Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary: The upcoming 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi is set to be turned into a mega affair with Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government planning a year-long programme that will see several events to earmark the celebrations across the globe. On the Centre’s list are international singers, virtual reality shows, symposia of Nobel peace laureates and talks by spiritual gurus. Commemorative stamps and coins to Gandhi black belts also feature on the Centre’s wish list.
The event will begin on October 2, 2018, and will be celebrated for a year across the world. The Indian Embassies located in foreign nations will also participate in spreading the teachings and life of Gandhi. The event will serve to raise the awareness about ‘Father of the Nation’ globally.
The Prime Minister had said that it is essential to celebrate the occasion in a way so that Mahatma Gandhi continues to be an inspiration for the coming generations. For organising the event smoothly, a special panel comprising Secretaries of several key ministries have made a blueprint for year-long activities. The panel has also discussed the ideas in a separate meeting with the President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Governors of States.
One of the suggestions of the committee is that all tableaux at 2019 Republic Day parade should be based on the theme of Mahatma Gandhi like Champaran Satyagraha, Dandi March etc. According to The Indian Express, on July 28, this message was conveyed to the Chief Secretaries of all states and Union Territories. The committee also asked the ministries to work on the same agenda.
The committee also recommended celebrating the 75th death anniversary of Kasturba Gandhi, the wife of Mahatma Gandhi, on 22nd February 2019 as Kasturba Day.
The discussion and planning to mark the 150th birth anniversary of Gandhi began in April with the first meeting of the committee of secretaries. On May 2, 2018, President Ram Nath Kovind had chaired the meeting of the National Implementation Committee. On July 5, the matter was discussed in detail in the Governor’s conference. On July 18, 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi headed a meeting of the executive committee which had given its approval to create six sub-committees involving 15 central ministries.
The sub-committees will have to make a calendar until October 2019. According to a report, each subcommittee was assigned various activities to be organised throughout the year. The executive committee has made ‘Ministry of Culture’ as a nodal ministry for all events and activities.