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International Day of Nonviolence Honors Gandhi’s Legacy

International Day of Nonviolence

October 2 is celebrated as the International Day of Nonviolence, established by the UN General Assembly in 2007. This day pays tribute to Mahatma Gandhi, the iconic leader who championed the principles of nonviolence, or ahimsa, and played a pivotal role in India’s struggle for independence from British colonial rule. On the International Day of Nonviolence, Gandhi’s principles continue to inspire efforts to build a more peaceful and just world.

Born on October 2, 1869, in India, Gandhi witnessed the injustices of British colonial rule and developed the philosophy of satyagraha, which means resistance to tyranny through mass civil disobedience, firmly grounded in ahimsa or nonviolence. His efforts not only led to India’s independence but also inspired civil rights and freedom movements worldwide.

Gandhi’s legacy lives on, and he is affectionately known as “Bapu,” meaning “father” in Gujarati, in India, where he is considered the father of the nation. His principles of nonviolence continue to be a source of inspiration, even 75 years after his assassination in 1948.

This day emphasizes the universal relevance of nonviolence and aims to promote a global culture rooted in peace, tolerance, and understanding.

Nonviolence remains relevant in conflict-prone regions, such as the Middle East and North Africa, where ongoing hostilities and violence persist. The Center for Preventive Action (CPA), part of the Council on Foreign Relations, highlights regions where nonviolent methods like negotiation and conflict resolution have been successfully employed. These examples include efforts to end the war in Yemen and the conflict in Ethiopia.

The enduring wisdom of Gandhi serves as a reminder that peaceful activism remains a viable approach to resolving even the most stubborn conflicts. 

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