Mahatma Gandhi: Little known facts most of us don’t know about him


Today is 2nd October the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, father of the nation or Bapu as he was lovingly called in India. This day is the third and the last national holiday in India (the 26th January – the Republic day and 15th August- the Independence day are the other two).


A debate on the relevancy of Gandhi in today’s time has become a routine affair on every 2nd October. For some people Gandhi is still relevant today whereas some think that India (& the world at large) has changed so drastically that there is no role of Gandhi in it.

No matter what exactly the truth is, the biggest truth of all is that if you go to any corner of earth and ask any stranger to name two Indians he has heard of in his lifetime; the answer in all likelihood will be (1) Gautam Buddha and (2) Mahatma Gandhi.

Among all Indians born during the span of last 2600 years, these two mans are the most popular, most loved and worshiped by millions. There is some kind of charisma in them which simply fails to fade.

I reserve my thoughts on Buddha for one of my future posts. Today, on the occasion of Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday, I would like to share some little known facts about him which most of us don’t know.

(1) He had a set of false teeth, which he carried in a fold of his loin cloth. He put them in his mouth only when he wanted to eat. After his meal, he took them out, washed them and put them back in his loin cloth again.

(2) Mahatma Gandhi spoke English with an Irish accent, for one of his first teachers was an Irishman.

(3) During the freedom struggle, he wore nothing but a loin cloth , but for years he lived in London and used to wear a silk hat and spats and carried a cane.

(4) He was educated at London University and became an attorney. But the first time he attempted to make a speech in court, his knees trembled, and he was so frightened that he had to sit down in confusion and defeat.

(5) As a lawyer in London, he got nowhere at all. He was practically a failure there. Years before, when he first came to England, his Irish teacher made him copy the Sermon on the Mount, over and over again, purely as an exercise in English. Hour after hour, Gandhi wrote “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. . . . Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God,” and these words made a profound impression on him.

(6) Later, he was sent to South Africa to collect some huge debts; and he tried to apply there the philosophy of the Sermon on the Mount. And it worked. Clients flocked to Gandhi because he settled their claims peacefully out of court and saved them time and expense.

(7) His income during those days in South Africa touched fifteen thousand dollars a year! Something still a dream for most Indians !

(8) However, despite this worldly success he was not happy. On seeing the untold misery of millions of his fellow countrymen; on seeing thousand of them dying of starvation; the worldly success seemed cheap and unimportant to him. He gave up all his money and ‘took the vow of poverty, and since that time, he consecrated his life to helping the poor and the downtrodden.

(9) On seeing the hopeless condition of one tenth of India which was living in a hungry and half-starved state, Mahatma Gandhi pleaded with them to cease bringing children into a world filled with so much misery and want.

(10) Mahatma Gandhi experimented with diets to see how cheaply he could live and remain healthy. He started living principally on fruit and goats’ milk and olive oil.

(11) Mahatma Gandhi got inspiration of Civil Disobedience by reading a book of an American ! He had been greatly influenced by the teachings of an American by the name of David Thoreau. Thoreau was graduated from Harvard University ninety years ago, and then spent twenty-eight dollars building a cabin for himself on the lonely shores of Walden Pond, in Massachusetts. He lived there like a hermit, and refused to pay taxes; so he was thrown into jail. He then wrote a book on Civil Disobedience, saying that no one ought to pay taxes. People didn’t pay the slightest attention to his book then; but, seventy-five years later, Gandhi read that book, away out in India, and decided to use Thoreau’s tactics. He felt that England had not kept her promise to give India self-government; so, in order to punish England, Gandhi urged the people of India to go to jail rather than pay taxes, and he also urged his followers to boycott English goods. When the British placed a tax on salt, Gandhi led his follower to the sea and they made their own salt.

(12) Mahatma Gandhi never visited the US, but he had many American fans and followers. One of his more unusual admirers was Henry Ford. Gandhi sent him an autographed charkha (spinning wheel) through a journalist emissary. During the darkest days of the Second World War, Ford, who was struck by the charkha’s “mechanical simplicity and high moral purpose,” would often spin on “the symbol of economic independence that Gandhi had sent.

