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 “Bapu.” Born and raised in a Hindu family and trained in law at London he famously led India in its 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. He walked the entire Earth twice!
During his movement, he used to walk around 18 km every day, 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. He disclosed all these secrets in his autobiography- My Experiments With Truth.
4. Flop-show in law practice!
This magnetic leader wasn’t a convincing lawyer. He couldn’t carry on his practice as a 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. Served in the British Army!
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.
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 every day, which 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. From Friday to Friday!
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. The 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.
Source: deccanchronicle.com, image: wikimedia.org
10. Mock-up smile
He used to carry a set of false teeth in the fold of his lion cloth and would use it only while eating.
Source: deccanchronicle.com, image: wikimedia.org
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. Mahatma Gandhi….literally.. a way of life!
Around 53 major roads in India and 48 roads around the other parts of the world are named after him.
Source: storypick.com, image: Flickr
13. Time Magazine’s Man of the Year!
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.
Source: quora, image: timeinc.net
14. When Britain honored him!
Source: quora, image: quora
15. The costliest Spinning wheel!
In November 2013, Gandhi’s Charkha was auctioned for 110,000 pounds. He used it at the Yerwada Jail in Pune when he was arrested during the Quit India Movement. His last was also sold for £20,000.
Source: uncoverdiscover.com, image: wikimedia.org
16. When he experimented with the 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: jmathur.files.wordpress.com
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.’
Source: Quora, image: wikimedia.org