Martyrs' Day (India)

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In India, there are six days declared as Martyrs' Day (at national level also known as Sarvodaya day). They are named in honour of those who are recognised as martyrs for the nation.

30 January is the date observed in the national level. The date was chosen as it marks the assassination of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi in 1948, by Nathuram Godse.[1] On Martyr's Day the president, the vice president, the prime minister, the defence minister, and the three Service Chiefs gather at the samadhi at Raj Ghat memorial and lay wreaths decorated with multi-colour flowers. The armed forces personnel blow bugles sounding the Last Post. The inter-services contingent reverse arms as a mark of respect. A two-minute silence in memory of Indian martyrs is observed throughout the country at 11 am. Participants hold all-religion prayers and sing tributes.[2]

23 March[edit]

The anniversary of the deaths of Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev Thapar and Shivaram Rajguru on 23 March 1931, in Lahore (Pakistan), is declared to be Martyr's Day.[3]

19 May[edit]

The Bengali Language Movement of Barak Valley in the state of Assam was a protest against the decision of the Government of Assam to make Assamese the only official language of the state even though a significant proportion of population were Bengali people. In the Barak Valley, the Sylheti-speaking Bengali population constitute the majority of the population. The main incident, in which 15 people were killed by state police, took place on 19 May 1961 at Silchar railway station. 19 May is now designated Bhasha Shahid Divas ("Language Martyrs Day").[4]

21 October[edit]

21 October is Police Martyrs' Day (or Police Commemoration Day), observed by police departments nationwide. On this date in 1959, a Central Reserve Police Force patrol at the Indo-Tibetan border in Ladakh was ambushed by Chinese forces, as part of the ongoing Sino-Indian border dispute.[5]

17 November[edit]

Odisha observes 17 November, the death anniversary of Lala Lajpat Rai (1865–1928), the "Lion of Punjab", a leader in the Indian fight for freedom from the British Raj.[6]

19 November[edit]

The birthday of Rani Lakshmibai, 19 November 1828, queen of the Maratha-ruled princely state of Jhansi, is observed as Martyrs' Day in the region, and honours those who gave their lives in the rebellion of 1857, of which she was a leading figure.[7]


  1. ^ [1] Archived 30 January 2019 at the Wayback Machine from the Indian government Press Information Bureau
  2. ^ Faisal, Mohammad (29 January 2018). "Why India celebrates Martyr's Day, or Shaeed Diwas, on January 30". India Today. Archived from the original on 30 January 2018. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  3. ^ "The muffled voice of rebellion". The Statesman. 29 March 2011. Archived from the original on 6 April 2012. Retrieved 18 December 2011.
  4. ^ Jha, Jitesh (20 May 2014). "Language Martyrs Day observed on 19 May in Barak Valley, Assam". Jagran Josh. Retrieved 10 February 2020.
  5. ^ "Police Martyrs Day 21 October". Telangana News Paper. Bangalore. 21 October 2015. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016.
  6. ^ "Death anniversary of Lala Lajpat Rai" (PDF). Government of Orissa. Archived from the original (pdf) on 23 November 2011. Retrieved 13 October 2011.
  7. ^ "Rani of Jhansi birthday". South Asian Research Centre for Advertisement, Journalism, and Cartoons. 19 November 2010. Archived from the original on 23 April 2012. Retrieved 18 December 2011.