Mahatma Gandhi 150th Birth Anniversary Special: Why is Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi Called 'Father of the Nation'? All Questions Answered
Mahatma Gandhi's statue. (Photo Credit: File Photo)

India would be celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi -- popularly known as the "Father of the Nation" -- on October 2. The Mahatma's life is itself an inspiration to billions of people globally. The path of non-violence shown by the global figure is practised even today worldwide. But often questions have been raised as to why is Gandhi considered the "The Father of the Nation"!

At a time when the global community is widely discussing issues like corruption, terrorism, human trafficking, climate change, economic crisis, hunger death, poverty, among others, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi's shown the path of non-violence becomes quite prominent. However, the prefix of Mahatma (Saint) and the phrase "Father of the Nation" is informal and not a formal declaration by the Indian government. Mahatma Gandhi 150th Birth Anniversary: Third Phase of Prisoners to be Released on October 2, Know Condition of Remission And Other Details.

Historical Context:

Looking at the history books -- that was taught to all the Indians -- the prefix "Mahatma" and phrase "Father of the Nation" to Gandhi's name is found everywhere. Nor in the Constitution of India nor the national archives, there is a mention of Mahatma or phrase "Father of the Nation" to Gandhi's name. It is an unofficial prefix and phrase, that has been added by the national leaders and people out of sheer love. This is just like Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar being called sometimes as "Father of Indian Constitution".

Who Named Gandhi "The Father of the Nation"?

This may come as a surprise, but the sobriquets "Mahatma" and "Father of the Nation" were coined for Gandhi by revolutionary freedom fighter Subhash Chandra Bose -- popularly called as Netaji -- in a radio address from Singapore in 1944. Bose called Gandhi a Mahatma after the huge success of Dandi March (1930) and Quit India Movement (1942).

Historians state that Bose coined this term out of respect for Gandhi, but the unofficial name of Gandhi became "unofficially official" post India's first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru -- in a radio address to the nation -- announced that the Father of the Nation "is no more" in 1948. Following this, it became history, and we Indians started calling the great freedom fighter as "Father of the Nation". Gandhi Jayanti 2019 Information: Significance of Father of The Nation, Mahatma Gandhi's Birth Anniversary in India.

Was naming Mohandas K. Gandhi "Mahatma" and "Father of the Nation" a political move?

Like it was stated earlier that India's first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru announced that the Father of the Nation "is no more" in 1948. Following this, there was no stopping. Consecutive Congress government made it sure the phrase "Father of the Nation" remains with Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi and no one else. It might sound controversial to many, but this is what history recites to all of us.

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was conferred with the honorary title as he was the driving force behind the establishment of a nation. Perhaps numerous people may not associate with this phrase, but as decades have passed, people in India and abroad are used to call Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi "Father of the Nation".