Each year in October, the holiday Gandhi Jayanti is celebrated in the memory of Mohandas Gandhi, the highly respected leader of the movement which brought an end to British rule over India and independence to the Indian people. On October 2, the South Asian Bar Association gathered at the Indo-American Center in Chicago to celebrate Gandhi Jayanti with an afternoon cultural program. The University of Chicago’s Dr. Dipesh Chakrabarty was the keynote speaker of the event and we were entertained by performances from a Bollywood dance group call Culture in Motion and Bharatanatyam students from the famous Natya Dance Theatre.
Nash Disability Law was proud to participate in the event as a co-sponsor. Tom Nash, and other NDL staff members attended. At Tom’s invitation, the Nash team was joined by My Block My Hood My City (MBMHMC) Executive Director Jahmal Cole and his family. Contributions made by event participants were donated to the Indo-American Center (IAC) and the Cyriac Kappil Legal Clinic at the IAC.
Gandhi’s model of non-violent civil disobedience has inspired civil rights and freedom movements across the planet for decades and his legacy continues to this day as a source of inspiration for freedom-loving people everywhere. He is commonly referred to with the Sanskrit honorific title, Mahatma, which means high-souled or venerable.
Gandhi Jayanti is celebrated to mark Gandhi’s birthday and is one of the three officially declared national holidays of India. The holiday is marked by commemorative services ranging from essay and art competitions to prayer services on themes of peace and non-violence. In 2007, the United Nations adopted a resolution which declared October 2, Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday, as an International Day of Non-Violence.