Gandhi Jayanti is celebrated annually on 2 October all over the country and this year marks Mahatma Gandhi’s 152nd birth anniversary. The day is also celebrated across the world as International Day of Non-Violence (ahimsa), as Gandhi led the nation to freedom through his non-violent civil disobedience movements.
Gandhi’s leadership has inspired many people across generations as he was the pivotal force behind giving Independence to India from 200 years of oppressive British colonial rule.
Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated on 30 January, 1948, a year after India gained Independence. The day of Gandhi’s assassination is observed as the National Martyr’s day in India.
On his birthday, we bring to you 10 unknown facts about Mahatma Gandhi:
Mahatma Gandhi was nominated five times for the Nobel Peace Prize — 1937, 1938, 1939, 1947 and in 1948, a few days before he was assassinated, but was never bestowed with the honour.
Poet Rabindranath Tagore gave the title of Mahatma to Gandhiji. Tagore said that Gandhi would stop at the thresholds of huts and spoke to people in their own language. Tagore mentioned that Gandhi felt all Indians were his own flesh and blood, hence he was given the name of ‘Mahatma’.
Mahatma Gandhi's relics are preserved in the Gandhi Memorial Museum, Madurai.
Gandhi was a football aficionado and formed two football clubs during his stay in South Africa which were inspired by the writings of Henry Thoreau and Leo Tolstoy and was named – the Passive Resisters.
Bapu made a diet plan for one of his political opponents, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, and suggested that Bose should eat leafy vegetables and avoid starch. This plan came as part of Gandhi’s love for experimenting with food and diets.
Vallabhai Patel was playing bridge at a club in Ahmedabad when he first heard Gandhi’s speech and was instantly inspired by him. Patel left his law practice and devoted himself to the cause of Satyagraha. Such was Bapu’s personality that he left an immediate and lasting impression on people.
One of Gandhi’s first teachers was an Irishman. Hence, Gandhi had an Irish accent while speaking English.
Mahatma Gandhi’s funeral procession was 8 kilometres long, a symbol of the love he gained from the people of India.
During the Boer War, Mahatma Gandhi served in the army.
Gandhi married his 14-year old bride Kasturbha Gandhi when he was just 13-years-old.