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M K Gandhi And The Gandhian Legacy

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M K Gandhi And The Gandhian Legacy
<span style='color:red'>Saving Hinduism by Killing all the Hindus</span>

http://www.sulekha.com/blogs/blogdisplay.aspx?cid=64503
thats too important an article - so i am sticking it here, lest one day shulekha deletes it or something.



Independence was just around the corner, along with the prospect of an India divided into two nations, one becoming the homeland for Muslim Indians. It was the culmination of a rising Muslim awareness of a separate identity from the Kaffirs with whom they lived, manifesting in movements like the Khilafat and best exemplified when we consider that the majority of Muslims who remained in India after partition, supported the idea of Pakistan. Along with this growing Islamic consciousness came open displays of pride and aggression towards the Kaffir. Out of this aggression came Direct Action Day on August 16th 1946, where Muslim League leader H.S Suhrawardy urged Muslims to show their support for Pakistan by any means necessary. Islamic aggression led to four days of rioting in Calcutta, setting off a chain of events elsewhere, with rioting in Mumbai and other parts of the country, including Noakhali. It was the atrocities the Muslims committed here that led Gandhi to advise Hindu women to learn the “fearless” act of dying without killing, a glimpse of what was to come from him:

They were pained at the news of women’s sufferings in East Bengal, said Gandhi. ...He wanted our women to learn to be brave. His advice to them was to commit suicide rather than allow themselves to be dishonored had been much misunderstood. They could use the dagger for self-defence if they wished to. But a dagger was no use against overwhelming odds. He had advised them to take poison and end their lives rather than submit to dishonor…They had two ways of self-defense- to kill and be killed or to die without killing. He could teach them the latter, not the former.1

Who is to say that the woman using the dagger to kill, will necessary be killed herself? And would it not be a good thing for a woman, even while dying, to at least remove from Earth the assailant to prevent possible future attacks on other women? Gandhi assumed that death was inevitable, and it was this attitude of hopelessness that he brought to Noakhali, terming it “the gospel of love that he had come here to preach.2” During his stay in Bengal, Hindus in Bihar engaged in retaliatory riots Gandhi was critical towards. The Bihari rioting had not ceased by February of 1947, and Gandhi was motivated to travel and stop it after being urged by Muslim friends: “I had flattered myself with the belief that I would be able to affect the Bihar Hindus from my place in Bengal. But Dr. Syed Mahmud has sent his secretary to me with a long letter which showed me that I should go to Bihar for the sake of the Muslims of Bihar.3”

Of course, Gandhi did not go to Bihar with the same message of Noakhali, which was for Hindus – the victims – to die without killing, along with the usual ‘Hindu-Muslim Bhai Bhai.’ In Bihar, his message was not for Muslims – the victims – to die without killing; his focus was on the Hindus, whom he told to take the burden of not being hostile, whatever the Muslim attitude:

He then told them that they must not harbour ill will against their Muslim neighbors. He appealed to both the parties to live at peace with each other. But he held that even if the Hindus alone harbored no ill will against the Muslims, or vice versa, strife would abate. If however both harboured ill will...strifes were bound to be the result. 4

After all, the New Testament – well, “no religion” – teaches one to harm ones neighbors: “You will consider for yourselves why those who committed these crimes did so. Was it to save their religion? I would rather say that they did not thereby save their religion but harmed it. No religion teaches anyone to kill his neighbors. 5” More than helping the Muslims, Gandhi’s goal in Bihar was to change the mentality of the Hindu – gearing them towards suicide: “They must not antagonize Muslims but they must not also yield to threats. They should rather lay down their lives. Gandhiji emphatically said that he had decided to go to Bihar, not for the relief of Muslims, but to effect a change of mentality among the Hindus of Bihar.6”

Gandhi believed the Hindus were guilty of grievous sinning, and like a Christian Pastor to his flock he urged a March 14th crowd to confess all: “I shall not say that Bihar has ignored my past services. I do not want you to do anything for my sake. I want you to work in the name of God, our Father. Confess your sins and atone for them with God alone as witness. 7” Gandhi urge the Hindus to be brave – bravery meaning suffering without retaliation! “The speaker (Gandhi) said the one way to forget and forgive was to contemplate Bihar which had done much worse than Noakhali and Tipperah. They should be brave. And forgiveness was an attribute and adornment of bravery. Let them be truly brave. True bravery refused to strike; it would suffer all infliction with patient cheerfulness. That would be the truest way of disarming opposition. 8”

In a March 12th speech in Patna, Gandhi – characterizing Hindus as ‘idol worshippers’ when it is the Divine Force the idol symbolizes that is worshipped – urged Hindus to not retaliate against mosques. Instead they should “hug” the idols within the Temple, because this was sure to change the minds of Muslim rioters!

A mosque was also damaged in the village Kumarahar. This also I consider to be a devilish deed. It is no justification to argue that the Hindus damaged the mosque because the Muslims were desecrating the temples. Hindus worship idols, while the Muslims do not. ...I am as much an idol-worshipper as an idol-breaker. Still when I go to a temple, I am happy if I find it neat and clean. Those who desecrated the mosque were not men but devils; because mosques, temples or churches are all houses of the Lord. I have come here today to convey to you my grief. You may perhaps be smiling and thinking whatever happened was all very good. But I assert that this is potent injustice. I am grieved when I hear that Muslims have desecrated a temple. Should I retaliate by damaging a mosque? How can such damage save the temple or benefit the Hindu religion? If the Muslims are about to desecrate a temple, it becomes my duty to prevent them from their vandalism, irrespective of my not being an idol-worshipper. I should hug the idol and request them not to demolish the temple. I should lay down my life to protect the idol but refuse to hand it over to them. My entreaties will impress them, they will realize that I mean no harm to them and then they will become my friends.9

In a March 30th Harijan article, Gandhi would give similar advice on how to win the friendship of the Muslim:

A friend came to me eulogizing the sword. The Muslims came here, he said, hurling abuses and unfurling Muslim League flags. We tried to dissuade them, continues the friend, but they did not listen. When, however, we pulled out the swords, asserts the friend, they came to their senses and became our friends. I tell you this was no bravery. The persuasion was backed by the threat of the sword. Threats do not produce true friendship. If you were honest, you should have told the Muslims: "Look here, you are only a handful and we are in the vast majority. You are abusing us. You want to unfurl your flag. And yet we shall not say anything to you nor return your abuses. But we shall not allow you to unfurl the flag nor shall we salute the Pakistani flag." If the Muslims had seen that...you wish to be friendly with them, their conscience would have awakened and they would have become your true friends. 10

At best we can call Gandhi a dreamer, for to have a raging Islamic mob acquiesce to pathetic displays of hugging an idol or a stern lecture not to hurl the Pakistani flag can only be described as a fantasy! The same article relates another dream – of the past – held by Gandhi. It was his idea that Hindus had long shed their blood in the name of ahimsa. One wonders how the ancient Hindu Kings were able to juggle the task of dying for ahimsa with conquering land for their Kingdoms. And it is unlikely that the Sadhus of the past had Gandhi’s ahimsa in mind when they retreated from earthly life. Their nonviolence did not extend into the life of the nation; it was for the individual seeker:

The lesson of nonviolence was present in every religion but Gandhiji believed that perhaps it was here in India that its practice had been reduced to a science. Hindu religions prescribe great tapaschcharya for the realization of ahimsa. It is said that innumerable Hindus had shed their blood in the cause of ahimsa until the Himalayas became purified in their snowy whiteness by means of that sacrifice. The Hindus of today pay only lip service to ahimsa. You must demonstrate true ahimsa in this land of Ramachandra and King Janaka. True bravery consists in true ahimsa. At the moment you are guilty of committing very cowardly acts. 11

Support for these fantastic claims was of no importance to Gandhi, who never understood that some fantasies ought to remain as fantasies. Especially his vision of genocide, one he brought with him on his return to Delhi. In an April 1st speech, Gandhi would continue to urge Hindus that dying, and not retaliating, was appropriate, especially since they would be dying at the hands of their Muslim brothers:

Let us not be afraid of dying. If we are to be killed, would we not rather be killed by our Muslim brothers? Would a brother cease to be a brother because he has changed his religion? 12

In courting death, Gandhi gave justification in the idea that one should not fear things like birth and death, telling an April 6th audience in Delhi that “None should fear death. Birth and death are inevitable for every human being. Why should we then rejoice or grieve? If we die with a smile we shall enter into a new life, we shall be ushering in a new India.13” But Gandhi’s advice to Hindus was the ultimate denial of life, a complete negation. While it is true that the Hindu view of birth and death is that the soul reincarnates into different bodies, it does not consider life to be so insignificant that one should allow oneself to be sacrificed like a lamb. Such deaths do nothing for the spiritual growth of the individual Soul, this being the true purpose of reincarnation, culminating in the Soul becoming Master of the mind and body. Life is pivotal towards this goal, because it is within life that the Soul gathers the experiences necessary to help it achieve full command. Life having such significance means that death – while necessary - is not something to be feted, which is what Gandhi did, when saying, “Man after all is mortal. We are born only to die. Death alone is the true friend of man. 14” His obsession with suffering and death led him to not think twice about urging Hindus to walk into their own execution.

