Oct 2. I always used to remember this day - one because it was a holiday from school and second, it was Birthday of one of the greatest political and spiritual leader of all times. I have read and written essays on Gandhi (in both Hindi and English) in my school days so many times that I could have recited his entire life history while I was asleep. My parents remember the day too but in the reverse order of importance. Even though they were very young when India gained independence, they admire the qualities and virtues of Mahatma. The generation of my grandfather and grandmother would definitely understand what freedom means. They were the ones who crossed the border from being ruled by British to Free India.
As life and generations change, so do values and virtues of what is important to us. Today while I was dropping my daughter to school, I told her it is Mahatma Gandhi's birthday. She asked me who was that. I was giving her a very brief introduction of him when she asked me what is freedom and independence struggle? I could not give an answer to her understanding. But it set me thinking. Over times, the struggle for independence and freedom has changed from country, to states, to families, to self. The next generation would never understand what a freedom struggle for country mean and this day might be lost as any other day of the year. And I understand that I must have forgotten days that were important to my parents. But life goes on.
People are born to change the world, some succeed and some just follow. It might be beyond human's comprehension to remember all the people who contributed to the betterment of the world. But as individual, we can still remember the people whom we think made the life different. Mahatma Gandhi is just one of the many people, I admire for simplicity and virtues.
As he said "Be the change you want to see in the world." And here is a link to hear a short speech in his own voice : http://www.harappa.com/gandhi.html