Hari om! This blog is about our most pet subject: Nationalism. It also deals with philosophy, spirituality and just anything and everything about current events. We love topics related to ancient India (that's Akhand Bharat) and obviously, you would find articles related to it. Jaya Bharati! (Victory to my mother-land!)

Sunday, December 12

Gandhi, the traitor!


Gandhi and the Congress
The Congress was founded in 1885 by Alan Hume a British civil servant. The reason for forming the Congress was to give more political representation to Indians. The British had been badly shaken by the revolt of 1857 led by Mangal Pandey. It was obvious the British could not hold on to India without a loyal base of Indian supporters. The Indian Congress was one organisation created for this purpose. Initially the Congress had mostly liberal and pro-British Indians. But soon due to mounting pressure Indians with more nationalistic Indians were also allowed to join. Soon the Congress was beginning to assert itself and instead of helping the British cause it was actually proving detrimental.
The major drawback of the early nationalists was that the movement was confined to educated Indians and the middle class and was concentrated in the Presidencies. Three Indian nationalists Bipin Chandra Pal, Lala Lajpat Rai and Bal Ganghadhar Tilak also known as Bal-Lal-Pal were responsible for taking Indian Nationalism from the elite Congress walls to the open ground of the masses. Militant Nationalism spread like wild fire under their influence. The British arrested Tilak and Lalaji and Bipin Pal were sidelined and replaced them with the more moderate Gopalakrishna Gokhale as Congress president. Upon his death Gandhi was made the Congress president and he went on to acquire complete control of the Congress. We have to note that Gandhi did not build the Congress or make it the forefront organizations of freedom struggle. It was already a massive movement thanks to the efforts of Dr.Annie Besant, Tilak etc. Neither did Gandhi introduce the concepts of non-violence, civil disobedience etc. Boycott of British goods, civil disobedience, non-violence were already being practiced by the Congress when Gandhi joined the movement.
It would be interesting to see how Gandhi ran the Congress. Gandhi was a very domineering character and would not tolerate any view which was different from his. Even if some persons were fighting for independence but if their methods did not conform to Gandhi's views he immediately scuttled their plans. This therefore weakened the Indians and actually helped the British. To understand how Gandhi functioned let us take an incident that happened in Chauri Chaura, a village in Gorakhpur which had spontaneously joined in non-co-operation without the direct guidance of Congress committees.
The villagers started picketing the local bazaar against liquor sales and high food prices. It was a peaceful non-violent protest. But the police arrested and beat up the volunteer leader Bhagwan Amit. A crowd came to the police station to protest, and the police responded by firing. The angry crowd then burnt down the police station, killing 22 policemen inside it.
Immediately upon hearing of the incident, Gandhi unilaterally called off the entire non-co-operation movement. Not even other Congress leaders were consulted. Even as British courts sentenced 172 of the 225 Chauri Chaura accused to death, there was no protest from Gandhi. The impact of the calling off the strikes was very traumatic for many Indians. Scores and scores of Indians had given up Government jobs, children had left schools, students had boycotted colleges thinking their sacrifice would gain freedom for their country. But now they were all left stranded. They were rejected from their previous jobs and institutions and had no future at all. Gandhi did not bother about them one bit. He was so furious that his word was not followed, that he destroyed the futures of thousands who had sacrificed all they had to fight for freedom. Instead of unilaterally calling off the civil disobedience movement he could have reprimanded those responsible for the incident, but instead he chose to destroy the lives of thousands of selfless people.
Another example would be the case of Subash Chandra Bose. Bose was elected by the Indian masses as the Congress President in 1939. But Gandhi made it so hard for Bose to function by asking all the Congress leaders to refuse to cooperate with Bose. Gandhi had made a statement that he was abstaining from politics and focusing on social services. Then what was the need for him to interfere? Perhaps he was threatened by Bose's rising popularity? Since the Indian masses had voted for Bose why did Gandhi interfere? Was it not undemocratic?
It is very unfortunate that Gandhi did not allow the battle against the British to continue on all fronts - violently, no-violently and intellectually. By scuttling the revolutionaries Gandhi did not help the Indian cause in any way. In fact he only helped to prolong the suffering of the Indian people even further.
The effect of Gandhi's leadership in the Congress was that many good leaders were lost. The only ones that were allowed to be members in the Congress were those who agreed with Gandhi and submitted to his views. This created a very facist atmosphere within the Congress. And when India got independence this trend continued in the Indian Political scene. The Congress was the only party to win elections for 50 years, the Nehru family was the only one to hold office for 50 years. Despite Gandhi's death the effect of his undemocratic policies were felt for more than 50 years after his death.


Gandhi's Non Violence
There is no doubt that non-violent means of fighting against justice are definitely more benign then forceful ways. But the question is - Was Gandhi's non-violence more civilsed and benign than armed struggle? Gandhi preached a non-violent approach to be pursued under any circumstance. Did Gandhi follow non-violence under all circumstances as he preached? Was Gandhi's non-violence impartial or had streaks of nepotism?
To answer the question- Was Gandhi's non-violence more benign than armed struggle we need to understand if Gandhi's non-violence was inspired by a genuine sense of non-injury or if it was a blind fanatical adherence to a Hindu dictate 'Ahimsa paramo dharma'(non-violence is the highest principle)? To gain better insight it would help to see what advice Gandhi had for the British when they were threatened by the German troops during WWII and had to defend themselves. Here is part of the letter Gandhi wrote to Winston Churchill on the 4th of July, 1940"I appeal for cessation of hostilities because war is bad in essence. You want to kill Nazism. Your soldiers are doing the same work of destruction as the Germans... I venture to present you with a nobler and a braver way worthy of the bravest soldiers. I want you to fight Nazism without arms or with non-violent arms. I would like you to lay down the arms you have as being useless for having you or humanity. Invite Herr Hitler and Signor Mussolini to take what they want of the countries you call your possessions. Let them take possession of your beautiful island with your many beautiful buildings. You will give these but not your souls not your minds."
We can see from the above letter that Gandhi preferred non-violence to prevention of human suffering. It is logical to conclude that Gandhi preferred to follow non-violence even if it meant causing suffering. Perhaps Gandhi did not understand the suffering that Nazis would have perpetuated? Well in that case let us see Gandhi's reaction when millions of Hindus were massacred, raped, maimed, tortured by Muslims during the creation of Pakistan. The Hindus who managed to escape from Pakistan were shocked to hear this speech from Gandhi on 23rd September 1947 "I asked them why all they came here (in Delhi). Why they did not die there? I still hold on to the belief one should stick to the place where we happen to live even if we are cruelly treated and even killed. Let us die if the people kill us; but we should die bravely with the name of God on our tongue. Even if our men are killed, why should we feel angry with anybody, you should realise that even if they are killed they have had a good and proper end." So it is evident that Gandhi wanted to follow non-violence even it caused harm. Non-injury was not his motto, but total and many times blind adherence to non-violence was his motto.
As to the question of did Gandhi follow non-violence under every circumstance, we need to look at the events in South Africa during 1870s. Gandhi had participated in the crushing of the Bombatta rebellion in which more than four thousand Africans were killed and thousands were sentenced to whipping. Gandhi himself could not take part in actual warfare as he was not eligible for military service due to his physical condition. Gandhi was actively involved in the recruitment for the 'Voluntary Indian Infantry' regiment. Gandhi also ran an ambulance corps to help the wounded soldiers fighting the Africans. For his services, Gandhi eventually won the War Medal and was promoted to Sergeant Major . Gandhi later wrote in his autobiography (p. 231): "I bore no grudge against the Zulus, they had harmed no Indian. I had doubts about the `rebellion' itself, but I then believed that the British Empire existed for the welfare of the world. A genuine sense of loyalty prevented me from even wishing ill to the Empire. The rightness or otherwise of the `rebellion' was therefore not likely to affect my decision." Gandhi DID participate in and encourage violent activites
The very same Gandhi who advocated non-violence at the cost of rape and murder strangely never made this demand from Muslims. Though Gandhi advocated non-violence for the Hindus, British, Jews, Africans etc. but never once in his life did he advocate non-violence for Muslims. For example during the creation of Israel instead of asking the Arabs to act non-violently he opposed the creation of Israel and asked the Jews to go back to Europe and face persecution. Likewise in all the riots between Hindus and Muslims Gandhi advocated non-violence for Hindus alone and never for Muslims. Why were the followers of a particular group always exempt from being asked to embark on non-violent struggle. Thus we Gandhi's fanatical belief in non-violence seemed to be reserved for all except followers of Islam.



