Mahatma Ghandi was the leader of the Indian independence movement against British rule and also the architect of a form of non-violent civil disobedience that would influence the world. Let’s check out 50 important facts about the leader.
1. His full name is Mahātmā Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.
2. He was the leader of the Indian independence movement against British rule.
3. In India, he is also called Bapu ji, which means father or “papa”.
4. Ghandi was born on 2 October in 1869.
5. He was born in the city of Porbandar (also known as Sudamapuri).
6. As a child, Gandhi was described by his sister Raliat as “restless as mercury”, either playing or roaming about.
7. Gandhi shone neither in the classroom nor on the playing field. One of the terminal reports rated him as “good at English, fair in Arithmetic and weak in Geography; conduct very good, bad handwriting”.
8. His favorite pastime was twisting dogs ears.
9. The Indian classic stories of Shravana and king Harishchandra, had a major impact on Gandhi in his childhood.
10. His father Karamchand was Hindu and his mother Putlibai was from a Pranami Vaishnava Hindu family.
11. In 1874, Gandhi’s father Karamchand left Porbandar for the smaller state of Rajkot, where he became a counsellor to its ruler, the Thakur Sahib.
12. His family met him there a short while after.
13. At age 9, Gandhi entered the local school in Rajkot, near his home.
14. At age 11, he joined the High School in Rajkot.
15. While at high school, Gandhi made a muslim friend called Sheikh Mehtab. He was older than him and encouraged him to eat meat.
16. He even took him to a brothel which shocked Ghandi to a point where he got kicked out of it.
16. The sight of the prostitutes caused him intense mental torment, and he abandoned the company of Mehtab.
17. He got married when he was 13 years old in May 1883.
18. His wife was a year older than him at the time and her name was Kasturba.
19. Gandhi’s father died in late 1885.
20. His wife gave birth to a child in the same period of time as his father’s death but it only survived a few days.
21. The Gandhi couple had four more children, all sons: Harilal, born in 1888; Manilal, born in 1892; Ramdas, born in 1897; and Devdas, born in 1900.
22. Gandhi graduated from high school in Ahmedabad in In November 1887. He was 18 years of age at the time.
23. In January 1888, he enrolled at Samaldas College in Bhavnagar State from which he dropped out and returned to his family.
24. On 10 August 1888, Gandhi aged 18, left Porbandar for Bombay and on 4 September, he sailed from Bombay to London.
25. He moved to England leaving his family behind to pursue a law degree.
26. He was elected to the executive committee of the Vegetarian Society he had joined.
27. When he was 22 years old he lost his mother while he was in London and found out that his family had kept the news from him.
28. Any following business moves he made failed up until he got a job in Johannesburg as a lawyer in 1893.
29. He spent 21 years in South Africa.
30. In 1906, when the British declared war against the Zulu Kingdom in Natal, Gandhi at age 36, sympathised with the Zulus, and encouraged the Indian volunteers to help as an ambulance unit.
31. In 1910, Gandhi established an idealistic community called “Tolstoy Farm”near Johannesburg, where he nurtured his policy of peaceful resistance.
32. Gandhi was proclaimed a national hero with numerous monuments after In the years after black South Africans gained the right to vote in South Africa in 1994.
33. A quote expressing the importance of gun ownership for self-defense, “Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act of depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest.” Was spoken by Mahatma Gandhi.
34. Mahatma Gandhi spoke English with an Irish accent, for one of his first teachers was an Irishman.
35. “Mahatma” is not actually Gandhi’s first name. It’s a title he was given that means “great soul.”
36. Gandhi felt the Jewish victims of the Holocaust should have committed mass suicide.
37. Mahatma Gandhi used to travel with his goat so that he could have fresh milk.
38. There are more roads in the Netherlands named after Mahatma Gandhi than those in India.
39. Mahatma Gandhi was the founder of 3 football clubs in South Africa.
40. M. K. Gandhi was responsible for the Civil Rights movement in 4 continents and 12 countries.
41. Mahatma Gandhi led a nonviolent protest known as the Dandi Salt March to protest a salt tax. Gandhi and his followers hiked to the Arabian Sea where they boiled sea water to make their own salt.
42. He was murdered at 5:17 pm on 30 January 1948 by a man named Nathuram Godse.
43. Gandhi was cremated per the Hindu tradition. Gandhi’s ashes were poured into urns which were sent across India for memorial services.
44. The Birla House site where Gandhi was assassinated is now a memorial called Gandhi Smriti.
45. Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin, Nathuram Godse, was raised as a girl for the first few years of his life due to a superstition that his family had that their male children were cursed.
46. Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin is seen as a patriot by many Indians. This has led to attempts to create a glowing documentary of him, install busts in his likeness in political buildings, and even build a temple in his honor.
47. Most relics of Gandhi including the clothes he wore when he was shot are still preserved in Gandhi Museum, Madurai
48. The funeral procession of Mahatma Gandhi was 8 kilometers long.
49. He was thinking of dissolving the Congress a day before he died.
50. The International Day of Non-Violence is celebrated on October 2, which is Ghandi’s birthday.