On the occasion of Gandhi Jayanthi, I happened to be reading about his life and the huge contribution he has made with his efforts for the country of India. However, here are a few things some of us might not have known about him:
Table of Contents
Mahatma was a title, not his name!
Many of us just generally know that it’s Mahatma Gandhi but that wasn’t his actual name! It was an honorary title given to him by the Bengali poet and philosopher Rabindranath Tagore and is derived from the Sanskrit words ‘maha’ meaning ‘great’ and ‘Atma’ meaning ‘soul’. An apt title however in his autobiography he notes that he never valued the title and was often pained by it.
He was a teen groom
He was married at the age of 13 in May of 1883 to a year older Kasturba Makhanji, 14 years at the time, in an arranged marriage. Technically a child-marriage but it was a custom of the region. They went on to have four children and Kasturba Gandhi supported the Mahatma’s endeavors until her death in 1944.
He was a book agent
The Father of our nation was so many things- a nonviolent activist, barrister, vegan advocate, and a great leader but who knew he was a book agent too! In 1984 while working in South Africa he indicated his growing interest in Esoteric Christianity by becoming an agent for their Union’s literature.
He lived in an experimental community
Originally called the Satyagraha Ashram in honor of his movement of non-violent resistance The Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad was his home from 1917 until 1930. He had envisioned a social construct of peace and truth that would revolutionize the contemporary models of living. The community in order to advance the efforts of self-sufficiency fostered arming, animal husbandry, cow breeding, Khadi, and related activities — as well as a school that focused on manual labor, agriculture, and literacy.
He never won the Nobel Peace Prize!
A saddening fact for a man who was more associated with peace than any other human being was never awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. He had been nominated 5 times between 1937 and 1948 yet he made it to the shortlist only! He was nominated in 1948 but was assassinated before nominations closed. The omission was regretted by the later members of the Nobel Committee.
So, there you have it, now you know 5 things you might not have known about the Great leader and The Father of our Nation!!