Geneva (Switzerland) | Jagran News Desk: United Nations (UN) chief Antonio Guterres on Saturday paid tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on the occasion of his 152nd anniversary and urged the world to pay heed to "his message of peace, truth and non-violence".

"Hatred, division and conflict have had their day. It's time to usher in a new era of peace, truth and tolerance. On this International Day of Non-Violence -Gandhi's birthday - let's heed his message of peace, and commit to building a better future for all," he tweeted.

Mahatma Gandhi was born on October 2, 1869, in Gujarat's Porbandar. His birth anniversary is observed as International Day of Non-Violence after the UN General Assembly (UNGA) on June 15, 2007, passed a resolution to commemorate October 2 in "an appropriate manner and disseminate the message of non-violence, including through education and public awareness".

Mahatma Gandhi, who is fondly known as 'Bappu', adopted a non-violent resistance and was at the forefront of the freedom struggle against colonial British rule with utmost patience. This led to India finally achieving its independence in 1947. His unwavering belief in 'Swaraj' (self-governance) and 'Ahimsa' (non-violence) won him accolades across the world.

Meanwhile, several other leaders also paid tribute to Mahatma Gandhi. Paying tribute to him, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that his life and ideas will inspire every generation to walk the path of their duties. "I bow to respected Bapu on Gandhi Jayanti. His noble principles are globally relevant and give strength to millions," he tweeted.

Earlier in the day, he also visited Raj Ghat and Vijay Ghat, memorials to Gandhi and India's second prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri, respectively, to pay floral tributes to them. An interfaith prayer meeting was held at Raj Ghat, where Mahatma Gandhi's favourite devotional songs were rendered.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma