New Delhi/Ahmedabad, Jan.30 (ANI): President Pratibha Devisingh Patil, Vice-President Mohammad Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and a host of other dignitaries led the nation on Monday in paying homage to Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi on his 64th death anniversary.
Floral tribute was offered to Gandhi at his memorial Rajghat at a function organised at 11 a.m. this morning.
A two-minutes silence in memory of Gandhi was also observed. A gun salute was also given to honour his contributions to the country.
UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Defence Minister A K Antony, senior BJP leader L K Advani, the three service chiefs, central ministers, leaders of various political parties and people from different walks of life also paid tribute to the apostle of peace at his memorial.
A multi-faith prayer service was organised and devotional songs were sung.
In Gujarat, Gandhi's home state, people from all walks of life, payed homage to Gandhi. Religious leaders of various faiths organised a prayer meeting in remembrance of Gandhi in Ahmedabad city's Sabarmati Ashram.
Mahatma Gandhi was born on October 2, 1869 in Porbandar. A lawyer by profession, Gandhi led the struggle for India's independence from British rule by following the path of non-violence.
Ironically, Gandhi was shot dead by a Hindu fanatic, Nathuram Godse, at a prayer meeting in Delhi on January 30, 1948, less than a year after India became independent.
More than six decades after his death, Gandhi's ideologies continue to hold importance.
Gandhi was against the prevalence of the caste system that had plagued Indian society and relentlessly worked towards its eradication. He also stressed on the need for unity between the Hindu and Muslim communities.
Gandhi is venerated throughout India as the 'father of the nation'. His statues can be found across the country and nearly every town has at least one street named after him.
His decades-long non-violent movement inspired America civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., exiled Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama and South African anti-Apartheid icon Nelson Mandela.
India observes Gandhi's death anniversary as Martyrs' Day in the memory of its freedom fighters. (ANI)
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