As we celebrate Gandhi Jayanti or anniversary of Father of the Nation with a long weekend; let’s take a moment to appreciate the man who has selflessly done so much for this nation. Here, we have compiled a list of some interesting facts, you probably never knew about him.
- Experiment with football
True to it’s name, Gandhiji established three football club which were under the same name in Pretoria, Johannesburg and Durham.The idea was to promote team play for non violent campaign against racial discrimination. Guess they won’t need a mascot. Here’s a link for more detailed account. Go Resistors!
- Fan following
Gandhiji has a huge fan following and inspite of never visiting US, he and his accomplishments were widely popular there. One of his admirers was American billionaire Henry Ford, who is credited with elevating the status of middle class with higher wages and mass production of inexpensive goods.
Gandhi sent him an autographed spinning wheel through a journalist emissary. It’s said that during the miserable days of the Second World War, Ford would often spin the ‘Charka’, the spinning wheel that Gandhi had sent.
- Desi employer
The firm that hired Gandhiji in 1893 for a year-long contract to work in South Africa was Dada Abdulla & Co., an Indian firm.
At peak, he earned about 15K which is around 12 Lakh per annum when adjusted to current inflation. Still a dream for many.
- The invaluable smile
Contrary to what I and many other used to think, the smiling pic of gandhiji on bank notes isn’t oil painting but a real photograph pictured in 1946 by an unknown photographer. It’s a mirror image of photograph where gandhi was smiling at some nearby person and then the same image was used for imprint on the Indian rupee.
- The not-so-non-violent stint
Gandhiji served in the army during the Boer war. He was among the few who gave unconditional support to Britishers during the first world war. His crusade again violence followed after watching the war.
- Man of the year
Gandhiji was declared Man of the year by famous American publication TIME for year 1930 for his crusade against racial discrimination across 4 continents. Also, the first Indian to have the title.
- The charismatic leader
Gandhiji perhaps still holds the record for most number of people attending a leaders political gathering in terms of percentage of population. Some stats put around 80% of local population attended when Gandhi called a gathering. Bose once said:
”If I give a call then 20 lakh people would come, but if Gandhiji gives a call then 20 crore would come.”