Martyr's Day (Shaheed Diwas) 2023: Date, History, Significance and Why is it Celebrated in India
Martyr's Day or Shaheed Diwas 2023: The government of Punjab has declared a public holiday on March 23, which is the martyrdom day of three freedom fighters, namely Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev Thapar, and Shivaram Rajguru. The Punjab CM, Bhagwant Mann, said on this occasion, the people of Punjab can pay their tributes to Shaheed Bhagat Singh by visiting his village of Khatkar Kalan.
On the martyrdom day of Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh, there will be a public holiday in Punjab.
Martyr's Day or Shaheed Diwas is observed in India on several dates. March 23 is remembered as the day when three brave freedom fighters, namely Bhagat Singh, Shivaram Rajguru, and Sukhdev Thapar, were hanged by the British. Also, January 30th is observed as Martyr's Day or Shaheed Diwas in memory of Mahatma Gandhi.
On January 30, Martyr's Day, or Shaheed Diwas, is celebrated in memory of Mahatma Gandhi, and on March 23, (Martyr's Day or Shaheed Diwas), is observed to pay tribute to three extraordinary revolutionaries of India who were hanged to death by the British, namely Bhagat Singh, Shivaram Rajguru, and Sukhdev Thapar. And on January 30, 1948, Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the nation, was assassinated at Gandhi Smriti in the Birla House.
Why is Martyr’s Day celebrated on 23rd March?
30 January is celebrated as Shaheed Diwas, or Martyr’s Day, in the memory of Mahatma Gandhi, and 23rd March is celebrated as Martyr's Day to remember the sacrifice of three extraordinary freedom fighters of India. On March 23, three heroes of our nation were hanged to death, namely Bhagat Singh, Shivaram Rajguru, and Sukhdev Thapar by the British. No doubt, they also sacrificed their lives for the welfare of our nation, whether or not they chose a different path from Mahatma Gandhi. They are the source of inspiration for the youth of India. At such a young age, they came forward, and for independence, they fought with bravery. So, to pay homage to these three revolutionaries, Martyr's Day is also observed on the 23rd of March.
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About Bhagat Singh and his companions
Bhagat Singh was born on September 28, 1907, in Lyallpur, Punjab. Bhagat Singh, together with his companions Rajguru, Sukhdev, Azad, and Gopal, fought for the assassination of Lala Lajpat Rai. Bhagat Sing became an inspiration for youngsters due to his daring adventures. He and his companions, on April 8th, 1929, threw bombs over the Central Legislative Assembly by reading the slogan "Inquillab Zindabad". And for this, a murder case was charged against them. On March 23rd, 1931, in the Lahore Jail, they were hanged. Their bodies were cremated on the banks of the Sutlej River.
About Mahatma Gandhi
Mahatma Gandhi was born on October 2nd, 1869 in Porbandar, Gujarat, India, and his full name was Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. He was married at the age of 13 and went to England for his studies.
At the request of Gopal Krishna Gokhale, Gandhiji returned to India from South Africa in January 1915.
He was a prominent political and spiritual leader of the Indian Independence movement. He also received international fame for his non-violent protest theories to achieve political and social progress. Mahatma Gandhi is not only a name but a symbol of peace and non-violence in the whole world.
No doubt, he became popular as the "Father of the Nation" by his followers and is also known as "Bapu ji."
Thousands of people and leaders supported his work and thoughts and walked in his footsteps. Mahatma Gandhi's role in the Kheda, Champaran led the British to accept the demands. He started the non-cooperation movement in 1920 and the famous Dandi March in 1930. Gandhiji also leads several agitations with significant effort. Therefore, India received independence in 1947.
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Why is Martyr’s Day celebrated on 30 January?
The Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, was assassinated by Nathuram Godse in the Birla House during his evening prayers on January 30, 1948. Gandhiji was a freedom fighter, a simple man with great determination, a man who gave his life for India's independence, welfare, and development.
Nathuram Godse was trying to justify his crime by holding Gandhiji and saying that he was responsible for the partition of the country and the killing of thousands during the freedom struggle. He called Gandhiji a pretender and in no way felt guilty for his crime. On November 8th, Godse was sentenced to death. So, on this day, i.e., January 30, Bapu breathed his last and was martyred. The government of India announced the day as Shaheed Diwas or Martyr’s Day.
How is Martyr’s Day celebrated across the country?
On January 30, the President, Vice President, Prime Minister, and Defence Minister will gather at the Rajghat for Mahatma Gandhi's Samadhi to pay tribute by placing a flower garland on the statue of Bapu. An honourable salute is also given by the armed forces personnel and inter-services contingent to pay respect to the martyrs. Two minutes of silence were kept there in the memory of the Father of the Nation, Bapu, and other martyrs throughout the country. Several bhajans, or religious prayers, are also sung. Many schools have programmes on this day in which students display patriotic songs and plays.
To honour the martyrs of the nation, several other days at the national level were also declared as Sarvodaya or Shaheed Diwas.
13 July: It is celebrated as Martyr's Day in Jammu and Kashmir to commemorate the deaths of 22 people. On July 13, 1931, people were killed by royal soldiers while demonstrating adjacent to Maharaja, Hari Singh of Kashmir.
17th November: This day is celebrated as Martyr's Day in Odisha to observe the death anniversary of Lala Lajpat Ray, also known as the "Lion of Punjab". He also played an important role in the freedom struggle of India from the British dominion.
19th November: This day is also celebrated as Martyr's Day in Jhansi. On November 19th, Rani Lakshmi Bai was born. She also sacrificed her life during the 1857 revolt.
So, now you may have come to know about Martyr’s Day or Shaheed Diwas. Why and how is it celebrated?
“The people who have really made history are the martyrs.” – Aleister Crowley
“It is the cause, not the death, that makes the martyr.” – Napoleon Bonaparte
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