Nation pay tribute to Mahatma Gandhi

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K. Advani Sunday paid homage to Mahatma Gandhi on his 142nd birth anniversary. The leaders paid floral tributes at Rajghat — the memorial to the Mahatma on the banks of the Yamuna river. It was the Congress president’s first public appearance after her surgery in the US. Among other visitors were Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and union Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath. A minute’s silence was observed at the black stone memorial by all the leaders.
Crowds, including a number of kids from slums and shelter homes, thronged the Gandhi memorial and some of them sang devotional songs and showered flowers at the memorial. “I’ve come here for the first time and I was very excited to perform on Gandhiji’s birthday before the leaders of our nations. I will cherish this opportunity forever,” said Anoop, a 13-year-old from Salaam Balak Trust, a shelter in north Delhi. The birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi is celebrated as Gandhi Jayanti across the country. It is also marked as the International Day of Non-Violence. Gandhi, born this day in 1869 at Porbandar in Gujarat, played a key role in India’s independence struggle. He was assassinated Jan 30, 1948.