(12) Mahatma Gandhi inspired millions of people world over to take the path of non-violence and civil disobedience. 5 world leaders who got Noble Peace prize viz. Martin Luther King Jr. (USA), Dalai Lama (Tibet), Aung San Suu Kyi (Myanmar), Nelson Mandela (S. Africa) and Adolfo Perez Esquivel (Argentina) have acknowledged the fact that they were influenced by the philosophy of Gandhi. Yet, Mahatma Gandhi; the man who inspired these Nobel Peace Prize winners, never got a Noble Prize !

I think it is a loss for the Noble – the prize; not for Gandhi – the man who is above all prizes.

(13) The great Scientist Albert Einstein once said about Gandhi :

“Generations to come will scarcely believe that such a one as this (Gandhi) walked the earth in flesh and blood.”

He also once said,

” I believe that Gandhi’s views were the most enlightened of all the political men in our time. We should strive to do things in his spirit: not to use violence in fighting for our cause, but by non-participation in anything you believe is evil.”

The more I read about Gandhi, the more I become humble to the greatness of this man who was seeking nothing for himself but was willing to die in order that others may live.

Sources of my article : Little known facts about well known people; by Dale Carnegie, The Times of India, some article on Internet and some books from my collection.


  1. hmm i dunno wat 2 say but gandhis just great n im doin a project on him!!!
    all im goin 2 say is that ive found alot about him!!!
    xxxxxxxxx annonymous xxxxxxxxxxxxx

  2. hey eklavya…
    hope you are doing good…
    I don’t know if this right on my part to say this.. but you have got some of these facts wrong…

    like.. he used to follow the european way of dressing not only in england but even in south africa.. it was not until his second stint there that he chose to discard such an attire.. which brings me to the second part.. as far as i know he never took a vow of poverty.. indeed his mission was to help people out of it.. during his lifetime Gandhi took many vows. the fact that he gave up a lot of physical comfort was his quest (not vow) for simplicity.. perhaps inspired by many reading or a natural fallout of the man that he was he opined that man should be as frugal in his existence as what is necessary to survive.. hich brigns me to the third point
    that while it is true that he experimented with his diet quite a lot.. it did’t consist of goat’s milk.. in fact he stroe hard to keep milk away from his diet.. his view was that humans should only have their mother’s milk and so should not have milk once they grow up from being a toddler.. the goat’s milk diet was used only for sometime during an illness where he couldn’t refuse the doctor’s word (though he did it many times) and thought taking goat’s milk was an alternate option to drinking cow’s milk.. there are two reasons here.. one that he had vowed not to touch cow’s milk (for the above reason) and secondly he deplored the cruelty meted to cows and buffaloes in India under the name of dairy farming..

    having said all this.. I got to know quite a lot fo things because of your post and I thank you deeply for the same… I hope you don’t take my intrusion in this regard in the wrong manner.. it wasn’t to put you in a bad light…

  3. Thanks Maneesh for coming here and giving your views on the above post. I am not doing much blogging for quite sometime. In this time of inactivity, it’s nice to find that old friends are still coming to this blog.

    Now the points raised by you :

    (1) Yes. Mahatma Gandhi was following the European way of dressing in S. Africa also. Where in the post I have mentioned he was not doing that.

    (2) When I say he took the vow of poverty, I mean it only literally. There is no official record telling us that he took any vow of poverty. What I only want to say that he decided to identify himself with the poorest of the poor of India and started living like them to show their solidarity with them. You must be aware of his love for the third class compartment of trains.

    (3) He has some initial hesitation in drinking goat’s milk owing to his vow for not drinking animal’s milk. However, on the insistence of Kasturba he started taking it and he continued taking Goat’s milk for 30 years.

    See: mahatma gandhi lived mostly on goat milk for more than 30 years.

