Here are few facts that offer a small glimpse into the life of Mahatma Gandhi


Mahatma Gandhi was born as Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. The honorific title Mahatma, or "Great Soul," was given to him in 1914.

Gandhi is often called Bapu in India, a term of endearment that means "father."

Gandhi fought for much more than independence. His causes included civil rights for women, the abolition of the caste system, and the fair treatment of all people regardless of religion.

Gandhi demanded fair treatment for the untouchables, India's lowest caste, and he underwent several fasts to support the cause. He called the untouchables harijans,which means "children of God."

Gandhi ate fruit, nuts, and seeds for five years but switched back to strict vegetarianism after suffering health problems. Gandhi took an early vow to avoid milk products, however, after his health began to decline, he relented and started drinking goat's milk. He sometimes traveled with his goat to ensure that the milk was fresh and that he wasn't given cow or buffalo milk. Government nutritionists were called in to explain how Gandhi could go 21 days without food.No official photos of Gandhi were allowed while Gandhi was fasting, for fear of further fueling the push for independence.

Gandhi was actually a philosophical anarchist and wanted no established government in India. He felt that if everyone adopted nonviolence they could be self-governing.

Mahatma Gandhi's most outspoken political critic was Winston Churchill.

Through a prearranged marriage, Gandhi was wed at age 13; his wife was one year older. Gandhi and his wife had their first child when he was 15 years old. That child died a few days later, but the couple did have four sons before he took a vow of celibacy.

Despite being famous for nonviolence and the Indian independence movement, Gandhi actually recruited Indians to fight for Britain during World War I. He opposed India's involvement in World War II.

Gandhi's wife died in prison in 1944; he was also in prison at the time of her death. Gandhi was released from prison only because he contracted malaria, and British officials feared an uprising if he, too, died while in prison.

Gandhi attended law school in London and was famous among the faculty for his bad handwriting.

Mahatma Gandhi's image has appeared on all denominations of Indian rupees printed since 1996.

Gandhi lived for 21 years in South Africa. He was imprisoned there many times as well.

Gandhi denounced Gandhism and did not want to create a cult-like following. He also conceded that he had "…nothing new to teach the world. Truth and nonviolence are as old as the hills."

Gandhi was assassinated by  Nathuram Vinayak Godse on January 30, 1948, who shot him three times at point-blank range. More than two million people attended Gandhi's funeral. The epitaph on his memorial in New Delhi reads "Oh God" which are purported to be his last words.

An urn that once contained Mahatma Gandhi's ashes is now at a shrine in Los Angeles.

Source: Trip Savvy