Mahatma Gandhi Age, Caste, Wife, Children, Family, Biography & More

by Alessia Smith
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Alternative Title: Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

Mahatma Gandhi, byname of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, (born October 2, 1869, Porbandar, India—died January 30, 1948, Delhi), Indian lawyer, politician, social activist, and writer who became the leader of the nationalist movement against the British rule of India. As such, he came to be considered the father of his country. Gandhi is internationally esteemed for his doctrine of nonviolent protest (satyagraha) to achieve political and social progress.

In the eyes of millions of his fellow Indians, Gandhi was the Mahatma (“Great Soul”). The unthinking adoration of the huge crowds that gathered to see him all along the route of his tours made them a severe ordeal; he could hardly work during the day or rest at night. “The woes of the Mahatmas,” he wrote, “are known only to the Mahatmas.” His fame spread worldwide during his lifetime and only increased after his death. The name Mahatma Gandhi is now one of the most universally recognized on earth.


Gandhi was the youngest child of his father’s fourth wife. His father—Karamchand Gandhi, who was the dewan (chief minister) of Porbandar, the capital of a small principality in western India (in what is now Gujarat state) under British suzerainty—did not have much in the way of a formal education. He was, however, an able administrator who knew how to steer his way between the capricious princes, their long-suffering subjects, and the headstrong British political officers in power.

Gandhi’s mother, Putlibai, was completely absorbed in religion, did not care much for finery or jewelry, divided her time between her home and the temple, fasted frequently, and wore herself out in days and nights of nursing whenever there was sickness in the family. Mohandas grew up in a home steeped in Vaishnavism—worship of the Hindu god Vishnu—with a strong tinge of Jainism, a morally rigorous Indian religion whose chief tenets are nonviolence and the belief that everything in the universe is eternal. Thus, he took for granted ahimsa (noninjury to all living beings), vegetarianism, fasting for self-purification, and mutual tolerance between adherents of various creeds and sects.

The educational facilities at Porbandar were rudimentary; in the primary school that Mohandas attended, the children wrote the alphabet in the dust with their fingers. Luckily for him, his father became dewan of Rajkot, another princely state. Though Mohandas occasionally won prizes and scholarships at the local schools, his record was on the whole mediocre. One of the terminal reports rated him as “good at English, fair in Arithmetic and weak in Geography; conduct very good, bad handwriting.” He was married at the age of 13 and thus lost a year at school. A diffident child, he shone neither in the classroom nor on the playing field. He loved to go out on long solitary walks when he was not nursing his by then ailing father (who died soon thereafter) or helping his mother with her household chores.

He had learned, in his words, “to carry out the orders of the elders, not to scan them.” With such extreme passivity, it is not surprising that he should have gone through a phase of adolescent rebellion, marked by secret atheism, petty thefts, furtive smoking, and—most shocking of all for a boy born in a Vaishnava family—meat eating. His adolescence was probably no stormier than that of most children of his age and class. What was extraordinary was the way his youthful transgressions ended.

“Never again” was his promise to himself after each escapade. And he kept his promise. Beneath an unprepossessing exterior, he concealed a burning passion for self-improvement that led him to take even the heroes of Hindu mythology, such as Prahlada and Harishcandra—legendary embodiments of truthfulness and sacrifice—as living models.

In 1887 Mohandas scraped through the matriculation examination of the University of Bombay (now University of Mumbai) and joined Samaldas College in Bhavnagar (Bhaunagar). As he had to suddenly switch from his native language—Gujarati—to English, he found it rather difficult to follow the lectures.

Meanwhile, his family was debating his future. Left to himself, he would have liked to have been a doctor. But, besides the Vaishnava prejudice against vivisection, it was clear that, if he was to keep up the family tradition of holding high office in one of the states in Gujarat, he would have to qualify as a barrister. That meant a visit to England, and Mohandas, who was not too happy at Samaldas College, jumped at the proposal. His youthful imagination conceived England as “a land of philosophers and poets, the very centre of civilization.” But there were several hurdles to be crossed before the visit to England could be realized. His father had left the family little property; moreover, his mother was reluctant to expose her youngest child to unknown temptations and dangers in a distant land. But Mohandas was determined to visit England. One of his brothers raised the necessary money, and his mother’s doubts were allayed when he took a vow that, while away from home, he would not touch wine, women, or meat. Mohandas disregarded the last obstacle—the decree of the leaders of the Modh Bania subcaste (Vaishya caste), to which the Gandhis belonged, who forbade his trip to England as a violation of the Hindu religion—and sailed in September 1888. Ten days after his arrival, he joined the Inner Temple, one of the four London law colleges (The Temple).