    Also see :

    For Gandhi, food was not something that just satiated hunger. It was an integral part of shaping the human consciousness. Which is why he carried out a number of experiments to find the perfect diet. Though Gandhi is associated with vegetarianism and milk, he actually abstained from milk for a period of six years, considering it an animal product.

    In 1917, when he was bed-ridden, doctors compelled him to take milk. He, however, did not want to break his vow of not consuming cow’s milk. Thus began his now-famous goat-milk diet. And the idea seems to be catching on.


  4. Thanks for very interesting article. btw. I really enjoyed reading all of your posts. It’s interesting to read ideas, and observations from someone else’s point of view… makes you think more.
    So please keep up the great work. Greetings.

  5. Hello brother

    Gandhi is not worshiped, and those who do have no idea of worshiping, only God is to be worshiped, and God doesn’t die(like Gandhi did), he was a mere human. I don’t think elevating any human to level of God is a good idea. He might be a great man for many a ppl, but not me!

  6. I think worship is not rite word to describe wat many feel bout the mahatma, But yes many like can say for sure that some of his philosophy still is valid,
    The truest one for me is truth. The meaning I got form his writing is that “truth to urself is at times more important” …. Helped me better my self and my work.

    His diet (from his book) or rather my version of his diet helped me to stay fit, and enjoy much better. I mean I look better , play with my dog more, feel much much better.
    I think its more important that u understand the sprit of his writing , and evolve a version most acceptable to you.

  7. Hi,

    Its very interesting to know about great personalities and that too about some little known facts.

    Thank you friend. Keep up the good work.

    Proud to be an INDIAN.

    Jai Hind.

    Ravi Kumar.

  8. he is great men and i alwys recpect him.
    gandi ji aap nhi to kya mger apka naam to aje bhi
    bhoolo ki treh mehkta hai. i love gandiji

  9. Hi
    It is happy to see persons like u here ur thinking is quite simple
    Thanks for ur material
    PLs keep in touch with me

    PR Nagarj

  10. Hey Eklavya…

    U seem to have gone through “My Experiment with Truth” and the another book (I forgot it’s name) of Mr MK Gandhi.
    Hehehehehe…not alleging you of plagiarism just wanted to confess that I liked the way you are spreading knowledge about extincting things and simultaneously able to keep live the current topics.

    Good job done buddy!!!

    • Hello friend,

      To be honest, I have not read any of the book written by Mr Gandhi himself. I have already quoted my sources at the bottom of the post. So there is no question of plagiarism. I am glad that you liked the post.

  11. I’m also doing a project on gandhi and all i can say is that he’s a wonderful person and i hope the family of the man who killed gandi is so ashamed of their son but anyway even though i’m not indian i wish i was born during gandhi’s time and followed his marches exspcially the march to the arabian sea.

  12. Dear Eklavya

    I never believe man can be God but I believe God lives in every man, eventhough many never realizes the presence of Gon in themselves. May be Gandhiji was one of the person who realized the God in himself and made his way according to the way “God wanted him to”. You “knowledge-sharing article” was very good. Keep up the good work in future with other such posts.

    Have a nice day!

  13. ‘On seeing the hopeless condition of one tenth of India which was living in a hungry and half-starved state …’ I’ve been to India eleven times, and my wife is from there. Even today, far more than one tenth of Indians suffer from malnutrition, and it must have been even more so in Gandhi’s time.

  14. im doing a project on gandhi for hidtory, do you have anymore interesting facts that would get me marks?
    and great ideas for me?
    schoolgirl xox

  15. Gandhi was revered so much because of how he united the conflicting religions of Islam and Hinduism against the brutal British.

  16. Hey i really liked your post I never knew much about him but now i do. Thanks for writing this and btw you think you can maybe write an article on Bhagat Singh. I think you will probbly like it. I would do the reserch myself but i cant(and i am to lazy LOL)
    Anyway thanks for the article!