Gandhi and Hinduism
Gandhi is often known for preaching about non-violence, abstinence, detachment from material pleasures, celibacy etc. Gandhi got these ideas from Hinduism his birth religion. Gandhi also used to say that he used the Bhagvad Gita(the Hindu holy book) as his guide. But are Gandhi's ideas in consonance with Hinduism? Is Gandhism and Hinduism synonymous? Let us consider a few tenets of Gandhism and Hinduism for a better understanding.
Ahimsa or Non-Violence:Gandhism:"Even if we are killed, why should we feel angry with anybody. May the heaven make us all so. This is what we should pray heartily for." Hinduism:"O Arjuna, happy are the Warriors to whom such fighting opportunities come unsought, opening for them the doors of the heavenly planets. If, however, you do not perform your religious duty of fighting, then you will certainly incur sins for neglecting your duties and thus lose your reputation as a Warrior. "(Bhagavad Gita - The Hindu Holy book)"Ahimsa should be the aim, but one should not fall from this principle if, out of sheer necessity and with no selfish aim, he takes recourse to Himsa occasionally. Give a rogue an inch, he will take an ell: the mind at once adapts this policy, if you give a long rope for its movement."(Shri Swami Sivananda)
Celibacy:Gandhism:Gandhi believed that every man should practice celibacy. Sex should be practiced only for reproducing and nothing else. Gandhi used to develop his celibacy by sleeping with naked women. In fact when quizzed about his practice of sleeping naked with his grand niece every night in 1947 he replied "The perfect Brahmachari was a man who could lie by the side of Venus in all her naked beauty without being physically or mentally disturbed." But Gandhi was totally unmindful of the effects that this practice would have on the girl being used to conduct this experiment on. Hinduism:Hinduism does not advocate celibacy for everyone. Control of senses is implied for all. But only for monks is celibacy encouraged and not for the common man. The KamaSutra, Tantra etc. are all products of Hinduism. And for those whom celibacy is prescribed the methods are more orthodox. Sleeping naked with somebody whom you are not married is never acceptable to any sane Hindu mind.
Bhagvad GitaGandhism:The Bhagvad Gita is considered as the Hindu holy book.(Thought unlike the Bible or Quran, it is not considered as the sole authority) Gandhi once quoted "When disappointment stares me in the face and all alone I see not one ray of light, I go back to the Bhagavad-Gita. I find a verse here and a verse there, and I immediately begin to smile in the midst of overwhelming tragedies". However Gandhi's insistence of dropping of weapons and non-violence makes Hindus wonder if he was reading a different book! Hinduism:The Bhagvad Gita is a book containing the conversations between the Hindu God Krishna and the Warrior Arjuna prior to battle. Arjuna refuses to fight feeling that war will only result in bloodshed and death. He feels by fighting this war he will only be sinning. The God Krishna explains to Arjuna that by not fighting Arjuna will incur sin and not the other way around. Krishna gives a philosophical explanation using the concepts of Karma, Yoga, Destiny, Free Will, Good and Evil, Duty etc. and points out why Arjuna should fight. In the Bhagvad Gita we can see Krishna repeatedly exhorting Arjuna to pick up his Gandeeva(gifted to him by the fire God Agni) Bow and fight. Which is exactly the opposite of Gandhism.
Materialism:Gandhism:Gandhi was of the opinion that man should practice abstinence. According to him one should sparse amounts of food, dress with minimum clothing, abstain from all forms of entertainment etc. Hinduism:Hinduism does impose abstinence, but it only for those interested in pursuing a spiritual path. The common man was always allowed to enjoy the simple pleasures of life. For example Hinduism has umpteen no. of festivals which are celebrated very colorfully and joyfully, Hindu social functions always ending with a huge and sumptuous meals, the different varieties of Dance forms, Music forms, Rangoli, Paintings, Mehandi, Jewelry, Huge temples complexes etc. all indicate that Hinduism encouraged the common man to live a happy and healthy life.
Thus by comparing a few basic tenants of Gandhism and Hinduism we can see that both are absolutely incompatible with each other.



Gandhi's Celibacy experiments
Gandhi often preached about Celibacy and wanted people to indulge in sexual activities only for procreation. Gandhi tried to impress his views unsuccessfully with his sons. Was Gandhi a successful renunciate? And what were the benefits of practicing celibacy? Gandhi never stated them other than it being moral.
Gandhi began his experiment with celibacy as a series of experiments of truth as he called it. How Gandhi arrived at the conclusion that Celibacy was good remains unknown. While Gandhi never gave reasons for the practice of celibacy he started insisting upon it's virtues. We can see from Gandhi's childhood that he himself was a very sexually active person as early as 13 years. In fact when Gandhi was 16 years old his father was very ill one night. Gandhi's mother asked Gandhi to nurse his father as she been doing for some time and needed a break. But Gandhi was too sexually infatuated with his wife and instead of nursing his father just for one night, he spent the night with his wife. His father passed away that night. It was when Gandhi was 37 years that he proclaimed he was renouncing sexual activities altogether. We can see Gandhi was politically active at this period and had the image of a holy man. That was what made him popular - his saintly image. Perhaps Gandhi had this in mind while declaring his celibacy.
How successful he was in doing so is unknown. When Gandhi made the announcement that he was renouncing all sexual activities he totally kept away from close physical contact with woman. But gradually he started increasing his contact with woman. For example when he was sick he would allow himself to be nursed by women. Likewise when he found any women sick he would nurse them. Gandhi argued that by avoiding desires he was not conquering it, so he was allowing physical contact with woman and then conquering his desire. He later included contact with women to include massages when he was fully naked by young girls. Gandhi also began to take bath when he was naked in full view of others both male and female and demanded the same from others saying clothes encouraged a false sense of modesty.
The greatest shock to even the most ardent followers of Gandhi was when they discovered that Gandhi was sharing his bed naked with his grand niece Manu who was also found naked. One of his followers , Nirmal Kumar Bose, who worked closely with Gandhi during the months of 1946-47, mentioned this in a letter he wrote to another troubled associate. Bose wrote: "When I first learnt in detail about Gandhi's prayog or experiment, I felt genuinely surprised. I was informed that he sometimes asked women to share his bed and even the cover which he used, and tried to ascertain if even the least trace of sensual feeling had been evoked in himself or his companion.""Personally, I would never tempt myself like that; nor would my respect for a woman's personality permit me to treat her as an instrument of an experiment undertaken only for my own sake. But when I learnt about this technique of self-examination employed by Gandhiji, I felt that I had discovered the reason why some regarded Gandhiji as their private possession, this feeling often leading them to a kind of emotional imbalance. The behavior of A, B, or C, for instance, is no proof of a healthy psychological relationship.""Whatever may be the value of the prayog on Gandhiji's own case, it does leave a mark of injury on the personality of others who are not of the same moral stature as he himself is, and for whom sharing in Gandhiji's experiment is no spiritual necessity." At this point we have to ask ourselves the question "Since Gandhi states that he was testing his celibacy we can ascertain that there was a possibility that the test would have failed. If so Gandhi's teenaged Grand niece would have been raped. Was it worth it to test ones celibacy by risking the possibility of another person being raped, in this case the person being a young teenage girl."
American writer Ronald Segal wrote in his book, Criss of India, that Gandhi's close association with women was frequently harmful to them. Many of them became neurotic, few of them married or even led normal or apparently contented lives. One of them, according to Bourke-White, was Raj Kumari Amrit Kaur, India's first health minister, who left her home at a young age to spend the next 30 years around Gandhi. A woman friend of Raj Kumari told Bourke-White that Raj Kumari's first meeting with Gandhi "almost made a slave of her". We can see that Gandhi's dilly-dallying with celibacy only caused harm and thus it would seem Gandhi practiced celibacy with an intent to look saintly rather than for spiritual gains.

