Gandhi Jayanti 2019: Some lesser-known facts about the legend
On October 2, India and the world will celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. As is common knowledge, the Father of the Nation continues to be the inspiration to Indians even long after he bid us farewell. From Swaraj to Quit India, Bapu did more for the country than anyone could ever imagine. Here are some lesser-known facts about the legend.
Gandhi once supported the British; had an Irish accent
1) Contrary to his later life, Gandhi once supported the British. During his early days in South Africa, Bapu volunteered for the British Army as the stretcher bearer during the Zulu War and Boer War. He also supported the British during the First World War. 2) Gandhi had a bit of an Irish accent, because one of his English teachers was an Irish man.
Gandhi walked 18 kms daily; experimented a lot with diet
3) Gandhi walked a lot during his lifetime. In fact, Bapu walked around 18 kms daily for nearly 40 years. To give you some perspective, he traveled a distance equivalent to twice the circumference of Earth. 4) Bapu often experimented with his eating habits. Reportedly, he undertook 17 fasts during the freedom struggle, and the longest one lasted for 21 days!
Gandhi never won a Nobel; lost Time Magazine's Person-of-the-century title
5) Despite all his efforts toward promoting peace, Gandhi never won a Nobel Peace Prize, even though he received five nominations for the prestigious award. 6) Further, the Father of the Nation was named Time Magazine's Person of the Year in 1930. Not only that, he was also the runner-up for Time's Person of the Century title, which eventually went to Albert Einstein.
Gandhi always traveled in third class; was honored by British
7) Although Gandhi's simple way of life is widely known, did you know he always traveled in third-class in trains? 8) On the occasion of his 100th birth anniversary, arch-rival Britain honored Gandhi by releasing a stamp in his name. 9) In a strange co-incidence, Gandhiji was born on a Friday, India got freedom on a Friday, and he was assassinated on a Friday.
Gandhiji was nicknamed Moniya; formed three football clubs
10) As a kid, Gandhiji was nicknamed Manu or Moniya. 11) During his stay in South Africa, Gandhiji helped establish three Football clubs, all by the name, 'Passive Resisters Soccer Club.' These clubs were started in Durban, Pretoria, Johannesburg. 12) While studying in England, Gandhiji used to learn dance, violin. 13) Bapu used to write a lot. His collective work spreads over 50,000 pages.
Tagore gave the world-famous title of 'Mahatma' to Gandhi
14) Einstein once wrote a letter to Mahatma Gandhi, expressing his admiration for the leader. 15) Also, did you know who gave the world-famous title of 'Mahatma' to Gandhiji? Turns out, it was none other than Gurudev, Rabindranath Tagore. 16) In another interesting trivia - there are more roads named after Mahatma Gandhi in Netherlands, than there are in India itself.