Sojourn In England And Return To India

Gandhi took his studies seriously and tried to brush up on his English and Latin by taking the University of London matriculation examination. But, during the three years he spent in England, his main preoccupation was with personal and moral issues rather than with academic ambitions. The transition from the half-rural atmosphere of Rajkot to the cosmopolitan life of London was not easy for him. As he struggled painfully to adapt himself to Western food, dress, and etiquette, he felt awkward. His vegetarianism became a continual source of embarrassment to him; his friends warned him that it would wreck his studies as well as his health. Fortunately for him he came across a vegetarian restaurant as well as a book providing a reasoned defense of vegetarianism, which henceforth became a matter of conviction for him, not merely a legacy of his Vaishnava background. The missionary zeal he developed for vegetarianism helped to draw the pitifully shy youth out of his shell and gave him a new poise. He became a member of the executive committee of the London Vegetarian Society, attending its conferences and contributing articles to its journal.

In the boardinghouses and vegetarian restaurants of England, Gandhi met not only food faddists but some earnest men and women to whom he owed his introduction to the Bible and, more important, the Bhagavadgita, which he read for the first time in its English translation by Sir Edwin Arnold. The Bhagavadgita (commonly known as the Gita) is part of the great epic the Mahabharata and, in the form of a philosophical poem, is the most-popular expression of Hinduism. The English vegetarians were a motley crowd. They included socialists and humanitarians such as Edward Carpenter, “the British Thoreau”; Fabians such as George Bernard Shaw; and Theosophists such as Annie Besant. Most of them were idealists; quite a few were rebels who rejected the prevailing values of the late-Victorian establishment, denounced the evils of the capitalist and industrial society, preached the cult of the simple life, and stressed the superiority of moral over material values and of cooperation over conflict. Those ideas were to contribute substantially to the shaping of Gandhi’s personality and, eventually, to his politics.

Painful surprises were in store for Gandhi when he returned to India in July 1891. His mother had died in his absence, and he discovered to his dismay that the barrister’s degree was not a guarantee of a lucrative career. The legal profession was already beginning to be overcrowded, and Gandhi was much too diffident to elbow his way into it. In the very first brief he argued in a court in Bombay (now Mumbai), he cut a sorry figure. Turned down even for the part-time job of a teacher in a Bombay high school, he returned to Rajkot to make a modest living by drafting petitions for litigants. Even that employment was closed to him when he incurred the displeasure of a local British officer. It was, therefore, with some relief that in 1893 he accepted the none-too-attractive offer of a year’s contract from an Indian firm in NatalSouth Africa.

Years In South Africa

Africa was to present to Gandhi challenges and opportunities that he could hardly have conceived. In the end he would spend more than two decades there, returning to India only briefly in 1896–97. The youngest two of his four children were born there.

Emergence as a political and social activist

Gandhi was quickly exposed to the racial discrimination practiced in South Africa. In a Durban court he was asked by the European magistrate to take off his turban; he refused and left the courtroom. A few days later, while traveling to Pretoria, he was unceremoniously thrown out of a first-class railway compartment and left shivering and brooding at the rail station in Pietermaritzburg. In the further course of that journey, he was beaten up by the white driver of a stagecoach because he would not travel on the footboard to make room for a European passenger, and finally he was barred from hotels reserved “for Europeans only.” Those humiliations were the daily lot of Indian traders and labourers in Natal, who had learned to pocket them with the same resignation with which they pocketed their meagre earnings. What was new was not Gandhi’s experience but his reaction. He had so far not been conspicuous for self-assertion or aggressiveness. But something happened to him as he smarted under the insults heaped upon him. In retrospect the journey from Durban to Pretoria struck him as one of the most-creative experiences of his life; it was his moment of truth. Henceforth he would not accept injustice as part of the natural or unnatural order in South Africa; he would defend his dignity as an Indian and as a man.

While in Pretoria, Gandhi studied the conditions in which his fellow South Asians in South Africa lived and tried to educate them on their rights and duties, but he had no intention of staying on in South Africa. Indeed, in June 1894, as his year’s contract drew to a close, he was back in Durban, ready to sail for India. At a farewell party given in his honour, he happened to glance through the Natal Mercury and learned that the Natal Legislative Assembly was considering a bill to deprive Indians of the right to vote. “This is the first nail in our coffin,” Gandhi told his hosts. They professed their inability to oppose the bill, and indeed their ignorance of the politics of the colony, and begged him to take up the fight on their behalf.

Until the age of 18, Gandhi had hardly ever read a newspaper. Neither as a student in England nor as a budding barrister in India had he evinced much interest in politics. Indeed, he was overcome by a terrifying stage fright whenever he stood up to read a speech at a social gathering or to defend a client in court. Nevertheless, in July 1894, when he was barely 25, he blossomed almost overnight into a proficient political campaigner. He drafted petitions to the Natal legislature and the British government and had them signed by hundreds of his compatriots. He could not prevent the passage of the bill but succeeded in drawing the attention of the public and the press in Natal, India, and England to the Natal Indians’ grievances. He was persuaded to settle down in Durban to practice law and to organize the Indian community. In 1894 he founded the Natal Indian Congress, of which he himself became the indefatigable secretary. Through that common political organization, he infused a spirit of solidarity in the heterogeneous Indian community. He flooded the government, the legislature, and the press with closely reasoned statements of Indian grievances. Finally, he exposed to the view of the outside world the skeleton in the imperial cupboard, the discrimination practiced against the Indian subjects of Queen Victoria in one of her own colonies in Africa. It was a measure of his success as a publicist that such important newspapers as The Times of London and The Statesman and Englishman of Calcutta (now Kolkata) editorially commented on the Natal Indians’ grievances.