While Hinduism speaks of deaths as a simple necessity for the growth of the Soul in man, Gandhi viewed the deaths of Hindus as something bold and exciting to take part in, a means for the creation of a brave new world – one where Islam reigned supreme:

Hindus should not harbor anger in their hearts against Muslims even if the latter wanted to destroy them. Even if the Muslims want to kill us all we should face death bravely. If they established their rule after killing Hindus we would be ushering in a new world by sacrificing our lives. 15

If only the Hindus were to have listened and allowed themselves to be killed, they would have gone down in history not only as creators of a new world, but as the glorious saviors of Islam…and Hinduism…and the whole world!

Today a Hindu from Rawalpindi narrated the tragic events that had taken place there. ...The villages around Rawalpindi have been reduced to ashes. ...The Hindus of the Punjab are seething with anger. The Sikhs say that they are the followers of Guru Gobind Singh who has taught them how to wield the sword. But I would exhort the Hindus and Sikhs again and again not to retaliate. I make bold to say that if Hindus and Sikhs sacrifice their lives at the hands of Muslims without rancor or retaliation they will become the saviors not only of their own religions but also of Islam and the whole world. 16

Just like with the Khilafat movement, Gandhi wished to save Islam. Except this time it was not from the geopolitics of the British Empire, it was from the hands of Hindus in a battle for their lives. Little wonder that many Hindus were becoming furious with him. Gandhi, aware of the anger when – in an April 4th discussion - facing Hindu refugees from Pakistan areas, gave rare sensible advice to go along with his usual call for submission:

Q: You tell people to discard arms, but in the Punjab the Muslims kill the Hindus at sight. You have no time even to go to the Punjab. Do you want us to be butchered like sheep?

G: If all the Punjabis were to die to the last man without killing, the Punjab would become immortal. It is more valiant to get killed than to kill. Of course my condition is that even if we are facing death we must not take up arms against them. But you take up arms and when you are defeated you come to me. Of what help can I be to you in these circumstances? If you cared to listen to me, I could restore calm in the Punjab even from here. One thousand lost their lives of course, but not like brave men. I would have liked the sixteen who escaped by hiding to have come into the open and courted death. More is the pity. What a difference it would have made if they had bravely offered themselves as a nonviolent, willing sacrifice! Oppose with ahimsa if you can, but go down fighting by all means if you have not the nonviolence of the brave. Do not turn cowards. 17

Understanding the rage of the refugees he was talking too is what made Gandhi placate them by advising to fight only if they were not up to the task of using his ahimsa. It was the belief that his ahimsa ideally should be used at all times, that made him continually stress mass suicide to the Hindus. Gandhi desired mass suicide because he abhorred violence, because he thought the spiritual thing to do was to reject violence in all situations. While we can compliment Gandhi for his wish to remove himself from violence, he was approaching it in the wrong manner. In Hinduism, the idea was to detach oneself from the results (and the act itself even while performing it) of the action (in this case violence) by surrendering said action and subsequent results to God; as opposed to simply refusing to partake in the act. Thus there was not to be any sort of malicious pleasure or despair (modes of rajas) to be taken from violent acts; it was simply action to be undertaken with a Sattvic temperament, based on the knowledge that such killing were only transient deaths. This detachment from the action of killing is of a different nature to Gandhi’s wish for the Hindus to remain inert, which is not the same as detachment; Gandhi’s advice is instead the practice of inaction or Tamas. Because to fight back and to run away are two forms of action, the latter of which should not always be confused with cowardice, because choosing to remain and be slaughtered when the possibility of escape appears is the lowest form of Ignorance, of Ego. Usually we associate the Ego with attachment to modes of rajas, but the ego also attaches itself to modes of Tamas or inaction. It is through concentration and surrender – not callous indifference and refusal to engage - that one removes oneself from attachment, even during warfare.

Gandhi not only preached Tamas to Hindus, he told them to enjoy their fate, to enjoy being killed by Muslims (again the sattvic temperament would not take perverse pleasure in an action):

But Jinnah Saheb presides over a great organization. Once he has affixed his signature to the appeal, how can even one Hindu be killed at the hands of the Muslims? I would tell the Hindus to face death cheerfully if the Muslims are out to kill them. I would be a real sinner if after being stabbed I wished in my last moment that my son should seek revenge. I must die without rancor. 18

In the same speech, Gandhi made it clear that inertia would reap the Hindus a reward he cherished – that of martyrdom:

There is nothing brave about dying while killing. It is an illusion of bravery. The true martyr is one who lays down his life without killing. You may turn round and ask whether all Hindus and all Sikhs should die. Yes, I would say. Such martyrdom will not be in vain. You may compliment me or curse me for talking in this manner; but I shall only say what I feel in my heart. 19

Even though it was Gandhi’s heartfelt wish to see all Hindus killed, the possibility of martyrdom or even canonization did not appeal to them. Many remained angry. In a May 28th speech Gandhi related a question he was asked – of which he did not understand the implication – that was a hint of the future: “Yesterday I was asked what we should do with a mad dog, whether we should not kill it. This is an odd question. He should have asked what should be done when a man went mad. 20”

During the same speech he gave the usual advice to Hindus who were afraid of rumored June 2nd Islamic plans of attack on them in Pakistan areas:

We hear from all sides speculations about June 2. ...Now there is talk of killing all the Hindus. And the Hindus would ask why, if the Muslims kill us, we should not kill them in return. They too would want to spill blood. If this is not madness, what else is it? I trust that you, who are seated here so peacefully, would not give in to such frenzy. If the people who are caught in the frenzy are bent upon killing us, we would let them do so. Would they be cured of their madness if we let ourselves be killed? The prevailing madness is not such as would blind us to all reason. Even when a really mad person rushes toward us with a knife in his hand, we should face the danger. We do not panic. Similarly, if the Muslims come with raised swords screaming for Pakistan, I would tell them that they cannot have Pakistan at the point of the sword. They must first cut me to pieces before they vivisect the country. 21

Saying that Pakistan would only be created over his mutilated body showed an exaggerated belief in his own importance. As a politician Gandhi had some amount of power to determine the outcome of partition, but if the Muslims of Pakistan killed or made the Hindus of those lands flee, then the goal of partition would have been achieved without any concern for Gandhi’s proclamations from the confines of Delhi. By telling the Hindus of Pakistan to sacrifice their lives, he was aiding in the Islamic goal of Pakistan that he claimed to be against.

