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Wednesday, Nov 13, 2019

From a shy child to friendship with Tolstoy: Unknown facts about Gandhi

Gandhi Jayanti 2019: He interacted with Russian author Leo Tolstoy through letters. Gandhi read Tolstoy’s works during his jail time in 1909 and was most influenced by his “The Kingdom of God is Within You”.

india Updated: Oct 02, 2019 10:12 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
The Indian embassy in Moscow will host a one week long Tolstoy-Gandhi week keeping in mind the sesquicentennial celebrations of Bapuji’s birthday.
The Indian embassy in Moscow will host a one week long Tolstoy-Gandhi week keeping in mind the sesquicentennial celebrations of Bapuji’s birthday. (@IndEmbMoscow)
         

It is well known that Mahatma Gandhi pioneered the philosophy of non-violent resistance to the British occupation of India and his doctrines of truth and satyagraha inspired leaders across the globe.

The lawyer, politician, social activist, and writer, who led India successfully against the British rule, is quoted extensively for his views on peace and love for fellow human beings.

There’s a lot more to the Mahatma than his hunger strikes and message of non-violence.

So here are some unknown facts about Gandhi:

Gandhi was very shy as a child and return home as soon as school ended to avoid talking to anyone.

He attended law school in London where his teachers pointed him out on his bad handwriting.

Watch: In Pictures, Gandhi’s 21 years in South Africa and how he inspired Mandela 

He interacted with Russian author Leo Tolstoy through letters. Gandhi read Tolstoy’s works during his jail time in 1909 and was most influenced by his “The Kingdom of God is Within You”.

Gandhi bought a farm in 1910 near Johannesburg in South Africa and named it Tolstoy Farm. Gandhi experimented with a communal lifestyle at the farm he witnessed at a Trappist monastery.

The Mahatma was the Time Magazine’s Person of the Year in 1930.

He was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize five times but never received the award.

Also read: Indian Embassy in Russia organises Gandhi-Tolstoy exhibition on Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary

India got its freedom on August 15, 1947, which was a Friday, and Gandhi was assassinated on January 30, 1948, also a Friday.

Great Britain, the country against whom he fought for India’s Independence, released a stamp honouring him, 21 years after his death.

The Reserve Bank of India issued the Gandhi series banknotes with his portrait since its introduction in 1996. The series issued in 1996 is of 10 and 500 rupee banknotes.

The United Nations declared Gandhi’s birthday, October 2, as the International Day of Non-violence in 2007.