Shaheed Diwas (Martyr’s Day) 2024: History and Significance

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Shaheed Diwas

Every year, India celebrates Martyr’s Day or Shaheed Diwas on two important dates. On March 23, Shaheed Diwas remembers three brave freedom fighters of India, namely Bhagat Singh, Shiavaram Raguru, and Sukhdev Thapar, who were hanged by the British. On the other hand, the day is also celebrated on January 30, in memory of Mahatma Gandhi. On these days, India pays tribute to those brave soldiers and Indian freedom fighters who lost their lives in pursuit of the country’s freedom and independence from the British Raj. This day offers a chance for Indian citizens to remember such great personalities and their selfless acts. 

Name of the dayMartyr’s Day or Shaheed Diwas
Observed onMarch 23 and January 30
Reason To remember Mahatma Gandhi and Bhagat Singh, Shiavaram Raguru, and Sukhdev Thapar and their efforts to liberate India from British rule.

Also Read: Republic Day 2024: Top 35 Quotes, Wishes and Messages

What is Shaheed Diwas or Martyrs’ Day?

‘Shaheed’ is an Arabic term related to the Greek word “martyrs” which means “both a witness and a martyr. It is used for “a person who suffers or dies deliberately for the sake of affirming the truth of a belief system,” according to the definition by David Cook, associate professor at Rice University. In India, the word is associated with people who have sacrificed their lives for the nation. Various freedom fighters and soldiers have received the prefix ‘Shaheed’ for their noble self-sacrifices.

Assassination of Mahatma Gandhi: Shaheed Diwas is celebrated on 30 January in memory of Mahatma Gandhi following his assassination at Gandhi Smriti in the Birla House by Nathuram Godse on 30 January 1948. He was seen reaching the top of the lawn behind the Birla House where he had been conducting multi-faith prayer meetings every evening. However, on that fateful day when he was walking towards the stand, Godse- who was standing amidst the crowd stepped out and shot Gandhiji thrice at point-blank. 

Martyrdom of Bhagat Singh, Shivaram Rajguru, and Sukhdev Thapar: The date 23rd March is also celebrated as Shaheed Diwas to pay tribute to three extraordinary revolutionaries of India- Bhagat Singh, Shivaram Rajguru, and Sukhdev Thapar. They were hanged to death by the British on March 23, 1931, in Lahore after being tried under charges of hatching a conspiracy against the government. Later on, their body was cremated at the banks of the Sutlej River. Their sacrifice at the young age of 22-23 is a great reminder for people to stand up in the face of injustice whenever they can.

Shaheed Diwas - Importance
Image Source: Naidunia

“It is the cause, not the death, that makes the martyr.” -Napoleon Bonaparte

Significance of Martyrs’ Day

  • It honors those brave soldiers who lost their lives while fighting for the independence of their beloved nation.
  • The day helps people remember and pay their respects to Indian freedom fighters for bearing inhumane conditions and still sacrificing everything for their country.
  • Shaheed Diwas also promotes a sense of unity by reminding people of their shared history.
  • Martyrs Day promotes values of nationalism, patriotism, and courage in the younger generation.
  • It urges the people of India to forever uphold the key values of freedom and justice.

Also Read: 10 Republic Day Poems in English

How Is Shaheed Diwas Observed In India?

  • On  30 January, the President, the Vice President, the Prime Minister, and the Defense Minister came together at the Rajghat to the Samadhi of Mahatma Gandhi to pay their honor. 
  • They put around a garland of flowers with an honorable salute that is given by the armed forces personnel and inter-services contingent to pay respect to the martyrs. 
  • The ceremony is followed by 2 minutes of silence in the memory of the Father of the Nation, and other martyrs throughout the country. 
  • Various bhajans and religious prayers are also sung and many school students perform acts that display patriotic songs and plays.

Other Important Days

Apart from the 30th of January and 23rd of March, these days are also observed as Shaheed Diwas to honor the sacrifice of other selfless personalities in the history of India.

  • Kashmir: 13 July is celebrated as Saheed Diwas (Kashmir Day) in Jammu and Kashmir to pay homage to the death of 22 Martyrs. On 13 July 1931, many people were killed by the British soldiers while demonstrating adjacent to the Maharaja Hari Singh of Kashmir.
  • Odisha: 17th November is celebrated as Martyr’s Day in Odisha to observe the death anniversary of the “Lion of Punjab”- Lala Lajpat Rai. He played a crucial role in the freedom struggle of India from the British Raj.
  • Jhansi: 19th November is celebrated as Martyr’s Day in the Jhansi to honor the birth of Rani Lakshmi Bai. She sacrificed her life during the 1857 revolt.