Hindus remaining in Pakistani territory knew of the potential danger facing them, and they wrote Gandhi urging him to go to Sindh. They actually thought he might protect them:

Why should the Hindus in Sind be afraid? Why should they panic? I have a letter from there saying that the Hindus are overcome with fear. But instead of being frightened, why do they not take the name of Rama? The people of Sind want me to go to them. I have not been to Sind for many years but I have maintained such close relations with the people of Sind that at one time I used to call myself a Sindhi. I used to have Sindhi companions also in South Africa. Sindhis, Marwaris, Punjabis, all have co-operated with me. Some of them even drank and ate nonvegitarian food. In spite of their inability to give up these things they called themselves Hindus. I was friends with all of them. One of them asks me in a letter if I have forgotten him and Sind? But how can I forget? 22

It may be true that Gandhi did not forget Sindh, but he preferred Hindus remain there and die. He did not feel the need to travel to Sindh to deliver the message in person. A similar situation arose in April of that year when he was asked why he did not go to the Punjab to help Hindus under attack. To justify his decision, Gandhi misrepresented a couple of Hindu ideas. He first claimed that it was his “Svadharma to go to Bihar. I worship the Gita. The Gita ordains that one should perform one's own duty and stick to one's own field of action. The Gita clearly states that better is death in the discharge of one's own duty and in one's own field. Running after another's function is fraught with danger. Hence, staying in a place like Delhi which is another's domain is for me fraught with danger. 23” Svadharma is in relation to ones inner nature and abilities, not to a particular place, and so would have nothing to do with Delhi or Punjab or Bihar. Following ones Svadharma is best defined as living towards the highest ideals of ones deepest nature, ideals not always in unison with others or external concepts, because their origin is from an inner law.

The next justification he gave in the same April 11th speech was that he had received no inner voice regarding Punjab: “If I had had a call from God directing me to go to the Punjab I would have certainly gone there. You may well ask me if it is God who prompts me. That way, God does not come to me in person. But I do hear an inner voice. One who becomes a devotee of God hears His voice from within. I did not hear such a voice with regard to the Punjab.24”

It is true that many devotees are guided by an Adesh, but in Gandhi’s case it is doubtful since he admitted not coming close to gaining Self-realization25, and because - in the same speech - he admitted mentally debating whether or not to go to Punjab: “But let me tell you that I have thought enough about going to the Punjab, and have come to the conclusion that my going there now would not serve any particular purpose, because we do not rule the Province.26”

One who receives an Adesh does not need to sit and back and think about a decision. The devotee waits in silence until he hears a command.

For Gandhi, such thinking on the merits of going to Punjab likely included the idea that Bihar offered more potential benefits to his goals. In Punjab, Hindus were on the defensive and were most likely to be killed even if fighting back, but in Bihar, Hindus were on the attack. Gandhi disapproved the later more. Thus his choice to travel to Bihar. Of course that did not stop him from conveying his suicidal message to the Punjabis:

But whether I go to the Punjab or not, I shall certainly work for it. Whatever I want to tell the people after going there can as well be conveyed to them from outside the Punjab. I want to teach only one thing which I shall never tire of repeating. And it is that every Hindu and every Sikh should resolve that he would die, but would never kill. Master Tara Singh says that Sikhs shall kill. In my view what he says is not proper. He should say that if they do not get what they want they would die for it, even if they may be only a handful, and rest only when they had achieved their goal. He should not talk in terms of killing. I need not go all the way to the Punjab to say this. 27

He would deliver his message directly to Tara Singh, describing the meeting to a June 4th audience: “Master Tara Singh came to see me today. I told him that he should not remain a lone soldier, but become equal to one and a quarter lakh. The Sikhs should learn to die without killing and then the history of the Punjab would be completely changed. With it the history of India would change too.28” Of course the history of Punjab and India would have changed if Gandhi’s ideas had come to fruition – both would have become completely Islamic!

Hindus and Sikhs, if for the simple reason that they wanted to defend their lives using violence when necessary, sent letter after letter in the hope he might understand their plight, and speak common sense. But they were talking to the wrong man; Gandhi was not the type to easily lose attachment to his web of ideas or emphasize with the position of others opposing his views:

What pricks them the most is the fact that I keep calling upon them to lay down their lives instead of rousing them to kill. They want me to call upon the Hindus to avenge violence by violence, arson by arson. But I cannot deny my whole life and be guilty of advocating the rule of the jungle instead of the law of humanity. If someone comes to kill me I would die imploring God to have mercy on him. Instead, these people insist that I should first ask you to kill and then die if need be. They tell me that if I am not prepared to say such a thing, I should keep my courage to myself and retire to the forest. 29

Outsiders were not the only ones to differ with Gandhi. One of his oldest co-workers, Purushottamdas Tandon, came to support the use of violence for self-defense: “Shri Purushottamdas Tandon paid me a visit. I have told you how I was pained by Tandonji's statement that every man and woman should carry arms…Tandonji explained that although he did not believe in...tit for tat, he certainly believed that everyone should carry arms for self-defence....Tandonji said we might not adopt the principle of tit for tat...But if we did not take up arms and show our strength how were we to defend ourselves?30” Gandhi’s answer to Tandon was that he agreed that self-defense was necessary. Of course, Gandhi had his own ideas as to what constituted self-defense:

My answer is self-defence is necessary, but how does one defend oneself? If someone comes to me and says, "Will you or will you not utter Ramanama? if you do not, look at this sword." Then I shall say that although I am uttering Ramanama every moment I will not do so at the point of the sword. Thus I shall risk my life in self-defence.31

Defending oneself in such a situation should naturally mean to save your life; simply denying the wish of the attacker can in some instances be a noble thing, but should be considered as defiance rather than defense. His twisted view on defense was one of many reasons he continued to receive strongly worded letters: “I am being inundated with abusive letters and telegrams. This shows how grossly some people misunderstand my ideas. Some think I consider myself too big even to reply to their letters while others think I am enjoying myself in Delhi while Punjab is in flames.32” One letter went further and accused him of not living up to the ideals of the Gita that he preached:

A friend has written me a harsh letter asking me if I must still persist in my madness. "In a few days you will be leaving this world," he says, "Will you never learn? If Purushottamdas Tandon says that everyone should take up the sword, become a soldier and defend himself, why do you feel hurt? You are a votary of the Gita. You should be beyond dualism. You should not feel grief or joy over every little thing. You talk like the foolish Sadhu who again and again tried to save a scorpion from drowning while it went on stinging him. If you cannot give up your refrain of ahimsa you can at least allow others to take their path of choosing. Why do you become a hindrance? 33

Gandhi, to his credit, acknowledged that he was not beyond the sufferings of the ego, in this case a close co-worker merely differing in opinion: “When I heard that he was saying the things he did I was grieved…If I had perfect steadfastness of intellect I would never have felt hurt. Even as it is I am trying not to feel hurt. But each day I advance a little further.34” In response to the example of the Sadhu and the scorpion, Gandhi showed an ignorance of basic human nature:

The example of the Sadhu and the scorpion is a good one. When some person without faith asked him why he was so set on saving the scorpion, whose very nature it was to sting, he answered: "If it is in the nature of the scorpion to sting it is in the nature of man to put up with the sting. If the scorpion cannot give up its nature, how can I give up mine? Do I have to become a scorpion that stings and kills it?" 35

To begin, unusual is the motive for a man to save a scorpion from drowning. It is even less likely for a man to put up with such a stinging, for the basic human – and animal – response to such painful stinging would be either to kill or at least to remove the scorpion from the body. Only someone numb to stimuli – or some plant species - would be of the nature to receive a sting without any response. Tandon, arriving at an opposing viewpoint, had thus taken the nature of a scorpion, leading Gandhi to slander a man who committed no crime:

In the end the learned friend counsels that if I cannot give up being stubborn and must persist in ahimsa I should at least not stand in the ways of others. Shall I then be a hypocrite. Shall I deceive the world? The world then will only say that there is a so-called Mahatma in India who mouths sweet phrases about ahimsa while his coworkers indulge in killing. 36

The international opinion of him was not his only concern; of higher priority was to make the Hindu listen to him, to make the Hindu do what he said:

If I can thus make myself heard by even the Hindus alone, you will see that India holds her head high in the world. I say nothing of the Muslims. They think I am their enemy but the Hindus and the Sikhs do not consider me their enemy. If the Hindus will heed my advice regarding the nonviolence of the brave I shall tell them to throw their arms into the sea; I shall show them how the brave can rely on nonviolence. 37

Gandhi faced an uphill battle to make the Hindu heed his call for mass suicide, because as he realized, his influence had waned: “There was a time when the most casual remark from me was honored as a command. Such is not the case today.38” For Gandhi was no longer the inspirational religious figure the media portrayed him to be. To the audiences that came to see him, he belonged to the cult of celebrity: “The gatherings in Bihar tended to be larger than those in Bengal...People are always eager to see me. They wonder what Gandhi looks like. They want to see if he is a creature with a tail and horns. Thus people used to gather in huge numbers.39” The loss of previous power gave only more grief to the votary of the Gita, a grief he shared in response to compliments from a co-worker:

COWORKER: You have declared that you won't mind if the whole of India is turned into Pakistan by appeal to reason but not an inch would be yielded to force. You have stood firm by your declaration. But is the Working Committee acting on this principle? They are yielding to force. You gave us the battle-cry of Quit India; you fought our battles; but in the hour of decision, I find you are not in the picture. You and your ideals have been given the go-by.

Gandhiji: Who listens to me today?

Coworker: Leaders may not, but the people are behind you

Gandhi: Even they are not. I am being told to retire to the Himalayas. Everybody is eager to garland my photos and statues. Nobody really wants to follow my advice.

Coworker: They may not today, but they will have to before long

Gandhi: What is the good? Who knows whether I shall then be alive? The question is: What can we do today? On the eve of independence we are as divided as we were united when we were engaged in freedom's battle. The prospect of power has demoralized us. 40

The self-pity his ego felt - due to having his message ignored - in many instances transformed into anger. It was this rage that led Gandhi to threaten a March audience in Bihar that they would regret not listening to him:

I wish to give vent to the fire that is raging within me in the course of my answers to your questions. Why should we behave in this manner? Neither you nor I have a correct picture of what is happening in the Punjab. Anyway, whatever it may be, it is indeed deplorable. But we have to keep our houses clean. We need not make our houses filthy because another person fills his house with filth. If you [do not] act according [to my advice], remember you will be sorry for it. You will regret that you did not listen to this old man's advice. … I remind you again that those who hurt Muslims will be hurting me. I am camping here simply to put an end to this fratricide or die in the effort. 41

Gandhi’s ego demanded its satisfaction above the elementary needs of the Hindu masses; only an ego of Titanic proportions would demand of Hindus to not defend their lives with violence, simply to alleviate its illogical grief. His ego would continue to extend itself, attaching to each Muslim death:

If the Hindus of Bihar slaughter the Muslims, they would be killing me. I say the Muslims of Bihar are like my blood-brothers. They are glad to see me. They are convinced that at least this one man belongs to them. Anyone who kills them kills me. If they insult their sisters and daughters, it is insulting me. From this platform I want to convey this to all the Hindus of Bihar. ...It is being rumored these days that Gandhi wants to go to Bihar and get the Hindus slaughtered. But I would like to proclaim at the top of my voice that even if all the Muslims lose their heads not a single Hindu should follow suit. 42

If he really had lived according to the principles of the Gita, he would not have attached himself to the physical lives of each Muslim, for he would have known the eternal Truth that, “The wise grieves neither for the living nor for the dead…Just as the soul acquires a childhood body, a youth body, and an old age body during this life; similarly, the soul acquires another body after death. This should not delude the wise.43” Instead of the eternal view of physical death being transient in Nature, Gandhi had an unusual mixture of grieving over the death of the individual Muslim, yet lusting after the deaths of Hindus at the hands of Muslims. Naturally, Hindus and Sikhs continued to ignore his advice. This was the case during his trip to Bihar in March, where the Hindus – instead of abusing him through letters and telegrams – choose to lay low until he had finished his circuit:

Again Gandhiji referred to a report that he had heard of the Hindus threatening the Mussalmans that they would wreak vengeance on them when he (Gandhiji) was gone. It ill became the votaries of the Ramayana to try to suppress the fourteen or fifteen per cent of the Muslims in their midst. Men aspiring to be free could hardly think of enslaving others. If they tried to do so, they would only be binding their own chains of slavery tighter. It became their duty to go and beg forgiveness of the Mussalmans, and by their true repentance they should try to persuade them to go back to their homes. They should rebuild their houses. They should make their sorrow their own. 44

Having failed in Bihar, Gandhi decided to make a brief and solitary visit to Punjab (or maybe he finally received an Adesh!), and was greeted with hostility in Amritsar:

In the letter written in English, the writer had asked him to spend at least a week in Rawalpindi and see with his own eyes what the Hindus had suffered. Why should he choose to go to Kashmir? His reply was that ever since he had gone to Delhi he had wanted to come to the Punjab. He wanted to visit Lahore, Amritsar and Rawalpindi. But he believed that he was in God's hands. God was the Master of all the universe and He could upset the plans of men. …He referred to the black flag demonstration that Hindu young men had arranged at the Amritsar railway station. All the time the train stopped they kept shouting "Gandhi, Go Back" in English. He had to cover his ears as he could not stand the noise. He closed his eyes also and kept on repeating God's name. They were too noisy and excited, else he would have liked to get down and ask them what harm he had done to them to deserve such noisy hostility. 45

Similar protests awaited him in Calcutta during the month of August, when rioting emerged between Hindu’s and Muslims. This time, the Muslims were taking serious losses, and Suhrawardy sought Gandhi’s help. Gandhi was only eager to help Suhrawardy and his Muslim constituency, as long as Suhrawardy would come and live with Gandhi. Calcutta was the next stop on Gandhi’s mission to prove himself the savior of Muslims. Indeed earlier he had told a group of Bihari Muslims that aiding Muslims was his “one aim in life”:

Gandhiji reaffirmed that he was not disloyal or unfaithful to the Muslims and that his one aim in life was to help the Muslims as long as he was alive and he would try to help them even by dying. 46

The odd couple would reside in “"an old abandoned Muslim house in an indescribably filthy locality, which had hastily been cleaned up for Gandhiji's residence. It was open on all sides.47” On the thirteenth, a group of Hindus came and basically accused him of favoring the Muslims:

An excited crowd of young men stood at the gate as Gandhiji's car arrived. They shouted: ‘Why have you come here? You did not come when we were in trouble. Now that the Muslims have complained all this fuss is being made over it. Why did you not go to places from where Hindus have fled?’...The situation threatened to take an ugly turn. Gandhiji sent some of his men outside to expostulate with the demonstrators and tell them to send their representatives to meet him.48

Once inside, the demonstrators remained blunt in their appraisal: “Last year when Direct Action was launched on the Hindus on August 16, you did not come to our rescue. Now that there has been just a little trouble in the Muslim quarters, you have come running to their succour. We don't want you here.49”

Gandhi as usual twisted the words of his criticizers, accusing them of trying to avenge 1946 when the present riots were for recent provocations: “Much water has flown under the bridge since August 1946. What the Muslims did then was utterly wrong. But what is the use of avenging the year 1946 on 1947?50” At any rate, Gandhi claimed that his solitary journey to protect the Hindus of Noakhali had “earned” him the right to take similar actions against Muslims: “But let me tell you that if you again go mad, I will not be a living witness to it. I have gained the same ultimatum to the Muslims of Noakhali also; I have earned the right. Before there is another outbreak of Muslim madness in Noakhali, they will find me dead. Why cannot you see that by taking this step I have put the burden of the peace of Noakhali on the shoulders of Shaheed Suhrawardy and his friends-including men like Mian Ghulam Sarwar and the rest? This is no small gain.51”

To begin, Noakhali was only one place on the map where Hindus had suffered under Muslim rioting. And it was not Noakhali that the Hindus of Calcutta were angry about (unlike the Hindu rioters in Bihar). Their anger was towards fresh actions assuredly directed by the likes of Suhrawardy. While Gandhi’s ego may have wanted to take credit for forcing the “burden of peace” on Suhrawardy, the real facts point to a time-honored method – the use of violence. A man like Suhrawardy, initiator of the violence, would only desire ‘peace’ when it was clear that he was losing such a physical battle. It was not because he felt a sudden impulse towards ahimsa that he sought out Gandhi, it was because the Muslims were in grave trouble! Knowing that he could not win was what forced Suhrawardy to move from violence.

