We all know that Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore gave Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi the title ‘Mahatma’.
Authors have claimed Tagore is said to have used Mahatma title for Gandhi on March 6, 1915. But many claim he was called Mahatma by the residents of Gurukul Kangadi in April 1915.
However, in a reply to an RTI query in 2012, the Indian Council of Historical Research and the National Archives of India had said that they do not have any kind of documentary information on the matter.
A hyderabad-based RTI activist has filed a query with the Prime Minister’s Office in 2012 seeking to know how, when and why Gandhi was given the title Mahatma.
The PMO then had forwarded the query request to Indian Council of Historical Research and National Archives of India, Archeology department.
In a reply, the ICHR told the activist that they neither NAI or ICHR had any documentary information on the subject and invited the activist to use their library and archival facilities to find out more about the topic.
While, the Gujarat High Court declared that Tagore gave the title to ‘Mahatma’ to Gandhi hearing a petition filed by one Sandhya Maru challenging the answer key to an examination held by a Rajkot local body.
The answer key said that an ‘unknown scribe’ came up with the title.
A noted Gandhian Narayan Desai's work claims that Gandhiji was first referred to as Mahatma in an anonymous letter by a journalist from Jetpur when Bapu was still in South Africa.