In 1896 Gandhi went to India to fetch his wife, Kasturba (or Kasturbai), and their two oldest children and to canvass support for the Indians overseas. He met prominent leaders and persuaded them to address public meetings in the country’s principal cities. Unfortunately for him, garbled versions of his activities and utterances reached Natal and inflamed its European population. On landing at Durban in January 1897, he was assaulted and nearly lynched by a white mob. Joseph Chamberlain, the colonial secretary in the British Cabinet, cabled the government of Natal to bring the guilty men to book, but Gandhi refused to prosecute his assailants. It was, he said, a principle with him not to seek redress of a personal wrong in a court of law.

Resistance and results

Gandhi was not the man to nurse a grudge. On the outbreak of the South African (Boer) War in 1899, he argued that the Indians, who claimed the full rights of citizenship in the British crown colony of Natal, were in duty bound to defend it. He raised an ambulance corps of 1,100 volunteers, out of whom 300 were free Indians and the rest indentured labourers. It was a motley crowd: barristers and accountants, artisans and labourers. It was Gandhi’s task to instill in them a spirit of service to those whom they regarded as their oppressors. The editor of the Pretoria News offered an insightful portrait of Gandhi in the battle zone:

The religious quest

Gandhi’s religious quest dated back to his childhood, the influence of his mother and of his home life in Porbandar and Rajkot, but it received a great impetus after his arrival in South Africa. His Quaker friends in Pretoria failed to convert him to Christianity, but they quickened his appetite for religious studies. He was fascinated by the writings of Leo Tolstoy on Christianity, read the Quʾrān in translation, and delved into Hindu scriptures and philosophy. The study of comparative religion, talks with scholars, and his own reading of theological works brought him to the conclusion that all religions were true and yet every one of them was imperfect because they were “interpreted with poor intellects, sometimes with poor hearts, and more often misinterpreted.”

Shrimad Rajchandra, a brilliant young Jain philosopher who became Gandhi’s spiritual mentor, convinced him of “the subtlety and profundity” of Hinduism, the religion of his birth. And it was the Bhagavadgita, which Gandhi had first read in London, that became his “spiritual dictionary” and exercised probably the greatest single influence on his life. Two Sanskrit words in the Gita particularly fascinated him. One was aparigraha (“nonpossession”), which implies that people have to jettison the material goods that cramp the life of the spirit and to shake off the bonds of money and property. The other was samabhava (“equability”), which enjoins people to remain unruffled by pain or pleasure, victory or defeat, and to work without hope of success or fear of failure.

Those were not merely counsels of perfection. In the civil case that had taken him to South Africa in 1893, he had persuaded the antagonists to settle their differences out of court. The true function of a lawyer seemed to him “to unite parties riven asunder.” He soon regarded his clients not as purchasers of his services but as friends; they consulted him not only on legal issues but on such matters as the best way of weaning a baby or balancing the family budget. When an associate protested that clients came even on Sundays, Gandhi replied: “A man in distress cannot have Sunday rest.”

Emergence as nationalist leader

For the next three years, Gandhi seemed to hover uncertainly on the periphery of Indian politics, declining to join any political agitation, supporting the British war effort, and even recruiting soldiers for the British Indian Army. At the same time, he did not flinch from criticizing the British officials for any acts of high-handedness or from taking up the grievances of the long-suffering peasantry in Bihar and Gujarat. By February 1919, however, the British had insisted on pushing through—in the teeth of fierce Indian opposition—the Rowlatt Acts, which empowered the authorities to imprison without trial those suspected of sedition. A provoked Gandhi finally revealed a sense of estrangement from the British Raj and announced a satyagraha struggle. The result was a virtual political earthquake that shook the subcontinent in the spring of 1919. The violent outbreaks that followed—notably the Massacre of Amritsar, which was the killing by British-led soldiers of nearly 400 Indians who were gathered in an open space in Amritsar in the Punjab region (now in Punjab state), and the enactment of martial law—prompted him to stay his hand. However, within a year he was again in a militant mood, having in the meantime been irrevocably alienated by British insensitiveness to Indian feeling on the Punjab tragedy and Muslim resentment on the peace terms offered to Turkey following World War I.