The demonstrators remained unconvinced by Gandhi’s arguments, telling him, “We do not want your sermons on ahimsa. You go away from here. We won’t allow the Muslims to live here. 52” An eighteen-year old put in the comment, “History shows that Hindus and Muslims can never be friends. Anyway, ever since I was born I have seen them only fighting each other. 53” Gandhi quickly rejected this, using his knowledge of a few Hindu boys referring to Muslims as ‘uncle’ and the mingling during festivals to bolster his case! Obviously, the genocidal invasions of Gaznavi, Ghori, Babur and Timur, the murderous rule of the Delhi Sultanate and Aurangazeb, the – closer to the present – frequent rioting between the two communities, were all aberrations: “Well, I have seen more of history than anyone of you, and I tell you that I have known Hindu boys who call Muslims 'uncle'. Hindus and Muslims used to participate in each others festivals and other auspicious occasions. 54”

Gandhi would continue, telling the demonstrators that it was fruitless to try and get him to change his mind: “You want to force me to leave this place but you should know that I never submitted to force. It is contrary to my nature. You can obstruct my work, even kill me. I won’t invoke the help of the police. You can prevent me from leaving this house, but what is the use of your dubbing me an enemy of the Hindus? I will not accept the label. ...I put it to you, young men, how can I, who am a Hindu by birth, a Hindu by creed and a Hindu of Hindus in my way of living, be an 'enemy' of Hindus? Does this not show narrow intolerance on your part? 55” According to the account, these last “Words had a profound effect. Slowly and imperceptibly the opposition began to soften. Still they were not completely converted. One of the said ‘perhaps we should now go.’” 56

That sort of effect was understandable, because Gandhi had used a – at least on the surface – plausible argument. While instinct led the demonstrators to consider Gandhi an enemy – for how can you not be considered an enemy of a particular group when you are calling for that group to let themselves be slaughtered – it was not surprising that their protests stopped when he recounted his Hindu origin. Doubtful would the demonstrators have known that Gandhi as a youth nearly converted to Christianity57, or that his obsessions with suffering and nonviolence was closer to the New Testament doctrine of “turning the other cheek” than it was to Sri Krishna’s injunction to fight the righteous war. Even not knowing this, they would have clearly sensed that – to go along with his not submitting to force – obstinacy was central to Gandhi’s nature. Neither force nor reason would change Gandhi’s stubborn views.

Gandhi’s arrival, and his threat of killing himself through fasting, helped bring peace to the city for little over a week. However, the last few days of August experienced a revival of communal rioting, disturbing Gandhi greatly. On September 1st he decided to launch a fast, for the apparent purpose of ending the violence. Yet this outward rational hid from view other reasons for his fast. As was clear in his speeches in Bihar, Gandhi was increasingly upset that Hindus were not following his advice, were not obeying his directions as in the past. Even though he was internationally known, lauded as a man of peace, he could not get members of his own community to listen to his dictates! For an ego used to being the center of attention, having experienced the power of millions obeying his word, this was a humiliation.

If the Hindus were not going to listen to him under normal conditions, he would create the conditions for them to obey. Naturally, he chose to color the reasons for his fast in the language of a crusader on a mission. For as a votary of ahimsa it was his duty to protest, his duty to show society it was wrong, and that his way was right: “One fasts for health's sake under laws governing health or fasts as a penance for a wrong done and felt as such. In these fasts, the fasting one need not believe in ahimsa. There is, however, a fast which a votary of nonviolence sometimes feels impelled to undertake by way of protest against some wrong by society and this he does when he, a votary of ahimsa, has no other remedy left.58” It was this feeling of helplessness, this rage at not having his words heeded, that ate at Gandhi prior to his fasts, as he admitted in January 1948: “I have no answer to return to the Muslim friends who see from day to day as to what they should do. My impotence has been gnawing at me of late. It will go immediately the fast is undertaken. I have been brooding over it for the last three days.59”

Here then was the admission of his desire for the power previously held, a craving now only satisfied after he used his last option, the fast: “Though the voice within has been beckoning for a long time, I have been shutting my ears to it lest it might be the voice of Satan, otherwise called my weakness. I never like to feel resourceless; a satyagrahi never should. Fasting is his last resort in the place of the sword-his or others.60” One who truly heard an Inner Voice would never think it to be from “Satan,” because one who knows and hears from the inner Soul never associates doubt with an Adesh.

Besides the egotistical motives behind the fasts, was the questionable nature of the fasts. For they were not pure fasts to the death. In describing a 21-day fast undertook while imprisoned in the opulent palace of Aga Khan, Gandhi mentions the drinking of water and orange juice, and the doctors at hand: “I would like to mention only one thing in that connection, and it is that I survived for 21 days not because of the amount of water I used to drink, or the orange juice which I took for some days, or the extraordinary medical care, but because I had installed in my heart God whom I call Rama.61” Well if Rama was the reason behind Gandhi’s survival, his instruments were the water and orange juice and physicians, water alone being enough to live on for 30 days. The physicians at hand –not only were Gandhi’s living arrangements looked after, his fasts were contrived – would have known this.

If the fasts were farcical so were the results, as noted by many of his detractors: “Critics have regarded some of my previous fasts as coercive and held that on merits the verdict would have gone against my stand but for the pressure exerted by the fasts.62” Any peace resulting from his fasts was a façade sustained by the Hindu only to prevent Gandhi from dying, thus sparing them international condemnation, not because of any true harmony generated between the communities. Gandhi, ironically, claimed prior to a January 1948 fast that he wished the violence to end without outside pressure: “It will end when and if I am satisfied that there is a reunion of hearts of all communities brought about without any outside pressure, but from an awakened sense of duty.63” Here we have him applying outside pressure, yet continually under the delusion – as he had to have done each time he ended his fasts – that the two communities had organically ended not only their current violence but centuries of hostility to go along with.

The burden of ending both the violence and hostility was placed primarily on the Hindus, leading many to move from being angry with him to viewing him as an enemy, as Bengal Congressman PC Ghosh told him in a September 2nd meeting during the Calcutta fast:

One thing, however, strikes me. You have launched your fast at a time when a section of the Hindus have begun to look upon you as their enemy. They foolishly feel that by asking them to practice nonviolence, when the other side has shed all scruples, you are being very unfair to them. I would have had nothing to say if you had declared a fast for anything wrong that the Ministry did. 64

In response, Gandhi claimed that he could now fast against the Muslims: “All this is wide of the mark. Don’t you see, this now gives me the right to fast against the Muslims, too. My fast is intended to serve both the communities. The moment the Hindus realize that they cannot keep me alive on any other terms, peace will return to Calcutta.65” Even if he could now rationalize a fast versus the Muslims, he never undertook one, no matter the terrible violence Hindus suffered in Pakistani areas. The beneficiaries of his fasts were the Muslims, who were otherwise in serious danger since they were – just like the Hindus of Pakistan - the minority in the areas he fasted in. Subconsciously he knew which group was truly benefiting from his intervention, which is why he directed his “terms” to the Hindu, burdening them with the life of the city, the implication being that if they failed, the responsibility for his death would forever mark them. It was this blackmail that he brought to Calcutta.

***

Having returned from Calcutta to Delhi, Gandhi could have continued into Pakistani areas to fast and prevent the deaths of the Hindus there. Instead he chose to remain in Delhi, at the same time urging Hindus and Sikhs fleeing from Pakistan to return to meet their deaths:

I am grieved to learn that people are running away from the West Punjab and I am told that Lahore is being evacuated by the non-Muslims. I must say that this is what it should not be. If you think Lahore is dead or is dying, do not run away from it, but die with what you think is the dying Lahore. When you suffer from fear you die before death comes to you. That is not glorious. I will not feel sorry if I hear that people in the Punjab have died not as cowards but as brave men...If in that act I am murdered I would bear no ill will against anyone and would rather pray for better sense for the person or persons who murder me. 66

Gandhi would tell a September audience of Hindu refugees that they should take his message of death back to other refugees, and try and get them to voluntarily return to Pakistan, to face sure death, just so they could perfect the “art of dying,” the only way to live!