Gandhi's Altruism
Gandhi is regarded as great humanist who rendered unequalled service to the downtrodden and poor. Gandhi used to run an Ashramam where the less privileged were taken care off. The question to be asked is, what was the motivation behind the running of the Ashramam? Did Gandhi donate his own wealth and sacrifice his comforts for the upliftment of humanity?
Gandhi himself had no property or self earned wealth of any value to speak of. His activities for his Ashramam were totally funded by leading Indian businessmen, most of whom did it with an intent on getting access to politcal power. Gandhi used to make huge monetery demands from these businessmen in return. For example consider this demand from Gandhi on 10 January 1927 to G.D.Birla :"My thirst for money is simply unquenchable. I need at least Rs. 2,00,000--for khadi, untouchability and education. The dairy work makes another Rs. 50,000. Then there is the Ashram expenditure. No work remains unfinished for want of funds, but God gives after severe trials."(In the Shadow of the Mahatma, G.D.Birla, p35) Once when Gandhi was questioned by the journalist Louis Fischer about the percentage of his budget which was funded by the rich, Gandhi replied all of it, adding "In this ashram, for instance, we could live much more poorly than we do and spend less money. But we do not and the money comes from our rich friends." [Gandhi to Louis Fischer, 6 June 1942, Louis Fischer, A Week With Mr. Gandhi, (London: Allen and Unwin, 1943)]
It can be seen that Gandhi's entire funding for his social upliftment came from businessmen and he himself had to make no self-exertions for money himself. So the question to ask is did Gandhi's sacrifice his life and lead a life of simplicity and hardship for the sake of the common masses. On closer look we can see that Gandhi though externally living in utmost simplicity was actually living a very comfortable life. In fact the only signs of hardship were in his external appearance. For example Gandhi seemed to be living the life of an ordinary villager in his Ashramam, but the annual expenditure of the Ashramam was Rs.100,000(Judith M. Brown, Gandhi: Prisoner of Hope, (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1989), 318. ), an extraordinary amount in pre-independence India. Likewise Gandhi always insisted on traveling only in third class rail compartments. Externally this might look like a great mark of humility. To get a seat in a crowded third-class car was difficult, so when Gandhi and his entourage traveled, the entire third-class car, cars, and sometimes even the whole train was paid for to ensure Gandhi's comfort.(Bourke-White, p88-89). Gandhi used to preach inequality and was known for his work with the untouchables. He even christened them Harijans(Children of God). When Gandhi attempted to make a symbolic action by temporarily moving into an untouchable colony in Delhi, half the residents were moved out before his visit and the shacks of the residents torn down and neat little huts constructed in their place. The entrances and windows of the huts were screened with matting, and during the length of Gandhi's visit, were kept sprinkled with water to provide a cooling effect. The local temple was whitewashed and new brick paths were laid. In an interview with Margaret Bourke-White, a photo-journalist for Life magazine, one of the men in charge of Gandhi's visit, Dinanath Tiang of the Birla Company, explained the improvements in the untouchable colony, "We have cared for Gandhiji's comfort for the last twenty years(Bourke-White, 11f)
Thus we can see that Gandhi himself was enjoying a very comfortable life at his Ashramam with limitless financial resources. Only his external lifestyle seemed one of poverty, but in reality he was very well taken care of. Compared to the huge funding Gandhi received his actual contribution towards social upliftment is hardly visible. Thus we can see Gandhi's altruistic activites were alturistic only in external appearances, while the real motive was an unterior one.



Gandhi's fame
Gandhi is a well known figure throughout the world. Does Gandhi deserve such fame? To answer this question let us study the underlying dynamics of Gandhi's fame.
Gandhi's first brush with public life was in South Africa. Strangely though Gandhi is remembered for his non-violent protests in South Africa, which was the only option for Indians, they being in very small numbers, nobody remembers Gandhi's stint with the British army where he was promoted to Sergeant Major.
Back in India Gandhi was initially not able to make any impact whatsoever. In his first speech, most of the audience walked out. But by fortuitously for Gandhi many of the leaders of the Congress had passed away at the same time. And many people took sanyasin from politics like Shri Aurobindo Ghosh, Bipin Chandra Pal etc. So Gandhi was able to take advantage of the situation and take charge of the Congress leadership.
The British officers in India also began to see the benefit of Gandhi's leadership. Until then many British officers had been murdered and the extremists in the Congress were getting strong. But with Gandhi's movement the British Officers could take a breather. They were not too concerned about the losses to a few British industrialists due to Gandhi's non-violent protest. The British could always make the money through other means. For example WWII was fully funded(raw materials and money) from India, not to mention the Indian men who died fighting for the British Empire.
Seeking this opportunity many more merchants also joined Gandhi's side like G.D.Birla and Jamnalal Bajaj(whom Gandhi called as his adopted son). These people were rewarded handsomely by getting all the war contracts in WWII and poppy contracts which resulted in the death of over 3 million in one year alone in Bengal, among other things. So now we can see so many people in power - the British, many opportunistic Indian Merchants, Textile owners and Industrialists were all bent upon making Gandhi look like a saint. They knew that the Hindu masses would always treat anybody with saintly as a God. Gandhi for his part really enjoyed the attention, importance and great fame thrust upon him. In fact his made him so insecure he did not even give up his 'principles' under extreme circumstances. For example when many refugees ran away from Punjab to escape murder, rape and torture Gandhi asked all of them to turn back and go back to Pakistan. Instead of accepting that non-violence was actually causing harm he refused to let go of it.
On that note people like Nehru, Indira Gandhi(Gandhi was not her actual surname), Rajiv Gandhi etc. all have used Gandhi's name to cash in on the vote bank ably supported by people like Aditya Birla, Rahul Bajaj etc. who like their forefathers were the only persons given a license to do any business in India. Like the British before, these people like to spread the name and fame of Gandhi with ulterior motives. And people like Arun Gandhi who runs the Gandhi Institute in Florida, Ela Gandhi etc. like to spread the name of Gandhi for financial benefits and recognition.
There are many people who after reading Gandhi's writings decide to judge him based solely on his works. One close look at Gandhi's writings and his actual life reveal glaring discrepancies. For example consider this quote of Gandhi "Nothing in the shastras which is capable of being reasoned can stand if it is in conflict with reason." (The Collected Work of Mahatma Gandhi, Vol. LXII,p. 121) But consider the actions of Gandhi. He used the Hindu dictum 'Non-Violence is the highest principle' despite it being in total conflict with reason on many occasions - the most glaring being the partition. Gandhi was guilty of not practicing what he preached on umpteen no. of occasions. So it would suggest that Gandhi's fame is certainly misjudged.


