Young Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi at the age of 7

Original Location + Cardinal Points: Rajkot, Gujarat (Saurashtra) ,  West India

Present Location: Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti, New Delhi

Date/Period: 1876 

Medium: Photograph


His father was transferred as Prime Minister of Rajkot and the family shifted to the town of Rajkot. Gandhiji was barely six years old. At Rajkot, Karamchand Gandhi took up residence in a relatively modest single-storeyed house on the outskirts of the town. It came to be known as Kaba ka Dera. Mohandas’s proper schooling started from then on. He passed the Classes I and II at a branch of the local Taluka school; and then in January 1879, shifted to the main school, known as the City Taluka School where he studied upto III and IV.

Stories and Legends

Gandhi placed truth as the first and foremost of all moral principles and held that it is “the sovereign principle”, which included numerous other principles. In his autobiography Gandhi says that one of his first memories of exercising truthfulness is from his school days in Porbandar, where he does not remember having ever told a lie, either to his teachers or to his school-mates. He has mentioned a particular incident which occurred at the examination during his first year at the high school. Mr Giles, the educational Inspector, had come on a visit and had given five words to write as a spelling exercise, with one of the words being 'kettle'. When the teacher saw that Gandhi had misspelt it, he tried to prompt him with the point of his boot, but Gandhi would not be prompted. This was because it was beyond him to see that the teacher, who was supposed to be there to prevent any unfair means, wanted him to copy the spelling from his neighbour's slate. However, the incident did not in the least diminish his respect for his teacher, as Gandhi said that by nature he was blind to the faults of elders. In another incident, when Gandhi saw a play called Harishchandra, it captured his heart and mind to such an extent that he questioned himself continuously as to why should not all be truthful like Harishchandra. To follow truth and to go through all the ordeals that Harishchandra went through was the one ideals that inspired him. Gandhi possessed a small statue of the three monkeys - Bapu, Ketan and Bandar, which is a pictorial maxim, embodying the proverbial principle "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil".