Curated By: Nibandh Vinod
Last Updated: October 01, 2023, 13:31 IST
GANDHI JAYANTI 2023: Mahatma Gandhi was a towering figure in Indian history, and his legacy continues to inspire people around the world. While he is well-known for his leadership of the Indian independence movement and his philosophy of non-violence, there are many lesser known facts about his life and work. But, did you know that Mahatma Gandhi was a vegetarian for his entire life? Or that he was a skilled craftsman who learned to spin yarn and weave cloth by hand? Or that he was a strong advocate for women’s rights and religious tolerance? These are just a few of the lesser known facts about Mahatma Gandhi.
Here’s a look at 20 fascinating facts about his life and work that you may not know.
- According to historians, poet and Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore gave the title Mahatma to Gandhi.
- Gandhi was a vegetarian for his entire life. He believed that killing animals for food was wrong, and he advocated for a plant-based diet.
- Gandhi was a skilled lawyer. He studied law in London and practiced law in South Africa for several years before returning to India to lead the independence movement.
- Gandhi was a prolific writer. He wrote over 40 books and pamphlets on a variety of topics, including non-violence, religion, and social justice.
- Gandhi was a strong advocate for women’s rights. He believed that women were equal to men and should have the same rights and opportunities.
- Gandhi was a champion of religious tolerance. He believed that all religions were equal and should be respected.
- Gandhi was a strong supporter of education. He believed that education was essential for individual and social development.
- Gandhi was a skilled craftsman. He learned to spin yarn and weave cloth by hand, and he promoted these skills as a way to empower the poor and reduce India’s reliance on imported goods.
- Gandhi was a simple man who lived a frugal lifestyle. He believed in living in harmony with nature and avoiding unnecessary consumption.
- Gandhi was a strong advocate for peace and non-violence. He believed that all conflicts could be resolved peacefully through dialogue and understanding.
- Gandhi was assassinated on January 30, 1948. He was 78 years old.
- In 1930, Mahatma Gandhi was the Time Magazine Man of the Year.
- He was a huge football fan and during his stay in South Africa, formed two football clubs; one in Johannesburg and the other in Pretoria.
- Gandhi was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize five times: 1937, 1938, 1939, 1947, and, finally, a few days before he was murdered in January 1948 – but he never won.
- Great Britain, the country against whom he fought for India’s Independence, released a stamp honouring him, 21 years after his death.
- Gandhi wrote several books on food and health and is said to have made a diet chart for Subhash Chandra Bose.
- He was also responsible for the Civil Rights movement in 4 continents and 12 countries.
- Gandhi was only 13 years old when he married his 14-year-old Kasturba in 1882. The death of their first child made him a strong opponent of child marriage.
- He reportedly wrote a letter to German dictator Adolf Hitler, addressing him as ‘Dear Friend,’ requesting him to stop the war. Hitler never replied.
- It is said that several people attended Gandhi’s funeral procession and that it was 8 kilometres long.