Some people who came to me from Rawalpindi were strong, sturdy, brave...They asked me what we should do about those who are in Pakistan. But I in turn asked them why they came here instead of laying down their lives there. I am firm in my belief that in spite of atrocities being committed we should remain where we are and die. But let us die with courage, repeating the name of God. I have taught the same thing to the girls. I have told them to learn the art of dying with the name of God on their lips. ...I do not wish to forget God. That is why I am telling all that the greatest courage and understanding lie in learning the art of dying. Then alone they can live. If they do not learn the art of dying, they will die before their time. I do not wish that anybody should die before his time. The greatest bravery lies in having the courage to die. If our people have to die in this manner, let us not be angry with anybody. You must admire those people for dying and pray to God that He grant a similar opportunity to all of us. Let this be our sincere prayer. I would tell you what I told those people from Rawalpindi. I told them that they should go there and meet the Hindu and Sikh refugees. They should request them to return on their own, not under police or military protection. 67

Sometimes, individual refugees would come to visit Gandhi hoping that housing provisions would be made for them. One particular refugee was upset that Muslim houses in Delhi were not available for accommodation. Understandable was such a view, since the Hindus and Sikhs of Pakistan had to leave their homes, subsequently to be occupied by Muslims. Considering that Pakistan was supposed to be the nation for all the Muslims of the subcontinent, the refugee would have expected empty houses on his arrival. Predictably, Gandhi was upset the refugee had dared to even think about laying his hands on Muslim houses, including vacated ones:

The person had a big joint family in Lahore...He did not bring all the family members here...he narrated everything to me and requested me to find accommodation for him. I told him that I had no authority, and even if I had, I would not fix any accommodation for him. As it was, there was a housing shortage in Delhi. ...He told me that he had come here after losing seventeen members of his family. I told him that at least he had seventeen members in his family. ...I told him that if he believed that he belonged to the whole of India, even after the loss of seventeen family members who were dead and gone, the rest of India was there for him. Well, this is just philosophizing, so let us leave it there. ...He asked me: "Why should the Muslims living here not vacate their houses and go away? Why are they still here?" I was deeply pained to hear this...It is deplorable that you should have designs on the houses of the Muslims who have fled or have been killed or arrested by police. 68

Gandhi then blatantly revealed the arrogant side to his personality, one he would have denied if accused. What is it but arrogance, for a man like Gandhi, living in fantastic dwellings and taken care of by the government, to boast – under little instigation – of the difference in status between the Mahatma and a refugee who had lost his family and possessions, humiliating the refugee in the process?

If at all, you can say that to me because the house in which I stay is like a palace. You can ask me to leave this place and go and live in a camp. You can say that it would make no difference to me, for I have no wife, no sons...I would listen to you if you said that to me. I would certainly feel amused, for, even if I ran away, would you stay here? This house belongs to someone else. It is not mine. Of course the owner of this house has made me the owner and insisted that I should keep or prevent anyone from staying here as I please. How can the Muslims leave their houses? Only Gandhi is in a position to do that. If he is removed from here and dumped somewhere no one is going to leave him unattended. Somebody would give him milk, fruits, dates, and somehow his things would be managed. He is not going to remain unclothed. For even clothes would be provided for him. When I talked like this to that gentleman he felt ashamed. 69

Gandhi’s refusal to understand the nature behind the actions of Hindu’s – many of whom were fleeing of fighting to protect their wives and daughters from abduction and rape – led one refugee to remark that “Unfortunately Kasturba is not alive today. Had she been alive and had she been abducted, you would have understood our feelings.70" What the refugee did not know was that Gandhi had his own queer ideas on how to prevent rape. Gandhi believed that one must not resort to violence or flight to prevent rape or kidnapping; instead a show of self-sacrifice is called for, so it might convince the rapist and his depraved animal consciousness71! Gandhi, whose lips proclaimed devotion to Rama, followed a philosophy much different than the heroic life of Rama. Rama did not reject the call of vital action when faced with Sita’s abduction. Instead he displayed the characteristics of strength, fearlessness and valor associated with a higher form of human life, a higher form of ego (if we consider the Divine to be beyond – even while containing within – human forms of bravery and cowardice, happiness and grief, anger and tranquility, etc). While Rama’s legendary heroism knew no earthly boundaries to prevent him saving his wife, Gandhi’s ‘bravery’ consisted of meek acts of defiance and a perverse pleasure in death and inertia. Rama, knowing the Divine within, did not take refuge in the piteous belief that the odds were insurmountable, and was not deluded into thinking that avoidance of action was the proper spiritual course. Gandhi would have remained stationary, expecting Kasturba to immolate herself.

***

The plight of females in Pakistani areas led more refugees to vent their anger at him for not returning to Punjabi areas of Pakistan:

Why should the Hindus and the Sikhs get into such a frenzy that the Muslims are scared? You can turn around and tell me, many Hindus tell me in anger fixing their bloodshot eyes on me: "You were away in Bengal and Bihar. Just come to the Punjab and see the plight of the Hindus and the Sikhs and see the state of the girls there." 72

Perhaps due to being inundated with requests from refugees to go to Pakistan to help Hindus, Gandhi’s responses were sometimes curt: “A Hindu gentleman has asked me if I would go to the Punjab. I asked him if he would send me to the Punjab. Yes, if I went there I would fight with the people there also. You already know about my method of fighting. I would talk to them to my hearts content. Million of Hindus and Sikhs are coming here. Why do they not stay on in their homes? I shall have no peace till this happens.73” Gandhi did not need any random stranger to pay for him to go into Pakistan. The Birla’s, the Tata’s, the Government would have easily paid his way to go there. Gandhi, of course, tried to make out that his going into Pakistan constituted heroism, with all the forces supposedly opposed to his entry:

I want to go to the Punjab. I want to go to Lahore. I do not want to go with any police or military escort. I want to go alone, depending only on God. I want to go with faith and trust in the Muslims there. Let them kill me if they want. I would die smiling, and silently pray that God should be kind to them. And how can God be kind to them? By making them good. With God, the only way of making them good is by purifying their hearts. God will listen to me if I do not have a feeling of animosity even for one who regards me as his enemy. Then that man would ask himself what he would have gained by killing me. He would wonder what harm I had done to him. If they kill me they have a right to do so. That is why I want to go to Lahore. I want to go to Rawalpindi. Let the Government stop me if they will. But who can the Government stop me? They will have to kill me if they want to stop me. If they kill me, my death will leave a lesson to you. It will make me very happy. What will be that lesson? It will be that you may have to die but you will not wish evil on anybody. 74

Gandhi would reiterate the courageousness of such a move, that going into Pakistan meant risking death for him, although judging from his obsession with death, he would have derived a perverse pleasure:

Now I am being blamed for not letting Bengal be divided. It is true that I do not want the division. But then I also totally disprove of the whole country being divided into Hindustan and Pakistan. Even if I was the only Hindu remaining, I would still have the courage to go and live in the midst of the Muslim majority. What is the worst they could do? Kill me; could they do anything worse? But they would not kill me. They would protect one solitary individual. God would protect me. God always protects one who has no one to protect him. That is why the poet says, "God is the strength of the weak.”75

But Gandhi was no ordinary figure; he had the means and the power at his disposal that would protect him, directly or indirectly. As he mentioned, Gandhi had people to accommodate him, to take care of his basic needs and keep an eye out to threats on his person. These people would not disappear during a trip to Pakistan; they would follow him there even if he voiced otherwise, such was his fame. It is unlikely that – just like the Hindus in Calcutta –the Indian Government wished to bear the burden of Gandhi’s death. The Muslims, as well, would have wanted him alive, but for the positive reason of his benefit to their cause. His usefulness to them would prevent his death, not any miraculous act of the Divine. For Gandhi had spent his entire career appeasing Muslims, verbally opposing the cause of an Islamic homeland (Pakistan), yet supporting other causes (like the Khilafat) that only emboldened the Muslim League. And why would Muslims kill a man like Gandhi who was urging Hindus not to retaliate towards Muslims? They had seen how he saved the Muslims of Calcutta from harsher retribution, and sensed his utility.

