we always work to realise his vision for a strong India,” he posted.
The nation remembered Bapu and Lal Bahadur Shastri, revered freedom fighters and stalwarts of India, both of whom were born on October 2. Modi paid floral tributes to Shastri at Vijay Ghat memorial early in the morning.
Modi reached Rajghat around 8 am and offered floral petals to the Mahatma’s memorial and bowed before it. An interfaith prayer service was held at Rajghat where Gandhi’s favourite devotional songs were also played.
“I bow to Mahatma Gandhi on the special occasion of Gandhi Jayanti. His timeless teachings continue to illuminate our path. Mahatma Gandhi’s impact is global, motivating the entire humankind to further the spirit of unity and compassion.
“May we always work towards fulfilling his dreams. May his thoughts enable every youngster be (sic) the agent of change he dreamt of, fostering unity and harmony all over,” Modi posted on X.
Several Union ministers and bureaucrats were present on the occasion at Rajghat, situated on the banks of Yamuna.
The Prime Minister also posted a video of German singer Cassandra Mae’s rendition of Gandhi’s favourite prayer ‘Vaishnava Jana To’, saying his thoughts strike a chord with people all around the world.
Urging people to hear her soulful rendition, Modi noted that he had mentioned the young singer, who is visually impaired, in his recent ‘Mann ki Baat’ broadcast.
The Prime Minister had highlighted her love for Indian music in the radio programme.
Renowned singer Vidya Shah sang devotional songs, including Gandhi ji’s favourite bhajan ‘Ram Dhun’ at the programme, Gandhi Smriti vice-chairman Vijay Goel said. Almost 350 students from 35 schools in Delhi and NCR also paid a mesmerising musical tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on the occasion, he said.
On the occasion, a message from United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was also read out.