The Outer

The Embassy of India in Cairo celebrates Indian Martyrs’ Day at Freedom Park

By Manal Abdel Fattah

The Embassy of India in Cairo celebrated Indian Martyrs’ Day, where Ambassador Ajit Gupte, Indian Ambassador to Cairo, paid tribute to the bust of Mahatma Gandhi at Freedom Park in Cairo.

In India, there are six days declared as Martyrs’ Day, chosen in honor of those who have been recognized as martyrs for the nation, but January 30 is the nationally observed date, chosen because it marks the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi, in 1948, by Nathuram Godse.

Mahatma Gandhi was an Indian leader who was famous for his culture of non-violence and the policy of peaceful resistance. He defended the rights of outcasts in India and resisted the British occupation with strict pacifism. In his last years, he called on Hindus to respect the rights of Muslims. A Hindu fanatic assassinated him, accusing him of high treason.

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, nicknamed “Mahatma”, meaning the great soul or saint, was born on October 2, 1869, in Bor Bandar, Gujarat Province, India, to a conservative family with a long history in political work.

His grandfather, like his father, was the Prime Minister of the Emirate of Port Bandar, and he married when he was 13 years old in response to local Indian traditions.

He traveled to Britain in 1888 to study law, and in 1891 he returned to India after obtaining a university degree enabling him to practice law.

Gandhi founded what was known in the world of politics as “peaceful resistance” or the philosophy of non-violence “Satyaraha”, which is a set of principles based on religious, political and economic foundations at the same time, summed up as “courage, truth and non-violence”, and aims to defeat the occupier through deep awareness of the danger. The imminent threat and the formation of a force capable of confronting this danger first with nonviolence, then with violence if there is no other option.

The policy of non-violence takes several methods to achieve its goals, such as fasting, boycott, sit-in, civil disobedience, accepting imprisonment, and not fearing that these methods will ultimately lead to death.

For the success of this policy, Gandhi stipulates that the opponent must have a residual conscience and freedom that will enable him in the end to open an objective dialogue with the other party.

His positions on the British occupation of the Indian subcontinent in general were characterized by principled firmness that sometimes did not negate tactical flexibility, and his shifting between rigid nationalist positions and appeasement interim settlements caused embarrassment with his opponents and supporters, sometimes reaching the point of betrayal and challenge to the credibility of his national struggle by those opposed to his method.

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