Martyr’s Day (India): 30 January
In India, there are six days declared as Martyrs’ Day (at national level also known as Sarvodaya day). They are named in honour of those who are recognised as martyrs for the nation.
30 January is the date observed in the national level. The date was chosen as it marks the assassination of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi in 1948, by Nathuram Godse. On Martyr’s Day the president, the vice president, the prime minister, the defence minister, and the three Service Chiefs gather at the samadhi at Raj Ghat memorial and lay wreaths decorated with multi-colour flowers. The armed forces personnel blow bugles sounding the Last Post. The inter-services contingent reverse arms as a mark of respect. A two-minute silence in memory of Indian martyrs is observed throughout the country at 11 am. Participants hold all-religion prayers and sing tributes.
Godse shot Gandhi thrice in the chest and abdomen. It is said that the last words Gandhi uttered were “Hey Ram”. “Have I that non-violence of the brave in me? My death alone will show that. If someone killed me and I died with prayer for the assassin on my lips, and God’s remembrance and consciousness of His living presence in the sanctuary of my heart, then alone would I be said to have had the non-violence of the brave,” Gandhi had said a few days before he was killed.
The other days observed in memory of others are 23 March, 19 May, 21 October, 17 November and 19 November.