Shri Aurobindo on Gandhi
Shri Aurobindho was a political activist in his younger ages. He was arrested by the British and during his time in jail he became very spiritual. After his release he left for French ruled Pondicherry and retired from political life and completely immersed himself in spiritual activities. Since Shri Aurobindo himself was involved in politics it would be interesting to see what this seer had to say on Gandhi. Below are a few quotes from Shri Aurobindo's writings and letters.June 23, 1926When Gandhi's movement was started, I said that this movement would lead either to a fiasco or to a great confusion. And I see no reason to change my opinion. Only I would like to add that it has led to both. June 2, 1924Gandhi is wonderstruck that his interpretation of the Gita is seriously questioned by a Shastri. I am rather wonderstruck at his claim to an infallible interpretation of the Gita.(A disciple:) He has criticized the Arya Samaj also.Yes, he has criticized Dayananda Saraswati who has, according to him, abolished image-worship and set up the idolatry of the Vedas. He forgets, I am afraid, that he is doing the same in economics by his Charkha and Khaddar, and, if one may add, by his idolatry of non-violence in religion and philosophy.In that way every one has established idol-worship. He has criticized the Arya Samaj but why not criticize Mahomedanism? His statement is adulatory of the Koran and of Christianity, which is idolatry of the Bible, Christ and the Cross. Man is hardly able to do without externals and only a few will go to the kernel. November 28, 1940 (After hearing the text of Gandhi’s recent “political will”.)Fast and satyagraha changing the heart of the opponent is absurd. What they can do is exert pressure and secure some concession.Something in him takes delight in suffering for its own sake. Even the prospect of suffering seems to please him. It is the Christian idea that has taken hold of him. Besides, he seems to think that after him his theory and creed of non-violence will continue. I don’t think so. July 4, 1940 (A disciple:) Gandhi has offered his help through the Viceroy to the British government and asked the British to lay down their arms and practice non-violence.(Against the Nazis)He must be a little cracked.While asking them to lay down their arms, he wants them to keep up their spirit.And be subjected in practice!May 28, 1940Have you read what Gandhi has said in answer to a correspondent? He says that if eight crores of Muslims demand a separate State, what else are the twenty-five crores of Hindus to do but surrender? Otherwise there will be civil war.(A disciple:) I hope that is not the type of conciliation he is thinking of.Not thinking of it, you say? He has actually said that and almost yielded. If you yield to the opposite party beforehand, naturally they will stick strongly to their claims. It means that the minority will rule and the majority must submit. The minority is allowed its say, “We shall be the ruler and you our servants. Our harf [word] will be law; you will have to obey.” This shows a peculiar mind. I think this kind of people are a little cracked May 21, 1940(A disciple:) And he still believes that by non-violence we can defend our country.Non-violence can't defend. One can only die by it.He believes that by such a death a change of heart can take place in the enemy.If it does, it will be after two or three centuries.May 5, 1940(A disciple:) If Hitler invades India, Gandhi will declare we are all non-violent.Hitler will be delighted at it.Yes, he will sweep off everybody with machine guns. Gandhi believes he can be converted.It is a beautiful idea, but not credible. Does anybody really believe in his non-violence?... Will he face an army with his charkha? January 16, 1939(A disciple:) Nana Saheb Sinde of Baroda has spoken to a youth conference emphasizing the need of military training for the defense of the country. His speech was against the current vogue of non-violenceIt is good that someone raises his voice like that when efforts are being made to make non-violence the method of solving all problems. This non-violent resistance I have never been able to fathom. To change the opponent's heart by passive resistance is something I don't understand.I am afraid Gandhi has been trying to apply to ordinary life what belongs to spirituality. What a tremendous generalizer Gandhi is! Passive resistance, charkha and celibacy for all! One can't be a member of the Congress without oneself spinning! January 8, 1939(A disciple:) Gandhi writes that non-violence tried by some people in Germany has failed because it has not been so strong as to generate sufficient heat to melt Hitler's heartI am afraid it would require quite a furnace!. The trouble with Gandhi is that he had to deal only with Englishmen, and the English want to have their conscience at ease. Besides, the Englishman wants to satisfy his self-esteem and wants world-esteem. But if Gandhi had had to deal with the Russians or the German Nazis, they would have long ago put him out of their way. December 27, 1938The Congress at the present stage—what is it but a Fascist organization? Gandhi is the dictator like Stalin, I won't say like Hitler: what Gandhi says they accept and even the Working Committee follows him; then it goes to the All-India Congress Committee which adopts it, and then the Congress. There is no opportunity for any difference of opinion...Srinivas Iyengar retired from Congress because of his differences with GandhiHe made Charkha a religious article of faith and excluded all people from Congress membership who could not spin. How many even among his own followers believe in his gospel of Charkha? Such a tremendous waste of energy just for the sake of a few annas is most unreasonable. July 31, 1932As for Gandhi, why should you suppose that I am so tender for the faith of the Mahatma? I do not call it faith at all, but a rigid mental belief and what he calls soul-force is only a strong vital will which has taken a religious turn. That, of course, can be a tremendous force for action, but unfortunately Gandhi spoils it by his ambition to be a man of reason, while in fact he has no reason in him at all, never was reasonable at any moment in his life and, I suppose, never will be. What he has in its place is a remarkable type of unintentionally sophistic logic. Well, what this reason, this amazingly precisely unreliable logic brings about is that nobody is even sure and, I don't think, he is himself really sure what he will do next. July 23, 1923(A disciple:) The Mahatma believes that non-violence purifies the man who practices it.I believe Gandhi does not know what actually happens to the man's nature when he takes to Satyagraha or non-violence. He thinks that men get purified by it. But when men suffer, or subject themselves to voluntary suffering, what happens is that their vital being gets strengthened. When the man who has thus suffered gets power he becomes a worse oppressor....What one can do is to transform the spirit of violence. Purification can come by the transformation of the impulse of violence, as I said. In that respect the old system in India was much better: the man who had the fighting spirit became the Kshatriya and then the fighting spirit was raised above the ordinary vital influence. The attempt was to spiritualize it. It succeeded in doing what passive resistance cannot and will not achieve. The Kshatriya was the man who would not allow any oppression, who would fight it out and he was the man who would not oppress anybody. That was the ideal.There is also the question of Hindu-Muslim unity which the non-violence school is trying to solve on the basis of their theory.You can live amicably with a religion whose principle is toleration. But how is it possible to live peacefully with a religion whose principle is “I will not tolerate you”? How are you going to have unity with these people? Certainly, Hindu-Muslim unity cannot be arrived at on the basis that the Muslims will go on converting Hindus while the Hindus shall not convert any Mahomedan. You can’t build unity on such a basis. Perhaps the only way of making the Mahomedans harmless is to make them lose their fanatic faith in their religion....Gandhi's position is that he does not care to remove violence from others; he wants to observe non-violence himself.That is one of the violences of the Satyagrahi that he does not care for the pressure which he brings on others. It is not non-violence—it is not “Ahimsa.” True Ahimsa is a state of mind and does not consist in physical or external action or in avoidance of action. Any pressure in the inner being is a breach of Ahimsa.For instance, when Gandhi fasted in the Ahmedabad mill-hands' strike to settle the question between mill-owners and workers, there was a kind of violence towards others. The mill-owners did not want to be responsible for his death and so they gave way, without, of course, being convinced of his position. It is a kind of violence on them. But as soon as they found the situation normal they reverted to their old ideas. The same thing happened in South Africa. He got some concessions there by passive resistance and when he came back to India it became worse than before. August 29, 1926(Sri Aurobindo refuted a criticism of birth control in an article.)The objects are twofold: first, the prevention of too many children; secondly, keeping the woman in good health, so that the few children she gives birth to may be healthy.Of course inner control is better. But can that be expected of the man?...(A disciple:) Gandhi has quoted all the doctors who oppose this method.But he has not quoted those who support it.One objection is that it will increase license.That again is the moralist idea. There are the two extremes: one extreme is inner control, the other is free indulgence; mid-between comes the system of birth control. June 22, 1926Many educated Indians consider Gandhi a spiritual man.Yes, because the Europeans call him spiritual. But what he preaches is not Indian spirituality but something derived from Russian Christianity, non-violence, suffering, etc. I am not right in saying that Gandhi is a Russian Christian, because he is so very dry. He has got the intellectual passion and a great moral will-force, but he is more dry than the Russians. The gospel of suffering that he is preaching has its root in Russia as nowhere else in Europe—other Christian nations don't believe in it. They commit a mistake in preaching the gospel of suffering, but we also commit in India a mistake in preaching the idea of vairagya [disgust with the world].


