Authored by:

Mibin Mammen Research Intern, Legit

1. October 2 Gandhi Jayanthi

The day celebrated every year as the Gandhi Jayanthi all around the globe is also the International Day of Non-violence on the global stage. On October 2nd, 1869, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, aka, Mahatma Gandhi was born. The day is also set apart for remembering the ideals and the Indian freedom struggle that Gandhi led from the forefront which led to the Independence of India on 15th August 1947. This year marks the 151st Gandhi Jayanthi or 152nd birth anniversary of Gandhi. Gandhiji has been known for his ideals of communal harmony, non-violence, and also the respect he gave for fellow human beings. He always used to advocate the importance of respecting others, regardless of any grounds of discrimination. These ideals are remembered to this day but the question arises whether these ideals are still followed in the world.

The answer becomes a big no when looking at the rise of populist leaders in the world and also the increased hatred towards other religious communities, specifically, Islamophobia, which has spread across many countries in the world. There had been a lot of attacks against Muslims who were equally respected by Mahatma Gandhi. But in this era and age, there is a huge intolerance towards the members of the Muslim community by people of extremist beliefs who try to impose their way of life on others. For instance, the incidents of various lynching happened in India for the sake of an animal, which is considered as the sacred animal of one religion and questioning the patriotic feelings of one due to their beliefs. It has come to the point where one can be branded ‘anti-national’ through their eating habits. There has been an attempt to connect nationalism of countries to the religion followed by the majority which can be seen in Turkey under President Erdogan who has been trying to enforce the Islamic ideology over the people of other religions. This is even true for India with various leaders of the ruling party oppressing the people of the minority religion and spreading hatred towards them.

This begs the questions of the existence of the Gandhian ideals and also the continuity of these ideals which needs a closer examination. There also arises the need to understand and propagate the true sense and idea of secularism which was taught and professed by Gandhi and other leaders during the freedom struggle, the strive and hardships which created this beautifully diverse nation.

2. October 1 establishment of the People’s Republic of China

On October 1st, 1949, the People’s Republic of China was established as an independent Communist country. The Chairman of the Communist Party of China during 1949, Mao Zedong was one of the major leaders of the Chinese Civil War against Kuomintang headed by Sun Yat-Sen. The National Day which is celebrated on October 1st commemorates the victory of the Chinese Communist Party over Kuomintang. This day is celebrated with huge fervour in remembering Mao Zedong. Mao Zedong is considered as the founder of the Peoples Republic of China and he is also known for his measures which the party leadership points as the beginning of the development of China. However, China had undergone various faces of crisis due to Mao’s policies like the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution which resulted in a famine and the death of millions. His expansionist policy on Tibet still stands as a major element of discontent, specifically to mention, which resulted in a conflicted relationship with India who once was a great ally. Many scientists and researchers look up to Mao’s successor, Deng Xiaoping and his Four Modernizations, as the architect of modern China, during whose leadership, China turned capitalistic and open to the world, realising the importance of economic development, or should we say, ‘communism in Chinese terms.’ Currently, under Xi Jinping, China is leaping ahead with the fastest-growing economic strengths and is headed towards becoming a global economic powerhouse.

But all that glitters is not gold. The Chinese government has been known for various human rights violations including the violation of the rights of the Uighur community in Xinjiang province which has sparked international condemnation. China has also been known for the secretive style of Governance which has increased with various censorship on media and also famous social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other platforms being banned in China. China is also known to have a state-sponsored media which gives out propaganda which has continued even during the current pandemic with the Chinese Government denying the responsibility for the pandemic and also blaming other countries for the spread.

This has been seen particularly during the United Nations General Assembly 75th session with the Chinese Envoy to the UN denying any questions related to the pandemic. China has been also known for the suppression of the democratic protests in Hong Kong which has led to world attention to the atrocities of China. In the pursuit of becoming a global power, unlike that of the USA, China’s chosen ways like Belt and Road Initiative, Debt-trap economic diplomacy, handling of minorities and Hong Kong, coerciveness in South China Seas, are all seen critically by most of the nations.

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