Mahatma Gandhi in characteristic pose, 1924. Mahatma Gandhi came to Madurai in 1924 where he stayed at the house of Barrister George Joseph. It was during that visit that he addressed a group which included many peasants. He noticed that most of them did not wear a shirt and barely enough of a lower garment to be called a "dhoti". Gandhi asked Barrister George Joseph why people are dressed in that manner. He was told it was because they were impoverished and could not afford anything better. This bothered Gandhi greatly and he apparently had a sleepless night. When he came down the next morning, he had shed his shirt and was wearing a dhoti. He said that it was his way of associating with the impoverished masses.