Gandhi's Quotes
In this section we will study the Quotes of Gandhi. Gandhi's Quotes are world renowned and their usage encompasses a wide gamut of people. Did Gandhi actually practice what he preached? Let consider one of the most famous of Gandhi's quotes - The seven sins of the world are.
Wealth without work
Pleasure without conscience
Knowledge without character
Commerce without morality
Science without humanity
Worship without sacrifice
Politics without principle
Did Gandhi actually avoid the above seven sins or was he guilty of violating them? Let us consider each one of them in detail.
Wealth Without Work:
Did Gandhi get his wealth without work? NO. Gandhi survived purely on donations. Gandhi went to England after his mother brokered her jewels and got a loan. Gandhi finished his course and was unemployed in England. He came back to India where his brother set up an office in Bombay and also got Gandhi his first case. Gandhi fared miserable as a lawyer and shut shop and went home. Again Gandhi's brother used his contacts in South Africa and got him a case. But Gandhi failed again in SA. Gandhi had not earned anything through his own efforts. Gandhi was funded by Indian merchants in SA and also in India. It was in India that Gandhi received huge financial favors from Birla and Bajaj. Consider this demand from G.D.Birla on 10 January 1927: "My thirst for money is simply unquenchable. I need at least Rs. 2,00,000--for khadi, unsociability and education. The dairy work makes another Rs. 50,000. Then there is the Ashram expenditure. No work remains unfinished for want of funds, but God gives after severe trials. This also satisfies me." ( In the Shadow of the Mahatma , G. D. Birla pg. 35.)This certainly looks like WEALTH WITHOUT WORK.
Pleasure Without Conscience:
Need one point out that Gandhi used to indulge in immoral activities and used to steal money from his father so he could indulge in them. You might argue that he did all this before he became the Mahatma. Well the reply to this would be, why did Gandhi have young girls to massage him at his Ashramam. Did he not know it was not socially acceptable to work as a masseur for girls back then? What about the future of those girls when they are no worked in Gandhi's Ashramam? Where was Gandhi's CONSCIENCE?
Knowledge Without Character:
Gandhi had enough knowledge to speak endlessly about Truth. But did Gandhi have the character to practice truth. For example Gandhi had boasted 'vivisect my body, before you vivisect the country'. But even after the country was split Gandhi made no apologies for speaking falsehood. Gandhi had wonderful knowledge about truth. He would speak so much about truth. But did he have a truthful character? From the above incident it can be seen he did not. This is KNOWLEDGE WITHOUT CHARACTER.
Commerce Without Morality:
The British had banned all agricultural crops in Bengal and replaced it with poppy which they sold to China. As a result of this Millions and Millions starved to death. G.D. Birla was a contract agent who was involved in this poppy trade. Gandhi had no Qualms in receiving money from this very same G.D.Birla. This is what Gandhi had to say about this man who took part in the starving of millions of people to death. "God has given me mentors, and I regard you as one of them." (Gandhi to Birla, 20 July 1924, Bapu, Vol. 1, pg 10) And also consider this - at the beginning of World War II, the Birlas were worth $3.3 million. By the end of the war, they had holdings of $20 million(India's Industrialists by Herdeck and Piramal Pg. 67). Yes this Prophet of non-violence had no problem in receiving donations for his 'social' activities from some one who made huge profits by producing machinery to kill. COMMERCE WITHOUT MORALITY
Science Without Humanity:
Let us take a simple case of Gandhi's attitude towards Science. Gandhi was against Railways, Roads, Industries, Modern medicines and even injections. When his wife was dying with illness at the Aga Khan Palace(Gandhi was imprisoned at the British supporter Aga Khan's Palace in 1942 for fighting the British!) he refused to let her use life-saving penicillin, because it would be administered with a hypodermic needle! Now if Gandhi would have been humane he would have dropped his idea of rural medicine and used modern medicine. Gandhi was guilty of practicing the SCIENCE WITHOUT HUMANITY.
Worship Without Sacrifice:
We know that Gandhi used to worship a lot. He would regularly sing Bhajans and also read the Gita, Quran etc. Now what sacrifice did Gandhi make? Unfortunately Gandhi had nothing to sacrifice. He had been a failure in all his activities until he entered political life and thus had no self earned money or reputation or comforts to speak of. So there really was nothing that Gandhi could sacrifice. Surely a case of - WORSHIP WITHOUT SACRIFICE.
Politics Without Principles:
Gandhi claimed that he was renouncing from politics and retiring to his Ashramam and doing social service. But when he found that Subash Chandra Bose was rising in popularity and could even replace him as the leader of the people Gandhi intervened and tried to throw his weight around. He put his own candidate against Subash, but Netaji was very popular with the people and easily defeated Gandhi's candidate for the Congress presidency. Gandhi instead of supporting the democratically elected Bose interfered and made all the Congress leaders resign en masse(Gandhi was popular with Congress leadership while Bose was popular with common masses). Finally Bose was forced to quit the Congress(The British took care of the rest by arresting him and sending him to the prison in Andoman - which were comparable to the Nazi concentration camps). Where was Gandhi's principle? Why he did he interfere when the people had democratically elected Bose as the leader of the Congress? This is a case of POLITICS WITHOUT PRINCIPLES.
Rights Without Responsibilities:
Gandhi was given the right to lead the Congress, but he refused to take the responsibility for the partition fiasco where over 53 million people were displaced. Certainly a case of RIGHTS WITHOUT RESPONSIBILITY.
We can see that one should not judge a person by his words alone. This is definitely something which needs emphasis when we read the writings of Gandhi and ignore his actions.


Gandhi as a Husband
At attempt at studying Gandhi as a husband will give valuable insight into the character of Gandhi. It should not be construed as an attempt to character assassinate Gandhi but rather an intellectual exercise to help us gain insight into the persona of Gandhi. Gandhi was married at the age of 13 to Kasturba in 1882. Gandhi was very strict with his wife and there were many quarrels. Gandhi had a lot of rules for his wife to follow. One of them was that she should not under any circumstances leave the house without telling him first. Once when Gandhi's mother had asked Kasturba to accompany her to the market she complied, when she returned home she received a severe berating from Gandhi. But she took it calmly and replied "If I wanted to obey you, I would have to disobey your Mother. Is your Mother or you superior?" Gandhi claimed this was his first experience with non-violence. He claimed his first teacher of non-violence was his wife.
Despite being married Gandhi used to indulge in many immoral activities during his childhood. He would drink, eat beef and also visited prostitutes(it is believed that Gandhi came away without 'doing anything'). Gandhi needed money for his activities and thus would steal from his father. Kasturba came to know about Gandhi's activities. But this did not stop Gandhi from continuing with his activities. Finally it was after Gandhi's father died, it had a sobering effect on him and he finally abstained from such debasing activities. Gandhi's father's death had a sobering effect on him, but his wife's pleading and cajoling all fell on deaf ears.
Gandhi would make Kasturba clean other people's toilets(South Africa and at Sabramathi) saying that this would inculcate the spirit of sacrifice in her. Gandhi also made her sleep with scavengers and in horrid conditions to develop a sense of humility. Kasturba had to endure a lot of suffering as she was not used to such activities being born in a rich merchant class family. Gandhi also forced his views on her in upbringing of the children.
From the above incidents it is obvious that Gandhi was absolutely insensitive to the feelings of Kasturba. Why did he force her to clean other people's toilets? Was it not very humiliating and demeaning to clean another person's toilet? How insensitive can a human be? And why was Gandhi so particular that Kasturba should clean other people's toilets, sleep alongside beggars and scavengers etc., while he himself enjoyed a good life, with daily oil massages, home cooked food at his ashramam etc. Perhaps he forced her to these activities so he could project to the public how he was doing so much for the people, how even his rich wife was not spared but had to serve the poor?


