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The International Day of Non-Violence is observed on 2 October, the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi. This day is referred to in India as Gandhi Jayanti.

On 15 June 2007 the United Nations General Assembly voted to establish 2 October as the International Day of Non-Violence.[1] The resolution by the General Assembly asks all members of the UN system to commemorate 2 October in "an appropriate manner and disseminate the message of non-violence, including through education and public awareness." [2]

Some of the events and celebrations planned by the Humanist Movement for 2nd of October 2009 can be read here.

The first ever celebration of the International day of non violence was observed in Bangkok by United Nations ESCAP. H. E. Mr. Mani Shankar Aiyar, Hon'ble Minister for Panchayati Raj, Youth Affairs & Sports and Development of North-Eastern Region of India presided over the programme. More here...

In January 2004, Iranian Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi had taken a proposal for an International Day of Non-Violence from a Hindi Teacher in Paris Akshay Bakaya teaching International school students in Paris to the World Social Forum in Bombay. The idea gradually attracted the interest of some leaders of India's Congress Party ("Ahimsa Finds Teen Voice", The Telegraph, Calcutta) until a Satyagraha Conference resolution in New Delhi in January 2007 initiated by Sonia Gandhi and Archbishop Desmond Tutu called upon the United Nations to adopt the idea.

The United Nations Postal Administration in New York City prepared a special cachet to commemorate this event, following a request from the Indian Ambassador at the Permanent Mission of India to the UN. The boxed pictorial cachet design was prepared by the UNPA and was limited to cancellation at UNPA's NY location (not Geneva and Vienna). The UNPA has indicated that all outgoing UNPA mail between October 2nd and 31st carried the cachet. Information on various philatelic material carrying this cachet is summarized at a website dedicated to Gandhi philately and can be accessed here.


  1. ^ UN declares 2 October, Gandhi’s birthday, as International Day of Non-Violence
  2. ^ General Assembly Adopts Texts On Day Of Non-Violence, Ethiopian Millennium; Pays Tribute To Former Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim

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