The age limit for various SSC CGL 2019-20 posts have been divided into 5 Age Groups which are as follows:

S.No.Age LimitRemarks
118-27 yearsCandidate must have been born not earlier than 02-01-1993 and not later than 01-01-2002
220-27 yearsCandidate must have been born not earlier than 02-01-1993 and not later than 01-01-2000
320-30 yearsCandidate must have been born not earlier than 02-01-1990 and not later than 01-01-2000
4Upto 30 yearsCandidate must have been born not earlier than 02-01-1990 and not later than 01-01-2002
5Upto 32 yearsCandidate must have been born not earlier than 02-01-1988 and not later than 01-01-2002

Know the Complete SSC CGL Syllabus 2019-20: Tier I, II, III and IV with Exam Pattern

The Age Limit for various posts under SSC CGL 2019-20 Recruitment is as on 1st January 2020 is as follows:

SSC CGL 2019-20 Postwise Age Limit
Name of Post/ Name of Ministry/ Department/ Office/ CadreAge LimitClassification of Posts/ Nature of Physical Disabilities permissible for the post
Pay Level-8 (Rs 47600 to 151100)/ Grade Pay-4800
Assistant AUDIT Officer in Indian Audit & Accounts Department under CAGNot exceeding30 yearsGroup “B” Gazetted (Non-Ministerial)/OH (OA, OL, BL) & HH
Assistant ACCOUNTS Officer in Indian Audit & Accounts Department under CAGNot exceeding30 yearsGroup “B” Gazetted (Non-Ministerial)/OH (OA, OL, BL) & HH
Pay Level-7 (Rs 44900 to 142400)/ Grade Pay-4600
Assistant Section Officer in CENTRAL SECRETARIAT SERVICE20-30 yearsGroup “B”/OA, OL, B, BL, OAL, LV & HH
Assistant SECTION Officer in INTELLIGENCE BUREAUNot exceeding30 yearsGroup “B”/Post not identified suitable forPwD candidates
Assistant Section Officer in MINISTRY OF RAILWAY20-30 yearsGroup “B”/B, LV, FD (Fully Deaf), HH (Hard of Hearing, OA, OL, OAL, BL, MW (Muscular Weakness), Leprosy cured, Dwarfism, Acid Attack Victims, & (OA, LV), (OL, LV), (OA, HH), (OL,HH) and (LV, HH)
Assistant Section Officer in MINISTRY OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS20-30 yearsGroup “B”/OA, OL, B, BL, OAL, LV & HH
Assistant Section Officer in AFHQ (Armed Forces Headquarters)20-30 yearsGroup “B”/B, LV, Deaf, HH, OA, OL, OAL, BL, Cerebral Palsy, Leprosy cured, Dwarfism, Acid Attack Victims, Muscular Dystrophy, Specific Learning Disability, Multiple Disabilities from amongst above except Deaf-Blindness
Assistant in Other Ministries/ Departments/ Organizations18-30 yearsGroup “B”/OA, OL, B, BL, OAL, LV & HH
Assistant in Other Ministries/ Departments/ Organizations20-30 yearsGroup “B”/OA, OL, B, BL, OAL, LV &HH
Assistant Section Officer in Other Ministries/ Departments/ OrganizationsNot exceeding30 yearsGroup “B”/OA, OL, B, BL, OAL, LV &HH
Inspector of Income Tax in CBDT (Central Board of Direct Taxes)Not exceeding30 yearsGroup “C”/ OA, OL, BL, OAL, HH
Inspector (Central Excise) in CBIC (Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs)Not exceeding30 yearsGroup “B”/OA, OL, OAL, HH
Inspector (Preventive Officer) in CBIC (Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs)Not exceeding30 yearsGroup “B”/OA, OL, OAL, HH
Inspector (Examiner) in CBIC (Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs)Not exceeding30 yearsGroup “B”/OA, OL, OAL, HH
Assistant Enforcement Officer in DIRECTORATE OF ENFORCEMENT, DEPARTMENT OF REVENUEUp to 30 yearsGroup “B”/Post not identified suitable forPwD candidates
Sub Inspector in CENTRAL BUREAU OFINVESTIGATION20-30 yearsGroup “B”/Post not identified suitable forPwD candidates
Inspector Posts in DEPARTMENT OF POST18-30 yearsGroup “B”/LV, Hard of Hearing (HH), OA, OL, OAL, Leprosy cured, Dwarfism, Acid Attack Victims and multiple disabilities from amongst disabilities mentioned above
Inspector in CENTRAL BUREAU OFNARCOTICSNot exceeding30 yearsPost not identified suitable forPwD candidates
Pay Level-6 (Rs 35400 to 112400)/ Grade Pay – 4200
Assistant in Other Ministries/Departments/ OrganizationsNot exceeding30 yearsGroup “B”/OA, OL, B, BL, OAL, LV & HH
Assistant [Geological Survey of India (GSI)]Not exceeding30 yearsOA, OL, B, BL, OAL, LV & HH, BLOA, Acid Attack Victims (AV), AV+HH, HH+OA, HH+OLA, AV+B, AV+LV
Assistant/ Superintendent in Other Ministries/ Departments/ OrganisationsNot exceeding30 yearsGroup “B”/OA, OL, B, BL, OAL, LV & HH
Divisional Accountant in Offices under C&AG (Comptroller and Auditor General of India)Not exceeding30 yearsGroup “B”/OA, OL, OAL, BL, PD & D
Sub Inspector in NationalInvestigation Agency (NIA)Up to 30 yearsGroup “B”/Post not identified suitable forPwD candidates
Junior Statistical Officer in M/o Statistics & Programme ImplementationUp to 32 yearsGroup “B”/Post identified for individualswith nature of disability*
Statistical Investigator Grade-II in Registrar General of IndiaNot exceeding30 yearsGroup “B”/Post identified for individualswith nature of disability*
Pay Level-5 (Rs 29200 to 92300)/ Grade Pay-2800
Auditor in Offices under C&AG (Comptroller and Auditor General of India)18-27 yearsGroup “C”/OA, OL, OAL, BL & HH
Auditor in Other Ministry/ Departments18-27 yearsGroup “C”/OA, OL, BL & HH
Auditor in Offices under CGDA (Controller General of Defence Accounts)18-27 yearsGroup “C”/OA, OL, BL, HH & VH
Accountant in Offices under C&AG (Comptroller and Auditor General of India)18-27 yearsGroup “C”/OA, OL, OAL, BL & HH
Accountant/ Junior Accountant in Other Ministry/ Departments18-27 yearsGroup “C”/OA, OL, OAL, BL, HH
Pay Level-4 (Rs 25500 to 81100)/ Grade Pay-2400
Senior Secretariat Assistant/ Upper Division Clerks in Central Govt. Offices/Ministries other than CSCS cadres18-27 yearsGroup “C”/OA, OL, BL, OAL, B, LV, HH
Tax Assistant in CBDT (Central Board of Direct Taxes)18-27 yearsGroup “C”/BL, OL, PD, D, PB, B, OA, OAL
Tax Assistant in CBIC (Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs)18-27 yearsGroup “C”/OL, OA, BL, OAL, B, LV, HH
Sub-Inspector in Central Bureau ofNarcotics18-27 yearsGroup “C”/Post not identified suitable for PwD candidate
Upper Division Clerks in Dte. Gen Border Road Organisation (MoD)18-27 years(Post is only for male Candidates with higher physical and medical standards)Group “C”/Post not identified suitable for PwD candidate