Also Read: 25 Interesting Facts About Republic Day

Satya Aur Ahimsa: Mahatma Gandhi’s Core Values

Mahatma Gandhi was one of the main figures of Indian freedom development. “Satya ” or Truth and “Ahimsa” or peacefulness were his two most significant core values. It was with these two standards and with the assistance of a few other political dissidents like Vallabh Bhai Patel, Subhas Chandra Bose, Lala Lajpat Rai, and Jawaharlal Nehru, that Gandhi got an opportunity to this country.

– Hindu fundamentalists blamed Gandhi for being the justification behind India’s parcel. In Godse’s proclamation following his capital punishment on November 8, 1949, he said that he was troubled with regards to Gandhi’s help for the Muslim people group and faulted him for the segment of India and the development of Pakistan.

– “I truly do say that my shots were discharged at the individual whose arrangement and activity had carried rack and ruin and obliteration to a huge number of Hindus,” Godse said. “I bear no malevolence towards anybody separately, however, I in all actuality do say that I had no regard for the current government attributable to their approach, which was unjustifiably great towards the Muslims. And yet I could plainly see that the approach was total because of the presence of Gandhi,” he added.

About Bhagat Singh and His Associates

Bhagat Singh was brought into the world on 28 September 1907 in Lyallpur, Punjab. Bhagat Singh along with his associates Rajguru, Sukhdev, Azad, and Gopal battled for the death of Lala Lajpat Rai. Bhagat Sing turned into a motivation for adolescents because of his trying undertakings. He with his buddies on 8th April 1929 tossed bombs over the Central Legislative Assembly by perusing the trademark “Inquillab Zindabad”. What’s more for this, a homicide body of evidence was charged against them. On 23rd March 1931 in the Lahore Jail, they were hanged. Their body was incinerated at the banks of the Sutlej River. Allow us to let you know that a major Shaheedi Mela or Martyrdom Fair is held in the origination, at the National Martyr’s Memorial in the Hussainwala or Indo-Pak line.

For What Reason Would They Say They Were Hanged?

Singh, Rajguru, and Sukhdev were profoundly impacted by the death of Lala Lajpat Rai who was killed in a peaceful dissent against the Simon Commission on October 30, 1928. The British lathi-charged the nonconformists and during the ruthless assault, Rai was harmed and ultimately passed on from a cardiovascular failure.

Singh and his accomplices chose to strike back at the British and in 1929 tossed a bomb at the focal administrative gathering in Delhi while cheering the motto ‘Inquillab Zindabad’ (may the transformation live forever). Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, and Sukhdev were hanged to death by the British in 1931 and were incinerated on the banks of the Sutlej River.

Significant data concerning this day

Truth stands, even if there be no public support. It is self-sustained.”- Mahatma Gandhi

Credits – CIRS

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Shaheed Diwas must be remembered and read by every citizen to understand the struggle behind the glorious national days. We owe our independence to these martyrs who gave India freedom without using any weapons or violence. They have truly left their mark on this nation forever.  For more posts on India’s freedom and independence, stay tuned to Leverage Edu!

5 Quotes on Martyr’s Day

The death of a martyr is not a defeat, but a victory.

Mahatma Gandhi

The blood of martyrs is the seed of revolution.

Karl Marx

Let me die, but let the people live!

Bhagat Singh

They who can die for a noble cause are the only ones who ever truly live.

Mahatma Gandhi

The land of my country, my duty, my love, where even dying becomes my happiness.

Ram Prasad Bismil
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Why is March 23 observed as Shaheed Diwas?

India observes Shaheed Diwas on March 23 to commemorate the martyrdom of Sukhdev Thapar, Bhagat Singh, and Shivram Rajguru who were hanged by the Britishers. In 2023, India observed the 92nd death anniversary of these brave freedom fighters.

What is special on 30 January?

Every year, India observes Martyr’s Day on January 30 to pay tribute and respect to Mahatma Gandhi and the countless sacrifices he made during the freedom struggle.

What is 7 Martyrs Day?

Martyrs Day, also known as Shaheed Diwas, is observed in India on 7 different days. On these days, India remembers the countless sacrifices made by the Indian freedom fighters. There are seven Martyrs’ Days observed in India on January 30, March 23, May 19, July 13, November 17, November 19, and November 24.

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