Indian children dress up as Mahatma Gandhi

Gandhi Jayanti is celebrated on the second day of October to mark the birthday of the 'Father of the Nation'

Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

Hundreds of thousands of children have dressed as Indian independence leader Mahatma Gandhi across the country to commemorate the 153rd anniversary of his birth.

Gandhi Jayanti is celebrated every year on the second day of October to mark what was the birthday of the man considered the Father of the Nation by many in India.

Children wore Gandhi's trademark glasses and loincloth or shawl and carried walking sticks on Sunday to honour the lawyer and anti-colonial nationalist, who in 1921 decided to change his clothing from shirts and trousers to simpler attire to promote India's textile industry and as a mark of protest against British economic exploitation.

Often referred to as Bapu, he was born Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi on October 2, 1869.

His message of non-violent political protest has been heard by generations of Indians since his assassination in 1948.

The anniversary was also marked at the UN in New York, where a hologram of Gandhi appeared to celebrate the International Day of Non-Violence, established to “disseminate the message of non-violence, including through education and public awareness”, according to the General Assembly resolution of June 2007.

Children dress up as Mahatma Gandhi at Egmore Museum in Chennai, India, on Saturday. EPA

The resolution recognises “the universal relevance of the principle of non-violence” and the desire “to secure a culture of peace, tolerance, understanding and non-violence”.

A message from UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was read out before a panel discussion to mark the occasion.

Mr Guterres said Gandhi’s life and example reveal a timeless pathway to a more peaceful and tolerant world. He called on the international community to walk this path together, in solidarity, as one human family.

Updated: October 02, 2022, 12:26 PM