Real NameMohandas Karamchand Gandhi
NicknameMahatma, Father of the Nation and Bapu
ProfessionPolitician, Lawyer, Peace Activist, Philosopher
Major Works• Gandhi witnessed racism, prejudice, injustice against himself and Indians in South Africa, after witnessing all this, Gandhi extended his original period of stay in South Africa to help Indians in opposing a bill to deny them the right to vote. He asked Joseph Chamberlain, the British Colonial Secretary, to reconsider his position on this bill.
• He helped found the Natal Indian Congress in 1894, and through this organisation, he moulded the Indian community of South Africa into a unified political force.
• A new act was promulgated by Transvaal govt in 1906; this Act was compelling every male Asian had to register himself and produce on demand a thumb-printed certificate of identity. Unregistered persons and restricted immigrants could be deported without a right of appeal or fined on the spot if they fail to comply with Act. At the same time, Gandhi employed the Satyagraha, a non-violent protest in South Africa. He urged Indians to boycott the new law and to suffer the retribution for doing so. The community adopted this plan, and during the ensuing seven-year struggle, thousands of Indians were jailed, flogged, or shot for striking, refusing to register, for burning their registration cards or engaging in other forms of nonviolent resistance. Government quelled the protest easily, but the public outcry constrained South African leader Jan Christiaan Smuts to negotiate a compromise with Gandhi.
• Upon returning to India in 1915, Gandhi played a major role in Indian Independence, Gandhi took leadership of the Congress in 1920 and started escalating demands for India’s independence. 26 January 1930 was the day when Indian National Congress declared the independence of India. The British did not recognise the declaration, but negotiations ensued, with the Congress taking a role in provincial government in the late 1930s.
• In 1918, Gandhi initiated Champaran and Kheda agitations.
• In 1930, Salt March Movement was initiated by Mahatma Gandhi to oppose taxation on salt by British Government.
• On 8 August 1942, Mahatma Gandhi, initiated a movement named “Quit India Movement”. Gandhi made a call to Do or Die in his Quit India speech delivered in Bombay at the Gowalia Tank Maidan.
Famous Quotes• “Be the change that you want to see in the world.”
• “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is an attribute of the strong.”
• “An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind.”
• “Nobody can hurt me without my permission.”
• “In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”
• “An ounce of patience is worth more than a tonne of preaching.”
• “A man is but a product of his thoughts. What he thinks he becomes.”
• “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”
• “First, they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”
• “Poverty is the worst form of violence.”
Physical Stats & More
Height (Approx.)in centimeters- 168 cm
in meters- 1.68 m
in Feet Inches- 5’ 6”
Eye ColourBlack
Hair ColourBald
Personal Life
Date of Birth2 October 1869
Place of BirthPorbandar State, Kathiawar Agency, British Indian Empire
(now in Gujarat, India)
Date of Death30 January 1948
Place of DeathNew Delhi, India
Death CauseAssassination by shooting
Age (as on 30 January 1948)78 Years
Resting PlaceRaj Ghat Delhi but his ashes was scattered in various Indian Rivers
Zodiac sign/Sun signLibra
HometownPorbandar, Gujarat
SchoolA Local School in Rajkot
Alfred High School, Rajkot
A High School in Ahmedabad
CollegeSamaldas College, Bhavnagar State (now, District Bhavnagar, Gujarat), India
Inner Temple, London
UCL Faculty of Laws, University College London
Educational QualificationsBarrister-at-law
FamilyFather– Karamchand Gandhi, Dewan (chief minister) of Porbandar state

