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Did You Know

Mahatma Gandhi was once confused with the Taj Mahal?

This strange story speaks of the impact of the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi on the Western mind. Since 1921, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi emerged as a new type of political leader in India. He was a never-seen-before wonder, bare-bodied, half-clad, and always daring the British rulers.

He was the leader who practiced what he preached. In 1922, when he was produced in the court in Ahmedabad, everybody in the room voluntarily stood up in respect. The judge was shocked when Gandhiji asked for maximum punishment. As part of the freedom struggle, he had broken the law, and with no regret.

He thrilled the world with the Dandi march in 1930. The Gandhi-Irwin pact was another surprise. A representative of the mightiest empire in the world had to talk to a half-clad Indian leader. This same half-clad leader attended the Second Round Table Conference in England. 

With all these developments, Gandhiji arose as a novel phenomenon. The West began admiring him. He became an astonishing symbol of India, just like the Taj Mahal. Almost every third British, even those who did not know much about India, spoke of Gandhi. And thus was born a joke.

Mary, an English lady was to visit India. She spoke about the future visit to a friend in England. The friend said, "Oh good, it is a land of wonders. There are two things you must see in India. One is Mahatma Gandhi in the moonlight."
"I know, the other is Taj Mahal in a lungi,'' promptly interrupted Mary. Both the friends were happy about their 'knowledge' of India! The story only shows how popular Mahatma Gandhi had become.

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