  17. I believe that the dawn of 15th August, 1947 was made historical and memorable for every Indian, only because of Mahatma Gandhi. The mighty English were humbled and humiliated just because of gandhi ji. However, I would also like to mention here that, the creation of separate Pakistan and the subsequent riots which shook the whole Indian sub-continent, could have been avoided, if, Mahatma Gandhi had thought otherwise. His soft-corner for Nehru and his belief that Jinnah too was eligible to become a Prime Minister, created havoc on our country. The resolution to carve out another country was perhaps the worst decision. I cant and I am not blaming Gandhi ji for this debacle, however, he is partially responsible for this. Just my thoughts. Your article was awesome. It made me read the rest of your articles as well. Keep up the good work!

  18. dear sir,

    i, long back, in a weekly magazine have read that he had a very conflicting personality.if by any chance you have read it could you please send me your comments on that article? and also could you state your comments on why nathu ram godse killed gandhiji and what was his thinking.

  19. read your article…nice one..but just be sure that Gautam buddha was not born in India. he was born in NEPAL. he got his enlightment in India..but he was born in Nepal..hence, he is Nepali and not Indian…
    thank you,

    • Well I admit that he was born as Siddhartha in a kingdom (Kapilvastu) which at present is located in Nepal. Yet Siddhartha became a Budhha in India. The main thing which seperates Budhha from Siddhartha is his enlightenment which happened in India. It will be too stringent to separate Buddha from India just because he happened to born in a place which is now came in another country. Budhha represent all that is good in spiritual India.

  20. Today is the Birthday of a Great Leader, Politician, Philanthropist, Truth seeker, who said my life is my message!! Who win the freedom of a counrty through non violence!!…we salute……

  21. Isn’t technology marvellous?! I saw Ghandi’s face on Google today which led me to look him up and read all the comments. I am 76 and of course remember reading all about Ghandi and when in India visited his shrine. I find it fascinating that the Net opens up debates such as this and enables on to read about Ghandi and so many others SO easily. I certainly believe, not in God, but that a God lives within us, but one of my favourite sayings these days is that it would be a wonderful world without human beings!! Sorry, but some of us SO good and some SO bad. Still, life is fascinating and I am glad I have lived in Ghandi’s time. It may not have been apoparent but he no doubt contributed to the thoughts and beliefs and behaviour of MANY people.

  22. I stumbled upon this wonderful blog, when I was searching rare facts about Gandhiji, for my 8th studying daughter. But the points mentioned here are for everyone, not just for my little daughter.

    Thanx for sharing

  23. im writing a research paper on Gandhi for English is there anyone that is willing to help me start writing the paper cuz im stuck lol

  24. In the movie “Gandhi”, it was stated that Gandhi was a Christian before he converted to Hinduism. Is this correct? Where is that fact found? and what Christian faith was he? I am studying the Apostle Thomas and there are several churches in India bearing Thomas’ name, the Mar Thoma Church, Christians of Saint Thomas. One church was found in Malabar and a bishop was found in Galiana, south of Bombay.
    thank you in advance, Cheryl

  25. I do not believe that he was great man . i can only say that he was politician like other phonetician. whatever he had done in his life frame other phonetician r doing the same.
    Mahatma Gandhi got popularity because he was killed. Suppose he was not killed could he become a father of nation of India.
    I believe that truth has been buried.
    its never reveal because it was buried under billions of tone soil.

  26. He was killed ny nathuram Godse… i have heard that he used to beat his wife.. but dont know whether its a truth or not..I agree with karan that he was just a politician. He was also responsible for the partition…He was a congressman so after congress came into power in 1947 they just exaggerated everything and made him the great man..and mahatma gandhi…he always said non-violence but the last indian movement i.e. Quit India, he gave the slogan Do or Die…

  27. well i heard the lots of comment of various people about mahatma gandhi . In openion of some people gandhi do all this as a politician but according to me he is the person who have the guts to stand infront of britishers who never allow any Indian to do this but he he stand their because his weapon for fighting is totally different from the others AHINSHA .He have an IDEA that make him different from the otherS. so always think about the positive aspects frome the negative things ……..

