2 October, the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, leader of the Indian independence movement and pioneer of the philosophy and strategy of non-violence, marks the International Day of Non-violence.
A General Assembly resolution passed on 15 June 2007 established the International Day as an occasion to "disseminate the message of non-violence, including through education and public awareness". The resolution reaffirmed "the universal relevance of the principle of non-violence" and the desire "to secure a culture of peace, tolerance, understanding and non-violence".
Gandhi, who helped lead India to independence, has been the inspiration for non-violent movements for civil rights and social change across the world. Gandhi remained committed to his belief in non-violence even under oppressive conditions and in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges. The theory behind his actions, which included encouraging massive civil disobedience to British law as with the historic Salt March of 1930, was that "just means lead to just ends"; that is, it is irrational to try to use violence to achieve a peaceful society. He believed that Indians must not use violence or hatred in their fight for freedom from colonialism.
Introducing the resolution in the General Assembly on behalf of 140 co-sponsors, India’s Minister of State for External Affairs, Mr. Anand Sharma said that the wide and diverse sponsorship of the resolution was a reflection of the universal respect for Mahatma Gandhi and of the enduring relevance of his philosophy. Quoting the late leader’s own words, he said: "Non-violence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man".
Compiled by Law Desk (SOURCE:UN.ORG)