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India pays homage to Mahatma Gandhi on Martyrs’ Day

New Delhi, Jan 30 (Calcutta Tube) Floral tributes, a multi-faith prayer meet, devotional songs by schoolchildren and classical musical renderings were held as the nation remembered Mahatma Gandhi, the apostle of peace and non-violence, in myriad ways on his 62nd death anniversary Saturday.

President Pratibha Patil, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and other top leaders Saturday morning visited Rajghat to pay homage on Martyrs’ Day to the man who led the country to its independence with his unique non-violent form of protests.

 

At his beautifully landscaped Rajghat memorial, floral offerings were made and a multi-faith prayer was organised.

 

Prayers were offered by religious leaders of Buddhist, Bahai, Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Jain, Jewish, Parsi and Sikh faiths at the Rajghat.

 

Gandhi, who is revered world over as an apostle of peace, was a great believer in inter-faith harmony and fought all his life for it.

 

Rajneesh Kumar, a member of the Rajghat Samadhi Committee, said: ‘Every year we have an all-religion prayer to pay tribute to ‘bapu’ (as Gandhi was affectionately known) on the Martyrs’ Day, and this year was no exception.’

 

A musical tribute, complete with bhajans or devotional songs that Gandhi loved, especially ‘Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram’, was organised at the Gandhi Samriti and Darshan Samiti, the place where he was shot dead by Nathuram Godse on this day in 1948 in the presence of hundreds of people waiting for him to start the evening prayers.

 

Children and youth, who had come from all over the country, sang all-religion prayers to an audience comprising Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Vice President Hamid Ansari, Defence Minister A.K. Antony and a host of other leaders.

 

Manmohan Singh’s wife Gursharan Kaur was also present at the memorial, which was decorated with flowers and its walls covered with white sheets.

 

Well-known Indian classical vocalist Vasundhara Komkali and her daughter Kalaapini sang melodious bhajans that had the audience totally mesmerised. One-minute’s silence was also observed in Gandhi’s memory.

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