The International Day of Non-Violence is observed on 2 October, the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, leader of the Indian independence movement and pioneer of the philosophy and strategy of non-violence. The objective of the day is to spread awareness about the idea of non-violence through education. The day was first observed in 2007.
According to General Assembly resolution A/RES/61/271 of 15 June 2007, the International Day is an occasion to "disseminate the message of non-violence, including through education and public awareness". The resolution reaffirms "the universal relevance of the principle of non-violence" and the desire "to secure a culture of peace, tolerance, understanding and non-violence".
Congress leader and then External Affairs Minister of India, Anand Sharma, while introducing the resolution in UNGA on behalf of 140 sponsor countries, said the wide and diversified sponsorship of the resolution was an acknowledgement of the universal respect for the Mahatma and his philosophy. Quoting the late leader’s own words, he said: "Non-violence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man”.