No matter how much Hindus confronted Gandhi over this perceived unfairness, he would not budge from his position. He simply did not feel the need to go to Pakistan, because even though Gandhi proclaimed himself a follower of all the religions, he still made at least one crucial distinction between the Hindu and Muslim. This distinction was of a moral nature: Gandhian morality. Gandhi expected the Hindus alone to rise up to the moral challenge that Partition was offering them, by sacrificing themselves to the Islamic sword. After all, Muslims were their brothers:

But if one of my brothers gets into a mad fury and starts killing people, should I also go mad with rage like him? How is that possible? I claim to be a true Hindu and a sanatani Hindu at that. That is exactly why I am also a Muslim, a Parsi, a Christian and a Jew. For me all these are the branches of the same tree. Which of these branches should I keep and which should I discard? From which branch should I pick the leaves and which should I ignore? For me all are the same. 76

If all the religions were the same, then why did Gandhi place the burden of moral superiority on the Hindus? Should he not have toured the subcontinent urging the Muslims, also of the same tree, to display the same “bravery” of mass suicide? This would have been Gandhi’s course of action if only he truly believed the Muslims to be on par with the Hindu, at least in terms of receptiveness to his ideas. His belief to the contrary is why he spoke of the need for the Hindu majority to “enlighten” their Muslim brothers, even by laying down their lives:

The Hindus should not think that they have become a new community which cannot accommodate Muslims. We are in a majority in this part of India. We must enlighten the minority and work with courage. Courage does not reside in the sword. We will become truthful, we will become servants of God and, if need be, we will lay down our lives. When we do this India and Pakistan will not be two separate entities and the artificial partition would become meaningless. 77

Indeed, partition would have been rendered void if the Hindus had en masse laid down their lives, because there would be no Hindu left to constitute India, and then the whole subcontinent might as well have been called Pakistan! No Hindu left would also eliminate one branch from Gandhi’s special tree, at least according to a sane mind. Gandhi, remember, viewed mass suicide as a way of protecting ones religion! For the most part, he did not advise Muslims to protect their religion in such a suicidal manner. However, to be fair, there were a few times where he did give such an opinion to Muslims, describing his joy in the event of such deaths:

After hearing from Khwaja Abdul Majid, President, All India Muslim Majlis, about his experiences Gandhiji had remarked: "Had they killed you, I would have danced (with joy). And by dying you would have rendered a service to both Hindus and Muslims." 78

But the majority of his messages of joyous suicide were left for Hindu’s, because to Gandhi any sort of killing was heinous, the act of a primitive man, and he expected the Hindu to live according to his idea. This sort of philosophy is perhaps best described as a moral outlook on killing, for while it is true there are plenty of times when murder is heinous, it is also true that sometimes killing is necessary, especially in the time of war. It is for this reason that Lord Krishna told Arjuna to fight his own relations, because not only was Arjuna fighting in the cause of a higher Truth than that of the Kauravas, he also held the knowledge going into battle of the imperishable Soul amongst slain bodies. This plastic outlook on killing was not what Gandhi preached; he adhered to a rigid – and poorly developed –mental dictum of “killing bad, no killing good.” He said as much to a September 30th crowd:

I would tell them (Gandhi’s 4 sons) that if they were true Hindus they must have the courage to die for their religion, they could not save it by killing. ...I want to tell you only one thing and it is that we should not try to kill any Muslim. Let them kill if they want. If they kill it is bad. We should consider them bad. But if they are bad, why should we be bad in return? We can return their wickedness with goodness. 79
<
as the doyen of all muslim appeasers, i put today's tragic blast on mumbai trains, as another of the steller legacies of the father of this divided nation.

http://www.india-forum.com/forums/index.ph...topic=1371&st=0
<!--QuoteBegin-ben_ami+Jul 11 2006, 11:16 PM-->QUOTE(ben_ami @ Jul 11 2006, 11:16 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->as the doyen of all muslim appeasers, i put today's tragic blast on mumbai trains, as another of the steller legacies of the father of this divided nation.

http://www.india-forum.com/forums/index.ph...topic=1371&st=0
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There you go again. blaming fellow Indians for the terrorist acts of others. What have you done or are hopping to do that Gandhiji or his past acts stoped you from doing? Enough of crying on the past.
i wonder how thrill would the terrorist be on reading this. they probably just wanted to kill us by their attacks, now they are having us grabing at each others throats. what a bonus for them,
<!--QuoteBegin-jayshastri+Jul 11 2006, 11:47 PM-->QUOTE(jayshastri @ Jul 11 2006, 11:47 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->i wonder how thrill would the terrorist be on reading this. they probably just wanted to kill us by their attacks, now they are having us grabing at each others throats. what a bonus for them,
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Well its not as if the Gandhians would pose any sort of threat to the Muslims to begin with; the Gandhian philosophy is to let the Muslims slaughter the Hindu without retaliation. The Gandhians are the best friends a Muslim could hope for.
<!--QuoteBegin-jayshastri+Jul 11 2006, 11:36 PM-->QUOTE(jayshastri @ Jul 11 2006, 11:36 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->
There you go again. blaming fellow Indians for the terrorist acts of others.
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well i am not going to blame "the foreign hand" like the gandhian leaders have been doing for the last 60 years for any misfortune that befell india.
<!--QuoteBegin-Sattva+Jul 12 2006, 12:29 AM-->QUOTE(Sattva @ Jul 12 2006, 12:29 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin--><!--QuoteBegin-jayshastri+Jul 11 2006, 11:47 PM--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(jayshastri @ Jul 11 2006, 11:47 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->i wonder how thrill would the terrorist be on reading this. they probably just wanted to kill us by their attacks, now they are having us grabing at each others throats. what a bonus for them,
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Well its not as if the Gandhians would pose any sort of threat to the Muslims to begin with;[right][snapback]53467[/snapback][/right]
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On the contrary. Think really really hard, read books, than think again. you will know what i mean by 'on the contrary'. The reason why jinha wanted pakistan... Those who would get what i am saying would feel very very happy.
<!--QuoteBegin-ben_ami+Jul 12 2006, 01:13 AM-->QUOTE(ben_ami @ Jul 12 2006, 01:13 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin--><!--QuoteBegin-jayshastri+Jul 11 2006, 11:36 PM--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(jayshastri @ Jul 11 2006, 11:36 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->
There you go again. blaming fellow Indians for the terrorist acts of others.
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

well i am not going to blame "the foreign hand" like the gandhian leaders have been doing for the last 60 years for any misfortune that befell india.
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Even if that is true?
<!--QuoteBegin-jayshastri+Jul 12 2006, 02:09 AM-->QUOTE(jayshastri @ Jul 12 2006, 02:09 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin--><!--QuoteBegin-Sattva+Jul 12 2006, 12:29 AM--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Sattva @ Jul 12 2006, 12:29 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin--><!--QuoteBegin-jayshastri+Jul 11 2006, 11:47 PM--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(jayshastri @ Jul 11 2006, 11:47 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->i wonder how thrill would the terrorist be on reading this. they probably just wanted to kill us by their attacks, now they are having us grabing at each others throats. what a bonus for them,
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Well its not as if the Gandhians would pose any sort of threat to the Muslims to begin with;[right][snapback]53467[/snapback][/right]
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On the contrary. Think really really hard, read books, than think again. you will know what i mean by 'on the contrary'. The reason why jinha wanted pakistan... Those who would get what i am saying would feel very very happy.
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The reason why Jinnah wanted Pakistan was, on the personal level, the satisfaction of his own ego needs for power. The reason other Muslims wanted Pakistan was naturally, it was a cut into a Kaffir nation (although Partition actually probably helped Hindus more since it boosted their numbers percentage wise within India). And if Gandhi 'on the contrary' really did pose a threat to the aforementioned Jinnah, then how come partition came to fruition. Why did Pakistan emerge when Gandhi long was against it? Some threat.

Now, you may not have understood my initial comments. To explain, I was responding to your statement that 'we' are at each others throats. The first thing I thought was that a Gandhian would never be at another persons throat, even figuratively, since that would constitute himsa. Gandhians are supposed to sit back and let others have their way with you, at least that is the ideal. Secondly, if you are to read Gandhi's philosophy, you would wonder how he could have been a threat to Muslims when he was saying.... the guy was the best ally a Muslim could dream of!

