The International Day of Nonviolence is marked every year on October 2, the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, one of the prominent faces of the Indian freedom struggle and the pioneer of the nonviolent philosophy and approach. As we mark the International Day of Non-violence, proposed by the United Nations in 2007, we remember the Indian freedom fighter born as Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. The International Day of Non-Violence honours how Gandhi’s practise and legacy has influenced global, non-violent protests.
Gandhi popularised the renowned Sanskrit adage ‘Ahimsa Paramo Dharma,’ which loosely translates to ‘non-violence is the highest moral value.’
The International Day of Nonviolence was first commemorated in 2007, when the United Nations General Assembly approved a resolution on June 15, 2007, declaring that this day provides an opportunity to “disseminate the message of nonviolence, particularly via education and public awareness.”
The resolution was approved with the intention of establishing a culture of peace, tolerance, and understanding via the teachings of India’s worldwide icon, who inspired millions to follow the path of nonviolence.
Anand Sharma, India’s then-Minister of State for External Affairs, introduced the resolution at the General Assembly on behalf of 140 co-sponsors. Sharma stated that the resolution’s broad and diverse support reflected worldwide admiration for Gandhi and his ideology.
The United Nations has every reason to commemorate Gandhi’s birthday as International Day of Non-violence. Gandhi’s dedication to India’s freedom, as well as his tactics, have served as the foundation for civil and human rights movements across the world.
Simply said, Gandhi believed that using violence to promote peace was totally illogical, and that “just means lead to just ends.” This is a lesson that we can all learn from.
The United Nations acknowledges a conceptual link between the human rights concepts enshrined in its universal proclamation and those advocated by Gandhi. He is known today for his contributions to India’s liberation and for sharing a theology for coping with injustice and discord with the rest of the world. He taught people the idea of Ahimsa, which promotes the use of nonviolence as a strategy for peaceful conflict settlement.