Gandhi and Islam
Gandhi was assassinated by Nathuram Godse and one of the reasons being Gandhi was appeasing the Muslims of the sub continent and in the process harming Hindu interests. Is it true? Was Gandhi really partial towards Muslims?
It will be interesting to note that Gandhi never even once asked the Muslims to follow non-violence. Gandhi had asked the Jews to commit collective suicide rather then running away from Europe during the Holocaust. But during the Palestine crisis he refused to support the Jews. He insisted that they should have gladly died in Germany. Why then did he not insist that the Arabs in Palestine would also have died with a smile on their face? Again in India, Gandhi would go on fast unto deaths when Hindus retaliated for Muslims atrocities, but not once did he go on a fast to protest Muslim atrocities on Hindus. Even when Gandhi was arrested in 1942 he was lodged at Aga Khan's palace. Aga Khan was a Muslim ruler and a British supporter (Gandhi meanwhile was fighting for freedom from the British!)
Gandhi infact condoned violence by Muslims to use violence. For example Gandhi invited the Amir of Afghanistan to invade India using violence. He wrote "To the Musalmans, Swaraj[Indian Independence] means, as it must, India's ability to deal effectively with the Khilafat question.... It is impossible not to sympathise with this attitude.... I would gladly ask for postponement of Swaraj activity if thereby we could advance the interest of the Khilafat"(History of the Freedom Movement in India by R. C. Majumdar - Calcutta: Firma KLM, 1998), Vol. III, p. 81) Gandhi was willing to put off the Indian freedom struggle as he considered the world wide Islamic movement of far greater importance.
Another instance is the Mopa rebellion. For example take the Muslim atrocities commited on Hindus in response to the news that the Khalifat movement had failed following Ottoman's defeat in WWI. The brutal muslims went on a rampage and killed, raped, murdered scores of Hindus for no fault of theirs. Here is what Indian Historian Sankaran Nair said on this terrible genocide: For sheer brutality on women, I do not remember anything in history to match the Malabar [Mopla] rebellion. ... The atrocities committed more particularly on women are so horrible and unmentionable that I do not propose to refer to them in this book. [He gave several Appendixes containing eyewitness accounts, including one by Annie Beasant.
Gandhi's response would suggest an almost apologising attitude. He claimed that the atrocities never happened. But report after report came out potraying the brutality commited on the Hindus. Gandhi had no choice but to respond? Instead of condeming the prepetuators of the crime he called them 'God fearing' and claimed they "are fighting for what they consider as religion, and in a manner they consider religious."
And again in South Africa Gandhi would call the blacks as Kaffirs. Kaffir is a derogatory Islamic. Gandhi was also staying at the house of an Islamic merchant for whom Gandhi was supposed to work for as a lawyer. Likewise Gandhi would bring the Quran into the Hindu temple and recite it, but never once did he dare to suggest such reading the Gita inside the mosque. Likewise during the Khalifat movement Gandhi supported the Muslims. This apostle of non-violence had no qualms in offering his support for a violent movement.
There are simply umpteen no. of instances where Gandhi showed his open love for Islam. While Gandhi would so often berate Hindu society for upliftment of Harijans, women's emancipation etc. he did not even speak a word against Muslim practices of Polygamy, Child marriage etc. While Gandhi would on few occasions chide the Christians for their missionary activities, not once did he speak about the forced conversions by Muslims.
It is also interesting to note that Gandhi's first son Harilal was in a very bad relationship with Gandhi. He converted to Islam and changed his name to Abdullah and sprouted out many diatribes against Gandhi under that name. The motive for this act was to infuriate Gandhi no doubt. Perhaps was it a frustrated way of making his point, that Gandhi was showing more attention towards others and neglecting his own family, in this case his son and in a larger context his birth religion Hinduism?
If Gandhi loved Islam so much through his actions why did he not show it through his words? Perhaps he was afraid of losing his popularity with the Hindu masses. This apostle of truth preferred to hide the truth that he loved Islam more than Hinduism.


Gandhi's spirituality
Gandhi is often referred to as a highly spiritual character. How far is this true. Was Gandhi really spirituality genuine or was it merely a good way to attract the Indian masses who were always attracted towards anything spiritual?
If we observe Gandhi's spiritual practices it involves three activities - fasting, singing bhajans and social service. Gandhi was not known to practice any other spiritual practices. Vegetarianism and Celibacy his other two practices can be attributed to cultural influences.
Let us see if Gandhi's fasts were indeed driven by spiritual needs. Gandhi never used to fast until he started his political activities in South Africa. Gandhi used his fasts as a political weapon. There is no instance of his fasts leading to spiritual development. It was done for purely political reasons. Now let us consider Gandhi's activities of singing Bhajans. Bhajans are devotional songs sung with pure love. This is part of Bhakti yoga. Krishna's lover Radha was a perfect example of how to practice Bhakti yoga. Another example would be Meera Bhai. She was a great devotee of Lord Krishna. She renounced the whole world despite being born in a very wealthy house. She considered Krishna as her husband and spent her whole life singing Bhajans in praise of her lover Krishna and eventually merged with Krishna.
Likewise Saint Thyagaraja was a Ram Bhakta. He would always have a statue of Lord Rama with him. Once when it was missing he became delirious with grief and only when he found it did he come back to his senses. Persons who follow the path of Bhakti yoga are intoxicated with love and are totally oblivious to mundane events around them. Gandhi was not intoxicated with any particular deity. Some of Gandhi's Bhajans were even Mundane. For example the Bhajan "Ragupathi Raghava Raja Ram... Ishwar Allah Tera Naam.." which was Gandhi's favorite was a song dealing with contemporary day to day problems like Hindu-Muslim unity. Bhakti yoga practitioners on the other hand renounced the mundane world and only had the thought of their special deity in mind.
Now let us consider Gandhi's social services. Gandhi ran an Ashramam at Sabramathi. He used to house many of the underprivileged at his Ashramam. Did Gandhi run his Ashramam out of true altruistic reasons or did he run it for political reasons. The people donating money to the Ashramam would suggest that the second of the two above aforementioned events seems to be true. If Gandhi was truly altruistic he would have nothing to do with the likes of G.D.Birla and Jamnalal Bajaj. Again Gandhi was very well taken care during his stay at his ashramam. He had young girls to massage him daily before he took his bath. Likewise he also had a regular stream of devotees. All of which he never dreamed of when he was a struggling lawyer. So we can see the benefits Gandhi got by running his Ashramam far overshadowed his altruistic intents.
This would suggest that Gandhi's spirituality was more for attracting devotees or followers rather than enlightenment


Gandhi and Racism
The following Quotes of Gandhi would give a good idea of Gandhi's view towards other races(in this case Africans). Please note that Gandhi used to refer to Africans as Kaffirs.
The Indian Opinion published an editorial on September 9 1905 under the heading, "The relative Value of the Natives and the Indians in Natal" in which he wrote"Now let us turn our attention to another and entirely unrepresented community the Indian. He is in striking contrast with the native. While the native has been of little benefit to the State, it owes its prosperity largely to the Indians. While native loafers abound on every side, that species of humanity is almost unknown among Indians here."
Gandhi wrote in his Indian Opinion of September 24 1903:"We believe as much in the purity of race as we think they do, only we believe that they would best serve these interests, which are as dear to us as to them, by advocating the purity of all races, and not one alone. We believe also that the white race of South Africa should be the predominating race."
In 1904, he wrote :"It is one thing to register natives who would not work, and whom it is very difficult to find out if they absent themselves, but it is another thing and most insulting to expect decent, hard-working, and respectable Indians, whose only fault is that they work too much, to have themselves registered and carry with them registration badges."
In its editorial on the Natal Municipal Corporation Bill, the Indian Opinion of March 18 1905 he wrote: "Clause 200 makes provision for registration of persons belonging to uncivilized races (meaning the local Africans), resident and employed within the Borough. One can understand the necessity of registration of Kaffirs(blacks) who will not work, but why should registration be required for indentured Indians who have become free, and for their descendants about whom the general complaint is that they work too much? "
Commenting on the White League's agitation, Gandhi wrote in his Indian Opinion of September 24 1903:"We believe as much in the purity of race as we think they do, only we believe that they would best serve these interests, which are as dear to us as to them, by advocating the purity of all races, and not one alone. We believe also that the white race of South Africa should be the predominating race."
Again, on December 24 1903, Indian Opinion stated:"The petition dwells upon `the comingling of the coloured and white races. May we inform the members of the Conference that so far as British Indians are concerned, such a thing is particularly unknown. If there is one thing which the Indian cherishes more than any other, it is the purity of type."
Gandhi also was actively involved in recruting Indians to fight alongside the British to crush the Bamabatta rebellion in which many Africans were massacred. Gandhi later on justified his participation in this Genocide of blacks by saying "I bore no grudge against the Zulus, they had harmed no Indian. I had doubts about the `rebellion' itself, but I then believed that the British Empire existed for the welfare of the world. A genuine sense of loyalty prevented me from even wishing ill to the Empire. The righteness or otherwise of the `rebellion' was therefore not likely to affect my decision."
It is not hard to understand Gandhi's attitude towards members of the other race. 'Be Indian, Buy Indian' is fine, but why hate others?



Gandhi as a father
Gandhi is often called the father of the nation(India). Let us study what sort of a father Gandhi was to his sons to see how Gandhi would do as a father. Gandhi had four sons Harilal, Manilal, Ramdas and Devdas.
Gandhi tried to impose his ideas on his sons as well. When his eldest son Harilal requested Gandhi to help him acquire formal education so he could make a living of his own, Gandhi refused to let him do so. Gandhi argued that formal education was a waste and only moral building was essential in the early years. Gandhi replied that Harilal could get all his education by following Gandhi's lifestyle. Harilal was not impressed with Gandhi's primitive lifestyle of sparse clothes, meager meals, absolutely no technology etc.
Gandhi though being married at 13, kept on berating and pointing out that Harilal should never have married at such a young age. He also disapproved of Harilal's choice of wife. Harilal found it too hard to bear the pressure and revolted. He joined the Arya Samaj(a party for which Gandhi had disdain). When he saw this had no effect on Gandhi, he converted to Islam and called himself Abdullah and printed diatribes against Gandhi under this name. Still Gandhi refused to relent and continued to ignore Harilal. Harilal totally degraded and became an alcoholic and was many times found staggering on the streets drunk.
Gandhi's second son Manilal also found the pressure of Gandhi's domineering nature too much to bear. Gandhi tried to impose on him his ideas of sexual abstinence which proved disastrous as Manilal ended up having an affair with a married woman. Gandhi when he found out about it became furious and instead of using non-violent means to protest, he made a public scandal of the matter and made the woman publicly shave her head as a punishment. Manilal again got into trouble when he tried to help his brother Harilal who was struggling to start a business, by sending a small amount of money. Gandhi was infuriated when he learnt of it. Manilal was heading the same way like Harilal before him but Kasturba intervened and finally Gandhi relented. Manilal also compromised when Gandhi agreed allow him to get married. Manilal was 35 then.
Luckily for Gandhi's third and fourth sons by the time they reached adolescence Gandhi had become a prominent leader in the Congress. Gandhi spent most of his time away from home giving speeches in various parts of the country and also abroad etc. So he did not have enough time to force his experiments on them. It was a custom for Hindus that the eldest son usually lits the funeral pyre of a father. When Gandhi died his funeral pyre was lit by Ramdas the third son while both Harilal and Mohanlal refused to lit the pyre.



Gandhi and Godse
On January 30 1948 Nathuram Godse fired on Gandhi from close range and ended the life of Gandhi. Godse is often a misunderstood character. He is referred to as a Hindu fanatic. It is often hard to understand Godse because the Government of India had suppressed information about him. His court statements, letters etc. were all banned from the public until recently. Judging from his writings one thing becomes very clear - He was no fanatic. His court statements are very well read out and indicate a calm and collected mental disposition. He never even once speaks ill about Gandhi as a person, but only attacks Gandhi's policies which caused ruin and untold misery to Hindus. Another interesting point to note is that Godse had been working with the Hindu refugees fleeing from Pakistan. He had seen the horrible atrocities committed on them. Many women had their hands cut off, nose cut off, even little girls had been raped mercilessly. Despite this Godse did not harm even single Muslim in India which he could easily have. So it would be a grave mistake to call him a Hindu fanatic.
Let us start by studying the motive behind Godse's act. By seeing the nature of the assassination in public space and Godse's act of turning himself over to the Police, we can see that Godse did not do this for personal reasons. He very well knew that he would be hanged and his name would be disgraced as Gandhi was considered a saint. And again Godse could have run away and escaped punishment. But he did the reverse. He called a police officer and courted arrest. Before we proceed it would be wise to understand the backdrop of the assassination.
The British had decided to grant freedom to India in 1947. But at the time of granting freedom they decided to carve a separate country called Pakistan(Pure Land) for the sake of Muslims. Gandhi despite being the most influential Congress leader did not put any real effort to stop this. There was no fast unto deaths or processions to protest against this. Unfortunately many Hindu dominated areas like Lahore went to Pakistan and in order to 'purify' the land many Hindus were massacred, women abducted and married off to Muslims, and other such heinous acts were committed. The partition is regarded as the top ten tragedies of the world. Millions of Hindus escaped into India. The Hindus in India showed their anger by committing the same acts on Muslims. Gandhi went on a fast in order to protest the violence against Muslims. This angered many Hindus. Why did Gandhi not protest the acts of violence by Muslims. After all it was the Muslims who demanded a separate state where Islam alone would be practiced. It was the Muslims who started rioting first. After the creation of Pakistan, the Government of Pakistan demanded that India should give it Rs55 Crores as it's share from the Government treasury. This was quite an extraordinary amount at that time. Gandhi supported this decision and went on a fast until death till the Government released the money to Pakistan.
The subsequent acquiescence of the Government and the release of the Money to Pakistan was what convinced Godse that Gandhi had to be assassinated for the benefit of India. So we can see that Godse's motive was to do an act which would benefit his Motherland. At the time of assassination Gandhi was flanked by two girls with his arms on both of them. Godse pushed one girl away least she should be injured. We can see that Godse was not a mere fanatic who wanted to blindly murder anyone and everyone associated with Gandhi. He very well knew he was going to die for his act, but still he was very careful not to cause injury to innocent people associated with Gandhi.
At this point it would be interesting to study the reaction of the followers of Gandhi. After Gandhi was assassinated his followers went on a rampage in Mahrashtra(Godse's home state) and killed many Brahmins(Godse's caste) and set their houses and property on fire. Many people had to die simply because they were of the same caste as Godse. Suffice to say the followers of Gandhi reflect a lot about their leader.



