International Day of Non-Violence

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2024 Date2 October 2024
2025 Date2 October 2025

International Day of Non-Violence

International Day of Non-Violence in

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International Day of Non-Violence History

International Day of Non-Violence is an annual global observance day that highlights the significance of non-violent approaches in fostering peace, resolving disputes, and promoting understanding among communities. The day serves as an opportunity to spread the message of non-violence through education and public awareness. It emphasizes the need to promote a culture of peace, tolerance, and understanding among people from diverse backgrounds and beliefs.

Established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2007, the International Day of Non-Violence holds special significance for the people of India, as it honors the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhi, a key figure in India's struggle for independence from British rule, employed non-violent civil disobedience as a key strategy to facilitate change. The observance of this day seeks to promote the principles of non-violence, resilience, and tolerance as essential tools for protecting human dignity, building sustainable and friendly communities, and addressing broader social, economic, and political challenges.

In India, International Day of Non-Violence is observed with various events, seminars, and awareness programs that focus on the teachings and principles of Mahatma Gandhi. These events often involve discussions on the role of non-violence in resolving conflict, social and environmental causes, and fostering intercultural dialogue for building a harmonious society. Educational institutions play a vital role in disseminating the message of non-violence by organizing lectures, workshops, and exhibitions about Gandhi's life and works. International Day of Non-Violence occurs annually on the 2nd of October in India, coinciding with Gandhi's birthday.

Facts about International Day of Non-Violence

  • Non-violence is a powerful and just weapon, which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it. It is a sword that heals - Martin Luther King Jr.
  • The philosophy of non-violence has roots in several religious traditions, including Buddhism, Jainism, and the teachings of Jesus Christ.
  • Non-violence is often a strategy used by people who are marginalized/oppressed and lack the resources or power for a violent revolution. It puts moral pressure on the offending party.
  • Jainism, founded by Mahavira in the 6th century BCE, is based on the principle of ahimsa, or non-violence, to all living beings. This principle forms the basis of their religious beliefs, practices, and ethical code.
  • Buddhism, founded by Siddhartha Gautama (Buddha) around the 5th century BCE, also promotes non-violence. The first precept of the Five Precepts, or basic guidelines for ethical conduct in Buddhism, is to not harm or take the life of any living being.

Top things to do in India for this observance

  • Volunteer at or donate to your local domestic abuse shelter.
  • Tree planting ceremonies are organized as a symbol of commitment to non-violence and the environment, inspired by Gandhi's belief in sustainable living.
  • Many Indians attend prayer meetings at Gandhiji's memorials or host prayers in their communities. Popular songs devotional to Mahatma Gandhi, called "bhajans", are sung at these gatherings.

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