Mother– Putlibai Gandhi (Homemaker)

Brothers– Laxmidas Karamchand Gandhi,

Karsandas Gandhi
Sister– Raliatbehn Gandhi
CasteModh Baniya
HobbiesRoaming About, Reading books, Listening to Music
Controversies• In 2016, some Ghanian students called for the removal of a statue of Mahatma Gandhi from a university campus. They accused Gandhi of being racist towards black people by holding the view that Indians were higher than them. This view was also held by two South African professors Ashwin Desai and Goolam Vahed who claimed that Gandhi labelled black Africans as “savage,” “raw” and “indolent”. Gandhi also demanded separate entrances for blacks and Indians at the Durban post office while he was living in South Africa.
• In 1906, Gandhi took an oath to abstain from sex life. Gandhi carried out several experiments to test himself as a celibate. He brought his grandniece Manubehn to sleep naked in his bed as part of a spiritual experiment in which Gandhi could test himself as a “Brahmachari”. Several other young women and girls also sometimes shared his bed as part of his experiments. These experiments took flak from most of the Indian Politicians and the people of India.
Favourite Things
Favourite PersonsGautama Buddha, Harishchandra, and his mother Putlibai
Favourite AuthorLeo Tolstoy
Girls, Affairs and More
Marital StatusMarried
Affairs/GirlfriendsNot Known
WifeKasturba Gandhi