Gandhi and Bose
Gandhi and Bose were two of the foremost members of the Congress after the demise of the three major Congress leaders almost at the same time. Gandhi had been very popular in India thanks to the media who had covered his non-cooperation movement in South Africa. The fact that Gandhi had failed to obtain freedom for the blacks and Indians somehow did not figure prominently.
Bose unlike Gandhi had no need to join the freedom movement. He got a very prestigious and much sought after job with Indian Civil Services. But he gave up this opportunity and entered into political activity. Bose was greatly admired for his very good organisational abilities and soon was elected President of All India Youth Congress; elected Secretary of Bengal State Congress.
Gandhi and Bose initially got along well. Bose soon felt very restless with the inaction of the Congress with many important matters. Bose even tried to please Gandhi and showered warm tributes on him like 'Father of the nation' etc. But Gandhi's disinterest in saving Bhagat Singh infuriated Bose no end and he decided to follow his own convictions. This caused a lot of friction between Bose and Gandhi. Bose won both the Congress presidential elections both in 1931 and again in 1939. In 1939 Gandhi openly opposed Bose and put up his own candidate. But Bose defeated him and advocated a more military approach to the freedom struggle. Bose gave the British six months to vacate India or he threatened them with an all out war. The British were absolutely confounded by this new development. They knew they could not arrest Netaji now, lest the Indian people would become terribly violent. And they also knew Netaji's excellent organisation skills. But God answered British prayers in the form of Gandhi. Gandhi though he claimed he was leading a spiritual life and not involved in politics stepped in and used his influence to thwart Bose. All the Congress leaders(with generous support from Indian traders who benefited from British presence like G.D.Birla, Jamnalal Bajaj etc.) like Nehru etc. revolted and made it impossible for Bose to function as Congress president. Bose then resigned and formed a new party called Forward Block. But he was arrested and later released on house arrest fearing violent reactions should something happen to him in the notoriously cruel and inhuman prisons of Andaman and Nicobar.
Gandhi though he fought tooth and nail to remove Bose from the Congress, always used very sugar coated words to describe Bose. Why the discrepancy between words and actions? Perhaps Gandhi was afraid to openly attack Bose least Gandhi loses his image as a saint? On the other hand Bose who had praised Gandhi in the early days of their association now openly attacked Gandhi without fearing for his credibility. He knew Gandhi was revered as a Saint by millions, but this did not stop Bose from attacking Gandhi's policies.
Bose eventually fled India and landed in Berlin. He was even ready to make a pact with the devil - as he said later - to free India. The Nazi Government agreed to Bose's request of releasing Indian POWs in their possession if they agreed to fight Britain. But German losses in Russia, foiled the plan. Bose then left for Japan and he collected Indian POWs in Japanese possession and created his won army - INA. Bose progressed as far into Burma, but early monsoons made the task of further progress impossible. Bose was last seen boarding a flight in South Asia on 1945. Nobody knows what happened to him.
It was the members of the INA who created a revolutionary atmosphere in India that made the Indian Navy and Air Force to mutiny and the British finally gave independence to India. The day chosen for independence was Aug 15, the day the Japanese surrendered unconditionaly to Americans in 1945. Perhaps the British were having a final word? As Winston Churchill proclaimed after he heard the news that millions had died in the partition ' Ah we had the last word'.



Gandhi and Bhagat Singh
Bhagat Singh was a fiery young revolutionary who was put to death at the tender age of 23. At the point of his death Bhagat Singh's popularity rivaled that of Gandhi. Bhagat Singh initially had great respect for Gandhi, but later felt his method of fighting was impotent and joined a revolutionary organisation - Hindustan Republic Association. To get a better understanding of the politics between Gandhi and Bhagat Singh, let us study the events that led to Bhagat Singh's martyrdom.
Bhagat Singh threw a bomb on April 8th 1929 at Delhi Central Assembly. Singh and his associate Dutt threw handouts, and bombed in the corridor taking great care not to cause injury and courted arrest after shouting slogans Inquilab Zindabad (Long Live, Revolution!). Earlier Bhagat had shot a British police officer in a case of mistaken identity. The intended target was another British police officer who had ordered a lathi charge and killed Lala Rajpat Rai an elderly and respectable Indian Nationalist. Bhagat Singh went on a hunger strike in prison and continued it for 55 days. News of the fast spread and soon Bhagat Singh's popularity spread like wild fire. Despite the Congress effort to portray him as unimportant, Bhagat Singh became a household name. The British were afraid that Bhagat Singh's popularity would make the Indians give up non-violent struggle under Gandhi and rise up in armed revolt, so they decided to finish him off. An emergency ordinance was declared and Bhagat Singh was sentenced to be hanged.
The whole of India was against this decision. Over a million telegrams, some actually signed in blood were sent requesting for the same thing - to commute the death sentences of Bhagat Singh and his associates. Some of the few people who sent telegrams included the King of Norway, American Businessmen, Prominent Jews and even British MPs. Even Congress members were in awe of this patriotic youth and wanted Gandhi to save Bhagat Singh. Netaji asked Gandhi not to sign the Gandhi-Irwin pact unless the British agreed to commute the death sentences of Bhagat Singh. But Gandhi was unrelenting. But the pressure was too much on Gandhi and he sent a letter to the Viceroy pleading the case for Bhagat Singh. But it was a very meek attempt by Gandhi. Neither did he give any speeches to the people who had completely surrendered to him, nor did he go on any fast unto deaths. The British still were very unsure of the reaction in India if Bhagat Singh was hanged. They needed to gain some ground so they could brace for any violent reactions. So they decided to sign the Gandhi-Irwin pact and agree to a compromise with the Indian people. And what concessions did the British offer - NOTHING. But nevertheless Gandhi signed the pact which ended the civil disobedience movement. Netaji remarked on the pact "Between us and the British lies an ocean of blood and a mountain of corpses. Nothing on earth can induce us to accept this compromise which Gandhiji had signed." The Gandhi-Irwin pact was signed on 4th March 1931. Bhagat Singh and his associates were hanged on 23rd March 1931.
Gandhi's signing of the Gandhi-Irwin pact just days before Bhagat Singh was hanged was totally inexplicable. The least Gandhi could have done was wait till the actual date of execution. This would have put a lot of pressure on the British. Also Gandhi's refusal to acknowledge Bhagat Singh's method of struggle was baffling. Bhagat Singh had blasted a bomb in the corridors of the Parliament. If he had wanted he could have used very powerful chemicals and killed many people. His actions clearly show that he was a non-violent person. His intention was only to draw attention towards his cause. Why should Gandhi oppose Bhagat Singh simply because his methods were different? Perhaps Gandhi was afraid that Bhagat Singh's popularity would outrank Ganhdi's? If we look at historical facts this was a definite possibility. According to "The History of the National Congress" Bhagat Singh's popularity rivaled that of Mahatma Gandhi in 1929. Bhagat Singh had been in the public eye for just a few years, compared to Gandhi's decades of presence in politics. It almost seems to quell such doubts Gandhi wrote this tribute "Bhagat Singh and his two associates have been hanged. The Congress made many attempts to save their lives and the Government entertained many hopes of it, but all has been in a vain.Bhagat Singh did not wish to live. He refused to apologize, or even file an appeal. Bhagat Singh was not a devotee of non-violence, but he did not subscribe to the religion of violence. He took to violence due to helplessness and to defend his homeland. In his last letter, Bhagat Singh wrote --' I have been arrested while waging a war. For me there can be no gallows. Put me into the mouth of a cannon and blow me off.' These heroes had conquered the fear of death. Let us bow to them a thousand times for their heroism.But we should not imitate their act. In our land of millions of destitute and crippled people, if we take to the practice of seeking justice through murder, there will be a terrifying situation. Our poor people will become victims of our atrocities. By making a dharma of violence, we shall be reaping the fruit of our own actions.Hence, though we praise the courage of these brave men, we should never countenance their activities. Our dharma is to swallow our anger, abide by the discipline of non-violence and carry out our duty."
We can see Gandhi's had no problem considering them heroes and bowing to them after their death, but before their death even debates on Bhagat Singh were banned during Congress working sessions!

21 Comments:

Blogger Incognito said...

great article dude.. That Gandhi is one reason for our country to be like this. Atleast I feel people are comming out of his shackles after 50 years.

I am waiting for a day when Indian national congress comes to end... There should be no place of Indian national congress in the parliment. I can bear RJD there but cannot bear Sonia Gandhi in the parliment...

October 10, 2005 at 6:45 AM

 
Anonymous green said...

What a "Crap"

The devils in every human being will think this way but it will take lots of courage to say the truth. If you look at the world and tell me which country can get a freedom through a gun or violence. But through the work of non-violence humans become human otherwise they are not much different than a snake.

October 15, 2006 at 3:08 AM

 
Blogger Vishvas CM said...

Thanks for thr priceless information, this shows how gandhi fooled the whole country and became responsible for death of millions just to satisfy his weird pleasure.

August 8, 2013 at 12:17 AM

 
Blogger Sukhy said...

I have no words to describe my thanks for the research you have stated to validate points. I knew some stuff bu t not this much- my stomach churns when the west uses the words " Gandhi " for every thing..

The Tata- bilra bajaj.. they still own india and they were given economic power- and Gandhi used them .. to give them more power..

He made millions of indians fool.. we should wake up.

this is one way.. those people s till hold power in all areas.. that is why millions of First people- the Dalits are still in shackles of povertyy
sincer thanks

May 4, 2014 at 1:30 PM

 
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