  28. as each coin has two side in the same way every great person have to face criticism and flattery, i dont think that mahatma gandhi was a bad person . He was a noble person with affluence values and ethic. The person who criticise mahatma gandhi they should have to remember his sacrifice snd devotion for the country and think over what they have done for the sake of country.

  29. Mahesh, non – violence is not killing or hurting anyone else… By do or die he ment do or let your own slef be m,artyered… So that is not violence….

    And yes, if he was responsible for the partition, then it is good only na…. Just think you a citizen of Pakistan… You’de be dying of hunger (Cos your not a muslim)

  30. those people who are criticising should think ones the life of indians of britishers hands
    how dare you talk bad about gandhiii
    he is rolemodel of all the people throught out the world

  31. I dnt think wise to comment on Gandhiji but as well Gandhiji was a afterall a human being,and human beings are never perfect,2ndly he was a leader and I think what leaders say and preach is often interpreted by their followers,that too in a wrng way than a right way.I think it needs a very big heart to do all that thing when u knw that u can b heavily criticised for what u r going to do.Either it was the matter of giving 55crores to Pakistan to stabilise its people or matter of controlling riots at Noakhali,I suppose no leader except him could have done. He was a humanitarian and some times these humanitarian upset their country people and world too.

  32. Also I think it to say some thing in haste about his decisions and on other scandals (as available on internet)would be total Idiocy and is not a wise thing because what historians and other learned people say is something they have come to know by ears and not eyes,same goes for our generation too.I m just 24 and neither my father nor my mother had born when he died in 1948. SO only avialable information was the thing recorded in History.Actual truth always remains hidden.Suppose NEtaji still lives or not no one knws it correct similarly the person hanged in 1860 was TANATYA TOPe or not who knws.It is quite easier to give commentary from outside than to look inside the truth.

  33. after reading all the facts its difficult to judge his character.As we go through the statement that only he had the guts to face britishers i would say it a part of great politics which was played by the renowed people of that time.And poor india was forced to follow them coz of its pity condition.

  34. Well, now I am studying in VIII std .This is the first time I saw one who is criticising Gandhiji. It’s so pity that you are criticising Him,the Father of Our Nation. It is clear that He didn’t played any political role in British India during the olden days and from His great innocence and simplicity shows that He is great that all those who followed Him and His pathways also became Great . Respect Our Father of Nation ever and ever. Otherwise, insulting our GANDHIJI will be as equal as a crime against India according to me……..

  35. The above article is very good. Some of the unknown facts about Mahatma Gandhiji came to be known. However, Mahatma Gandhi was
    such an unsual personality that he always had something to say about evrything. He was not only champion of nonvioleance, he himself
    practised nonviolrence and insisted that all those who claim to be
    his followers should follow nonviolence.

  36. gandhiji was nothing.he is famous due to media hype.this is bcz media is not allow to criticise him.bhagat singh,chandrashekhar was real leader and we r free today bcz of them not due to gandhi.

  37. What a fantastic research i loved reading this article and this even helped me in my class activity thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  38. Though some of the people said gandhi is bad , I still believe that gandhi is a very great person who fought very hard for the sake of liberty . We are living here in india because of great freedom fighters like gandhi .

  39. meh,…i was looking for facts like how gandhi slept naked with his grand niece and how he was a racist,.. oh well….

  40. this didnt really help me with my homework and why would people write sad stuff on hear, this is such a ribbish blog but i do love gandhi but you people are weird anyway im not going to waste anymore of my life writing this when i have 30 minutes to finsh my homework so goodbye!

  41. God can be found in every human being who can be selfless, righteous, truthful, honest. To be one such kind, you may take Gandhi’s life as an example. Everyone dies one day or the other.Be a human, stay a human and help human kind, you can see God in yourself.

  42. soory, gandhi was not right, if always followed his own way because according to him
    he was only person who can remove britishers and listen one more fact if he was right, then moh. ali jinaha was p.m of india and nehru for pakistan.


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