Daughters– N/A
Mahatma Gandhi

Some Lesser Known Facts About Mahatma Gandhi

  • Did Mahatma Gandhi Smoke? : Yes (Abandoned)
  • Did Mahatma Gandhi drink alcohol?: Not Known
  • He was born as Mohandas Gandhi to a Hindu Modh Baniya family in Porbandar (also known as Sudamapuri).
  • Although his father, Karamchand Gandhi, only had an elementary education. He proved to be a capable Chief Minister of Porbandar State. Previously, Karamchand was posted as a clerk in the state administration.
  • During his tenure as the Chief Minister of Porbandar, Karamchand married 4 times (1st 2 wives died young after each had given birth to a daughter). Karamchand’s 3rd marriage was childless. In 1857, Karamchand had his 4th marriage with Putlibai (1841-1891).
  • His mother, Putlibai, was from a Pranami Vaishnava family of Junagadh.
  • Before, Mohandas (Mahatma Gandhi) was born; Karamchand & Putlibai had 3 children- a son, Laxmidas (1860-1914), a daughter, Raliatbehn (1862–1960) and another son, Karsandas (1866-1913).
  • On 2 October 1869, in a dark, windowless room, Putlibai gave birth to her last child, Mohandas, in Porbandar.
  • Gandhiji’s sister, Raliatben, described him as “restless as mercury, either playing or roaming around. One of his favourite pastimes was twisting dogs’ ears.”
  • The classic Indian stories of king Harishchandra and Shravana had a great impact on Gandhiji’s childhood. In an interview, he said, “It haunted me, and I must have acted Harishchandra to myself times without number.” We can trace Gandhiji’s early encounter with truth, love, and sacrifice to these stories.
  • Mahatma Gandhi’s mother was an extremely pious lady, and he was deeply influenced by her. She would never take meals without daily prayers. To keep 2 or 3 consecutive fasts was normal to her. Perhaps, it was his mother who inspired Gandhiji to keep long fasts in his later years.
  • In 1874, his father, Karamchand, left Porbandar and became a counsellor at Rajkot to its ruler; Thakur Sahib.
  • At the age of 9, he entered a local school near his house in Rajkot.
  • When he was 11, he joined a high school in Rajkot. There he was an average student and was very shy. Mahatma Gandhi In His Childhood
  • While at High School, he met a Muslim friend named Sheikh Mehtab. Mehtab encouraged him to eat meat to gain height. Mehtab also took him to a brothel one day. The experience was quite disturbing for Mohandas, and he left the company of Mehtab.
  • In May 1883, at the age of 13, Mohandas married 14-years-old Kasturbai Makhanji Kapadia (shortened to “Kasturba”, and affectionately to “Ba”). Recalling the day of their marriage, Mahatma Gandhi once said, “As we didn’t know much about marriage, for us it meant only wearing new clothes, eating sweets and playing with relatives.” He also described with regret the lustful feelings he had for his young bride.
  • In 1885, his father died, at that time Mahatma Gandhi was 16-years-old. The same year, he also had his first child, who survived for only a few days. Later, the couple had 4 more children, all sons: Harilal (b. 1888), Manilal (b. 1892), Ramdas (1897), and Devdas (1900).
  • In November 1887, at the age of 18, he graduated from high school in Ahmedabad.
  • In January 1888, the young Gandhi enrolled at Samaldas College in Bhavnagar State. However, he dropped out and returned to Porbandar. Young Mahatma Gandhi
  • On 10 August 1888, on the advice of Mavji Dave Joshiji (a Brahmin priest and family friend), Mohandas left Porbandar for Bombay with an aim to pursue Law Studies in London. People warned him that England would tempt him eating meat and drinking alcohol. To this, Gandhi made a vow in front of his mother that he would abstain from alcohol, meat, and women.
  • On 4 September 1888, he sailed off Bombay to London.
  • With the intention of becoming a barrister, he enrolled at the Inner Temple in London and studied there Law and Jurisprudence. His childhood shyness continued in London also. However, he started adopting ‘English Customs’, like English-speaking, taking dance classes, etc.
  • While in London, he joined “Vegetarian Society” and was elected to its Executive Committee. Most of the vegetarians he met there were members of Theosophical Society (established in New York City in 1875). They encouraged Mohandas Gandhi to join the Theosophical Society. Mahatma Gandhi (Seated Extreme Right) With The Members of Vegetarian Society
  • On 12 January 1891, he passed the Law Examination.
  • In June 1891, at the age of 22, he was called to the British Bar and enrolled in the High Court. The same year he returned to India where he found that his mother had died while he was in London. Mahatma Gandhi in London
  • In India, he was introduced to Raychandbhai (Whom Gandhiji regarded as his Guru).
  • He started practising Law in Bombay. However, it failed as he lacked psychological tactics to cross-examine witnesses. Then, he returned to Rajkot, where he started a modest living by drafting petitions for litigants. However, after a brawl with a British Officer, he was forced to stop his work.
  • In 1893, a Muslim merchant named Dada Abdullah met Mohandas Gandhi. Abdullah had a large shipping business in South Africa, and Abdullah’s distant cousin, who lived in Johannesburg, needed a lawyer. Abdullah offered £105 plus travel expenses to him, which he happily accepted.
  • In April 1893, at the age of 23, he set sail for South Africa (where he would spend 21 years; developing his political views, ethics, and politics).
  • In June 1893, At Pietermaritzburg station, Mohandas Gandhi was ordered to go into the van compartment of the train although he held a 1st class ticket. On his refusal, he was forcibly ejected, his bundles pitched out after him. He was left to shiver at the platform all night. Mahatma Gandhi Pietermaritzburg Station
  • In May 1894, the Abdullah case that had brought him to South Africa was concluded.
  • Bewildered with the discriminations faced by the Indians in South Africa, on May 1894, he proposed an organisation to watch the interest of Indians, and on 22 August 1894, it finally resulted in the foundation of Natal Indian Congress to fight colour prejudice. Mahatma Gandhi With the Founders of Natal Indian Congress
  • In October 1899, after the break of Boer War, Mohandas Gandhi joined Ambulance Corps. To support British combat troops against the Boers, he raised 1100 Indian Volunteers. For this Gandhi and 37 other Indians received the Queen’s South Africa Medal. Mahatma Gandhi Ambulance Corps
  • On 11 September 1906, for the first time, he adopted “Satyagraha” (a nonviolent protest) against the Transvaal Government, which had enacted a new law compelling registration of the colonies of Indian and Chinese populations. Mahatma Gandhi First Satyagraha in South Africa
  • Mahatma Gandhi was inspired by the idea of Satyagraha by a letter written to Tarak Nath Das by the Russian pacifist Leo Tolstoy. He took the idea back to India in 1915. Mahatma Gandhi And Leo Tolstoy
  • Between 13 and 22 November 1909, he wrote “Hind Swaraj” in Gujarati on board S.S.Kildonan Castle on the way to South Africa from London. Mahatma Gandhi Book Hind Swaraj
  • In 1910, he established the “Tolstoy Farm” near Johannesburg (an idealistic community). Mahatma Gandhi Tolstoy Farm
  • On 9 January 1915, he returned to India. Since 2003, the day is celebrated as “Pravasi Bhartiya Divas” in India.
  • While in India, Mahatma Gandhi joined the Indian National Congress. It was Gopal Krishna Gokhale who introduced him to Indian issues, politics, and the Indian people. Mahatma Gandhi With Gopal Krishna Gokhale
  • In May 1915, he founded Satyagraha Ashram at Kochrab in Ahmedabad. Mahatma Gandhi Satyagraha Ashram at Kochrab
  • In April 1917, being persuaded by a local money lender in Champaran named Raj Kumar Shukla, Mahatma Gandhi visited Champaran to address the issue of Indigo farmers. It was Mahatma Gandhi’s first protest against the British atrocities in India.
  • In 1918, along with Vallabhbhai Patel, he took part in Kheda Movement demanding relief from taxes as the Kheda was hit by floods and famine.
  • On 8 October 1919, the 1st issue of ‘Young India’ was released under Gandhiji’s Editorship. Young India First Issue Under the Editorship of Mahatma Gandhi
  • In 1919, after the end of the First World War, Mahatma Gandhi supported the Ottoman Empire and sought political cooperation from Muslims in his fight against the British Imperialism.
  • During 1920-1921, he led the Khilafat and non-Co-operation Movements.
  • After the Chauri-Chaura incident in February 1922, he withdrew the Non-Co-operation Movement.
  • On 10 March 1922, he was arrested and sent to Yervada Jail and remained in jail until March 1924. A News About Mahatma Gandhi in Yarwada Jail
  • On 17 September 1924, he started 21 days fast for Hindu-Muslim unity. Mahatma Gandhi 21-Day Fast
  • In December 1924, he presided the Congress Session at Belgaum, for the first and only time. Mahatma Gandhi Presiding Belgaum Congress Session
  • In December 1929, Gandhiji’s resolution on “Complete Independence” was adopted at the open session of Lahore Congress. Mahatma Gandhi At the Lahore Session
  • On 12 March 1930, he started his famous Dandi March (388 kilometres from Ahmedabad to Dandi) to break the Salt Law.


