Mahatma Gandhi was a prominent political and spiritual leader who played a significant role in India’s struggle for independence from British colonial rule. He is widely recognized as one of the most influential figures of the 20th century and is remembered for his advocacy of nonviolent civil disobedience, social justice, and human rights. In this article, we’ll explore 25 intriguing Gandhi facts that will provide insights into the life, beliefs, and legacy of this iconic figure. From his early life and education to his political activism and influence on global movements, get ready to learn some fascinating facts about Mahatma Gandhi and his enduring impact on the world.
1-5 Surprising Facts About Mahatma Gandhi
1. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born on October 2, 1869. The honorific title “Mahatma,” meaning “Great Soul,” was given to him in 1914.
2. Gandhi fought for a wide range of causes beyond India’s independence, including civil rights for women, the abolition of the caste system, and the fair treatment of all people regardless of religion. His parents had different religious traditions, with his mother being a devout Hindu and his father following Jainism.
3. Gandhi was actually a philosophical anarchist and believed that India did not need an established government. He believed that if everyone adopted nonviolence and a good moral code, they could govern themselves.
4. Despite being the poster child for nonviolence, Gandhi had a surprising gig during World War I – he actually recruited Indians to fight for Britain!
5. Gandhi attended law school in London and was known among the faculty for his poor handwriting, which became a distinctive characteristic of his personal style.
6-10 Interesting Facts About Mahatma Gandhi
6. Turns out Mahatma Gandhi had a touch of the Irish! One of his first teachers was an Irishman, so he ended up speaking English with an Irish accent.
7. Gandhi had a travel buddy, and it was a goat! Yep, he traveled with his goat so he could have fresh milk.
8. Churchill and Gandhi were like oil and water! Churchill favored letting Gandhi die if he went on a hunger strike, and during the Bengal famine of 1943, he responded to urgent requests to divert food supplies to India with a telegram asking, if the food was so scarce, “why Gandhi hadn’t died yet.”
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9. Talk about a gender-bending twist! Gandhi’s assassin, Nathuram Godse, was raised as a girl for the first few years of his life due to a family superstition.
10. Mahatma Gandhi once set up a commission to investigate a reincarnation claim. A little girl claimed to remember her past life and correctly identified her former husband, son, village, relatives, and her husband’s occupation.
11-15 Insane Facts About Mahatma Gandhi
11. Gandhi’s Holocaust hot take was a head-scratcher. He believed that the Jewish victims should have committed mass suicide.
12. Despite being considered the strongest symbol of non-violence in the 20th century, Mahatma Gandhi never received the Nobel Prize, although he was nominated five times for the prize.
13. Talk about resourcefulness! When the British wouldn’t fund his programs, Gandhi charged 5 rupees for his autograph to raise money. Move over, celebrity merch, Gandhi’s got his own fundraising strategy!
14. Arun Gandhi, the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi and an activist himself, was shocked to learn that the government of India had granted $25 million to the production of the 1982 movie ‘Gandhi’ and wrote an article condemning the grant.
15. There are more roads in the Netherlands named after Mahatma Gandhi than in India, highlighting his global impact and recognition.
16-20 Shocking Facts About Mahatma Gandhi
16. Mahatma Gandhi was the founder of three football clubs in South Africa, showing his interest in sports and community development beyond his role as a political leader.
17. Gandhi wrote a letter to Hitler, addressing him as a “dear friend” and appealing to him to stop the war, believing that he had the ability to achieve victories without excessive bloodshed.
18. Winston Churchill, Mahatma Gandhi, and Boer General Louis Botha all participated in the same battle at Spion Kop during the Boer War before they went on to shape history in their respective ways.
19. Mahatma Gandhi wrote “… I do not consider Hitler to be as bad as he is depicted. He is showing an ability that is amazing and seems to be gaining his victories without much bloodshed.”
20. Despite having fought against Great Britain for India’s independence, a stamp was released by the country in honor of Mahatma Gandhi 21 years after his death.
21-25 Weird Facts About Mahatma Gandhi
21. Mahatma Gandhi advocated for the establishment of an Islamic Caliphate in the Middle East.
22. In his later years, Gandhi slept with young women to test his celibacy and control his sexual urges.
23. Charlie Chaplin was inspired by a conversation with Mahatma Gandhi about modern technology, which contributed to the creation of the film Modern Times (1936).
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24. Government nutritionists were called in to investigate how Gandhi was able to go 21 days without food.
25. In order to stop further support for Indian independence, the British government forbade official photographs of Gandhi while he was fasting.
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