India's leading politicians and military leaders attended a ceremony on Monday (30 January) to mark the anniversary of the death of one of the country's legendary personalities -- Mahatma Gandhi.
India's leading politicians and military leaders attended a ceremony on Monday (30 January) to mark the anniversary of the death of one of the country's legendary personalities -- Mahatma Gandhi. He was shot dead by an assassin 30 years ago, on his way to evening prayers.
SYNOPSIS: The anniversary of the Mahatma's death is observed every year. Gandhi was the champion of the Indian masses and was revered by millions as a spiritual leader.
India's present Prime Minister, Mr. Morarji Desai, was at the ceremony at the Gandhi memorial in New Delhi. He lit the eternal flame over the shrine, which marks the place where Gandhi was cremated.
Gandhi's first name, Mahatma, meaning "great soul", was a virtual title, he became known by throughout the world. He was a leading figure in India's struggle for independence. Six months after this was achieved, in 1947, he was shot dead.
Mr. Desai used the spinning wheel, which Gandhi made the symbol of his belief in simple life.
India's armed forces chiefs were also there.
During the ceremony, Mr. Desai and India's Vice President, Mr. Basappa Jatti, paid their respects to the former leader. A number of foreign visitors paid homage as well.
Later in the day, India's President Mr. Sanjiva Reddy, laid a wreath in memory of people who laid down their lives for the cause of freedom. Two minutes's silence was then observed.
As usual, the massed bands of India's armed forces played Gandhi's favourite hymn -- Abide with Me. And the Last Post was sounded.