Gandhi was a schizophrenic at best and a crazy guy at worst. He was shrewd and knew how to get his work done and get his way without ever taking any responsibility for any decision. In my view, he was the biggest con job ever in the history of Indian polity and spiritual understanding.
No one has messed up the Indian state as much as Gandhi did. And yet, he is one personality that will be so difficult to hold accountable for the very many wrongs he did. May of his views were abhorrent and pathetic and his actions – specifically with the sexual experiments downright inhuman. Read this – Gandhi ALSO blamed Women for getting Raped; Do Misogyny and Obsession with Sexual Purity go Hand-in-Hand?
I want to bring here some quotes from books, people and Gandhi himself which make it clear as to what I just said.
Jews, Hitler, and Palestine
“But the German persecution of the Jews seems to have no parallel in history. The tyrants of old never went so mad as Hitler seems to have gone. And he is doing it with religious zeal. For he is propounding a new religion of exclusive and militant nationalism in the name of which many inhumanity becomes an act of humanity to be rewarded here and hereafter. The crime of an obviously mad but intrepid youth is being visited upon his whole race with unbelievable ferocity. If there ever could be a justifiable war in the name of and for humanity, a war against Germany, to prevent the wanton persecution of a whole race, would be completely justified. But I do not believe in any war. A discussion of the pros and cons of such a war is therefore outside my horizon or province. “
The article that Appeared in Harijan on November 26, 1938 (Source: Gandhi on Jews)
Then he writes a letter to Hitler in 1941 to say:
“Nor do I believe that you are the monster described by your opponents.”
But what surprises one is the prescription his gives then to the Jews later on.
I mentioned the subject to Gandhi in 1946 when Hitler was dead. “Hitler,” Gandhi said, “killed five million Jews. It is the greatest crime of our time. But the Jews should have offered themselves to the butcher’s knife. They should have thrown themselves into the sea from cliffs… It would have aroused the world and the people of Germany… As it is they succumbed anyway in their millions.”
Remember what he says about the Jews’ claim to Palestine vs that of Arabs in the first quote above? Now, here he turns around to say:
I told Sidney Silverman, the British M.P., that the Jews have a good case. If the Arabs have a claim to Palestine, the Jews have a prior claim because they were there first.
Advise to the British on Hitler and Mussolini
Of course, his non-violence somehow always gave the Violent a “free run” and Victim was left to do the sacrifice:
In 1940, when the British Isles appeared to be on the verge of invasion by the Axis powers, Gandhi offered the following advice to the people of England: “I would like you to lay down the arms you have as being useless for saving you or humanity. You will invite Herr Hitler and Signor Mussolini to take what they want of the countries you call your possessions. … If these gentlemen choose to occupy your homes, you will vacate them. If they do not give you free passage out, you will allow yourselves, man, woman, and child, to be slaughtered, but you will refuse to owe allegiance to them.”
Gandhi on the British Empire in 1914:
“When Gandhi left South Africa, he still believed in the British empire. though tentatively. “Though Empires have gone and fallen, this empire may perhaps be an exception….it is an empire not founded on material but on spiritual foundations….the British constitution. Tear away those ideals and you tear away my loyalty to the British constitution; keep those ideals and I am ever a bondsman”.
(Source: Martin Green, Gandhi: Voice of a New Age Revolutionary, p. 208)
OKAY, so WTF was that? Spiritual Foundation?? British Empire on Spiritual Foundation?!
Gandhi on Wars by Britain
Now remember he was a non-violent man – or so we are supposed to believe. And WAR.. is a specialized kind of violence… right? So, this is how he supports the British Wars:
“To return to London in wartime: Gandhi quickly raised his ambulance corps amongst the Indians in England. As before, he had offered his volunteers for any kind of military duty, but the authorities preferred medical workers”……. “Many of his friends did not approve the project. Olive Schreiner, who was in London, wrote him that she was struck to the heart with sorrow to hear that he had offered to serve the English government in this evil war – this wicked cause”.
(Source: Martin Green, Gandhi: Voice of a New Age Revolutionary, p. 247)
And no, it was not always entirely for the “peace loving/humanitarian” causes of medical duty etc. Here is what he did in 1915 on his return to India. He kept organizing “War Recruitment Melas” during those days.
“Gandhi himself had twice volunteered for service in this war, in France and in Mesopotamia, because he had convinced himself that he owed the empire that sacrifice in return for it’s military protection.”
(Source: Martin Green, Gandhi: Voice of a New Age Revolutionary, p. 267)
“Military protection”??? Protection of whom or what?? Were the Brits protecting their ASSETS in India or the Indians? Do we even get the height of Gandhian nonsense?
However, his non-violent streak always awoke, as we have remarkably noticed… when the Victim gets hit and retaliates against the Violent. Here is Gandhi’s quote after Chaura Chauri.
God has been abundantly kind to me. He has warned me the third time that there is not yet in India that truthful and non-violent atmosphere which and which alone can justify mass disobedience….which means gentle, truthful, humble, knowing, never criminal and hateful. He warned me in 1919 when the Rowlatt Act agitation was started. Ahmedabad, Viramgam, and Kheda erred. Amritsar and Kasur erred. I retraced my steps, called it a Himalayan miscalculation, humbled myself before God and man, and stopped not merely mass civil disobedience but even my own which I knew to be civil and non-violent” .
(Source: Collected Works, vol. 22, p.415-21)
Did you notice how he brings in God… and professes how his words are somehow “sanctioned” by God? May so-called Saints, Prophets and God-men have used this “sanction” to perpetuate violence, abuse, and subjugation on people over the centuries. No wonder Gandhi has this aura of a “God-man”.
To this Subhash Bose had retorted:
“To sound the order of retreat just when public enthusiasm was reaching the boiling point was nothing short of a national calamity. The principal lieutenants of the Mahatma, Deshbandhu Das, Pandit Motilal Nehru and Lala Lajpat Rai, who were all in prison, shared the popular resentment. I was with the Deshbandu at the time, and I could see that he was beside himself with anger and sorrow.”
(Source: The Indian Struggle, p.90)
Gandhi on Bhagat Singh/Sukhdev/Rajguru hanging
“The government certainly had the right to hang these men. However, there are some rights which do credit to those who possess them only if they are enjoyed in name only.”
(Source: Collected Works, vol. 45, p.359-61, in Gujarati)
First sentence is obvious in its meaning. In the second sentence, he appears to be defending the RIGHT of British to use the “Authority” they have being an imperial power. Otherwise, he argues, it will be a “power in name only”! Excuse me, but nothing in my reading of Indian history and no other political figure has as much nauseated as Gandhi with this quote justifying the hangings of Bhagat Singh/Sukhdev/Rajguru!!
And…. then the TURNAROUND.. after the hanging on March 23, 1931.
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.
Gandhi’s article in Young India March 29, 1931
Ok, so can the REAL Gandhi please stand up??
Do you see the complete turnarounds and schizophrenic personality?