The honorific Mahatma – “high souled” or “venerable” was the title bestowed upon Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi in 1914 by Rabindranath Tagore. Since then he has come to be known by many different names like “Father of the nation” and “Baapu”. Born and raised in a Hindu family and trained in law at London he famously led India in it’s struggle for freedom against the British rule. Mahatma Gandhi’s life achievement stands unique in political history. Let’s find out some more interesting facts about Mahatma Gandhi, the leader whose teachings inspired millions!
1. Gandhi had an Irish accent
2. Marathon like walks
During his movement he walked around 18 km everyday, nearly for 40 years. During his campaign from 1913 to 1938, he walked around 79,000 km, equivalent to encompassing the Earth-twice.
Source: youthconnect.in, image: india.com
3. Experiments with smoking and meat-eating
Gandhi experimented with smoking with his elder brother but he soon quit smoking, finding it distasteful. Then he experimented with meat-eating with a Muslim friend as he was convinced that the English were able to rule India because they ate meat.
4. Flop-show in law practice
This magnetic leader wasn’t a convincing lawyer. He couldn’t carry on his practice as lawyer in India due to his poor ability to cross question his witnesses or put up speeches. In fact, while delivering a speech, his knees and hands would often tremble.
Source: youthconnect.in, image: wikimedia.org
5. Pro-British to Anti-British
During his early days in South Africa, he served voluntarily in the British Army in the Zulu war for medical ill, as the stretcher bearer in the Boer-War. Gandhi also supported the British in their war efforts during the first world war. It was only after “Jallianwala Bagh massacre” that he became anti-British.
6. Dear friend, Hitler
In 1939, he wrote a request letter for Hitler to avoid war, but it never reached its intended recipient because of an intervention by the British government.
Source: youthconnect.in, image: kuriositas.com
7. Pro-active journalist
During his 40 years of struggle, Gandhi wrote around 10 million words i.e. around 700 words everyday, that covered politics like Independence to social issues like abolishing child-marriage, prohibition of alcohol, untouchability, cleanliness and nation building. He also worked as an editor for several English, Hindi and Gujarati newspapers in India as well as South Africa, including the Harijan, Indian Opinion (South Africa) and the Young India.
8. Friday circle
Gandhi had a strange co-incidence with Friday, as Gandhi was born on Friday, India got its independence on Friday, and he was assassinated on Friday.
9. Man who is above all prizes
He was the man of peace, but ironically he never won the Nobel Peace Prize, although he was nominated 5 times for it, in 1937, 1938, 1939 and 1947. Mahatma Gandhi was chosen for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1948, but he was assassinated before it was conferred to him. In response to this, the Nobel Committee decided not to award the Peace Prize for that year.
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10. Mock-up smile
11. Rama effect
As he was timid by nature, his servant advised him to chant the sacred name of Lord Rama to get rid of his fears. As a result, he succeeded all his fears. It was a rebirth of his spiritual side.
12. Roads on his name
13. Time Magazine’s Man of the Year in 1930
Mahatma Gandhi was named Time Magazine’s Man of the Year in 1930 and was also the runner up for Time’s Person of the century.
14. In honor of Gandhi
15. Spinning wheel of Gandhiji was auctioned for 110,000 pounds
In November 2013, Gandhi’s charkha was auctioned for 110,000 pounds. It was used by him at the Yerwada Jail, Pune when he was arrested as a part of the Quit India Movement. His last was also sold for £20,000.
Source: uncoverdiscover.com, image: wikimedia.org
16. “My Experiments with truth”
Gandhi wrote his autobiography in Gujarati. His personal assistant Shri Mahadev Desai had translated it into English. The autobiography titled “An Autobiography of My Experiments with Truth” was declared as one of the ‘100 Most Important Spiritual Books of the 20th Century’ by HarperCollins publishers.
Source: gandhiworld.in, image: wikipedia.org
17. The Passive resisters
No! It wasn’t another one of Gandhi’s movements. Gandhi had established 3 football clubs in Durban, Pretoria and Johannesburg all of which were given the same name: Passive Resisters Soccer Club.
Source: fifa.com, image: ulwazi.org
18. Gandhiji’s spiritual wife
In middle life, he fell for Saraladevi Choudhurani, niece of legendary poet Rabindranath Tagore and a Bengali nationalist activist. Gandhi’s attraction to her was such that he even confessed that he was toying with breaking his own rules. Gandhi wrote to a friend calling her ‘my spiritual wife’.