  • In 1930, Time magazine named Mahatma Gandhi, the “Man of the Year.” Mahatma Gandhi Time Magazine
  • Winston Churchill (the then British Prime Minister) was a staunch critic of Mahatma Gandhi. He termed him a dictator, a “Hindu Mussolini.”
  • On 28 October 1934, he declared his intention to retire from Congress.
  • In 1936, Mahatma Gandhi founded Sevagram Ashram at Wardha.
  • On 15 January 1942, he declared, ‘My political successor is Jawaharlal.’ Mahatma Gandhi With Jawaharlal Nehru
  • On 8 March 1942, Addressed All India Congress Committee of Bombay and delivered his famous Quit India Speech and urged Indians to “Karo Ya Maro” (Do or die).
  • On 22 February 1944, his wife, Kasturba Gandhi died. A saree woven from yarn spun by Gandhiji was wrapped around her body. Kasturba Gandhi Death
  • In 1948, Mahatma Gandhi opposed the partition of India along religious lines.
  • On 30 January 1948, while on his way to evening prayer ground at Birla House (now Gandhi Smriti), Mahatma Gandhi was shot dead by a Right-Wing Extremist, Nathuram Vinayak Godse.
  • In 1994, when black South Africans gained the right to vote, Mahatma Gandhi was proclaimed a national hero with numerous monuments.
  • Gandhi was nominated 5 times for the Nobel Peace Prize from 1937 to 1948 but never received it, and when it was decided to award him on the 5th occasion, he was assassinated before that. Mahatma Gandhi And Nobel Prize
  • In 2006, Geir Lundestad the Secretary of Norwegian Nobel Committee said “The greatest omission in our 106- year history is undoubtedly that Mahatma Gandhi never received the Nobel Peace Prize.” Geir Lundestad
  • He was called “Mahatma” for the first time by Rabindranath Tagore. Mahatma Gandhi With Rabindranath Tagore
  • In 1969, Soviet Union had issued a stamp of Mahatma Gandhi in his honour. Mahatma Gandhi Soviet Union Stamp
  • Martin Luther King was deeply influenced by Gandhi and said; “Christ gave us the goals and Mahatma Gandhi the tactics.” He also sometimes referred to Gandhi as a little brown saint. Martin Luther King Standing In Front of A Portrait of Mahatma Gandhi
  • Nelson Mandela was also inspired by Gandhian principles that he used it to good effect during the apartheid movement and successfully ended the white rule. It is stated that Mandela concluded what Gandhi had initiated. Nelson Mandela Giving A Memento To K R Narayanan
  • In 1906, Gandhi vowed to abstain from sex life. Gandhi introduced several experiments to test himself as a celibate. He brought his grandniece Manubehn to sleep naked in his bed as part of a spiritual experiment in which Gandhi could test himself as a “Brahmachari”. Several other young women and girls also sometimes shared his bed as part of his experiments.
  • In 1968, the first biographical documentary film on Mahatma Gandhi, “Mahatma: Life of Gandhi, 1869–1948,” (by Vithalbhai Jhaveri) was released. Mahatma Life of Gandhi, 1869–1948
  • Richard Attenborough’s 1982 film, “Gandhi,” won the Academy Award for Best Picture.
  • Although Indians widely describe him as “The Father of The Nation,” the Government of India hasn’t accorded the title officially. According to sources, the title was first used by Subhash Chandra Bose in a Radio Address (on Singapore Radio) on 6 July 1944.

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