<span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>
Hindus should not harbor anger in their hearts against Muslims even if the latter wanted to destroy them. Even if the Muslims want to kill us all we should face death bravely. If they established their rule after killing Hindus we would be ushering in a new world by sacrificing our lives.
</span>

If Hindus actually did what Gandhi said, Muslims would have had little work to do!
<!--QuoteBegin-jayshastri+Jul 12 2006, 02:10 AM-->QUOTE(jayshastri @ Jul 12 2006, 02:10 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin--><!--QuoteBegin-ben_ami+Jul 12 2006, 01:13 AM--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(ben_ami @ Jul 12 2006, 01:13 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin--><!--QuoteBegin-jayshastri+Jul 11 2006, 11:36 PM--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(jayshastri @ Jul 11 2006, 11:36 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->
There you go again. blaming fellow Indians for the terrorist acts of others.
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

well i am not going to blame "the foreign hand" like the gandhian leaders have been doing for the last 60 years for any misfortune that befell india.
[right][snapback]53477[/snapback][/right]
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Even if that is true?
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well its true that paki jehadis pulled off the bombay blasts.

but the blame is on the indian govt - they should have neutralised the jehadi camps of pakistan by now, espo after the delh, varanasi, parliament and akshardham attacks. but they chose to sit on their behinds and lecture gandhian crap to the pakistanis and come up with more bus routes and other innane CBMs with them.

so they (terroorsists) won, cos we let them win. blame is of the indian govt not the foreigners. every country has its fair share of enemies hell bent to harm them. but where as other countries spare no effort to prevent their enemies from having their way, we allow them a free hand. we release jehadi's in exchange of some minister's daughter (khandahar). we lift important laws like the POTA. and arjun singh is now comming up with a quote for muslims. all thanks to the father of all muslim appeasers - muhammed gandhi.
I bought a book on Hind Swaraj and related writings of MK Gandhi complied by a British author. The curious fact is that Hind Swaraj came out in 1908 and in 1909, Syama Sastry came out with his translation of long lost Kautilya's 'Arthshastra' and this is mentioned in the preface.

What I am interested in is how was the Freedom Movement influenced by the Arthshastra?
<!--emo&Smile--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='smile.gif' /><!--endemo--> 'We missed Mahatma Gandhi'
Avijit Ghosh
[ 17 Oct, 2006 0317hrs ISTTIMES NEWS NETWORK ]


RSS Feeds| SMS NEWS to 8888 for latest updates

OSLO: It’s a sort of confession that Mahatma Gandhi himself would have appreciated. What do you say when the secretary of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, Geir Lundestad, says, "The greatest omission in our 106 year history is undoubtedly that Mahatma Gandhi never received the Nobel Peace Prize."

Gandhi was shortlisted five times — 1946, 1947, 1948 and twice before World War II. "But it will remain a historical fact that Gandhi never received the prize," says Lundestad, sitting in the same room where Nobel committees have decided on the winner for over a century.

Among other factors, he says, a Euro-centric perspective among the Nobel committee members then could have played an important role behind the decision. In fact, there was little appreciation of the freedom struggles in colonies, and despite his nomination, members cited relatively minor reasons — like his ‘inconsistent pacifism’ — to deny Gandhi the prize.

Lundestad adds in a self deprecating tone that almost sounds like Gandhigiri: "<span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'><span style='font-family:Geneva'>Gandhi could do without the Nobel Peace Prize. Whether the Nobel committee can do without Gandhi, is the question."</span></span> Lundestad revealed that the committee had more or less decided to award Gandhi the peace prize in 1948. But he was shortly assassinated.
Ignore the igNobel committee whcich proved itself to be a tool of the Colonial/Western powers. It has no meaning for me.

I am interested in the two times that the Mahatma got involved as a non-combatant in wars- Boer War and First World War where he organized Ambulance services. What were his experiences and the impact of thse two periods of service on his outlook and are tehre any commentary on this aspect?
he had said that his experience in the ambulance corpse created in him a lifetime liking of being a nurse. there is also the anecdote about him nursing his dying father. is there any complex associated with being a male nurse? apparently he organized an entire corp of male nurses to attend to the caucasoids...
THE TRANSITION BETWEEN THE OLD AND
NEW TRADITIONAL ECONOMIES IN INDIAa*

J. Barkley Rosser, Jr.
Professor of Economics and Kirby L. Kramer, Jr. Professor
of Business Administration
MSC 0204
James Madison University
Harrisonburg, VA 22807 USA
Tel: 540-568-3212
Fax: 540-568-3010
Email: rosserjb@jmu.edu

Marina V. Rosser
Professor of Economics
James Madison University


March, 2004


JEL Classification: P4, O5

Keywords: old traditional economy, new traditional economy, transition, India

a*The authors acknowledge useful input from Robert Eric Frykenberg, Jeffrey Miller, Ajit Sinha, Robert C. Stuart, and two anonymous referees, none of whom are responsible for any errors or misinterpretations contained in this paper



ABSTRACT

We extend Karl Polanyi’s traditional economy concept to modern economies with advanced technology that are embedded in a traditional socio-cultural framework. This is the New Traditional economy, seen in parts of the Islamic world and with the Hindu nationalist movement in India. However, rural India is also the largest repository of the Old Traditional economy with its Hindu caste and jajmani system of reciprocal labor relations. The changes in India’s complexly mixed economy, with its increasing market and strong planned elements, constitute a transition from the Old to the New Traditional economy. We shall consider this transition both ideologically and systemically.



THE TRANSITION BETWEEN THE OLD AND
NEW TRADITIONAL ECONOMIES IN INDIA



INTRODUCTION

Rosser and Rosser (1996, 1998, 1999) introduce the concept of the New Traditional Economy to the discussion and analysis of economic systems. This idea derives from the trichotomization between tradition, market, and command made by Karl Polanyi (1944). For Polanyi and his followers the traditional economy is embedded within a broader socio-cultural framework. They see the traditional economy associated with backward technology and pre-modern societies, with the rise of the market economy leading to a "disembedding" of the economy from its socio-cultural framework to come to dominate that framework rather than the other way around. This was the Old Traditional Economy.

In the New Traditional Economy there is an effort to re-embed a modern or modernizing economy within a traditional socio-cultural framework, usually associated with a religion, but to do so while maintaining or adopting modern technology. The most well-known example is that of the Islamic economies such as Iran where a reconstructed view of Islamic economics has been pursued that was developed initially in Pakistan (Maududi, 1975 [1947]) as part of the anti-colonialist struggle. Eventually this became part of the search for an independent identity separate from the competing ideologies of capitalism and socialism during the Cold War. But it is also seen as emerging in other socio-cultural frameworks as well.
India presents a special case with respect to this discussion. With the possible exception of much of rural, sub-Saharan Africa, it remains arguably the site of the most entrenched and extensive example of an actually existing Old Traditional Economy in the jajmani system associated with the Hindu caste system in rural India. This system persists despite markets being established in rural India for a long time and a period of emphasis on socialist ownership of industry and indicative central planning since India's independence in 1947 that is still largely in place and with the caste system being formally outlawed. Although rejecting elements of the system, Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi ("Father of Indian independence") defended the ideal of the rural Indian village economy with a pre-industrial technology, arguably an Old Traditionalist ideology. However the reality is that increasingly the forces of modernization are gradually breaking down the isolation of India’s rural villages and integrating them into the broader market economy of India with its continuing elements of socialist central planning.
Thus, a consciously constructed ideology of Hindu economics has appeared that accepts modern technology more than Gandhi did and that seeks integration in the modern world economy even while attempting to re-embed the economy within the Hindu socio-cultural system, perhaps expressed earliest and most clearly in the work of Deendayal Upadhyaya (1965). Currently associated with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), this ideological movement can be described as New Traditionalist. Thus India, more sharply than other nations with New Traditionalist movements, has seen a transition from Old to New Traditionalism take place within a fairly short time period. The nature of this transition, both in economic thought and in its relation to the actual state of the Indian economy, is the subject of this paper.
Following this introduction, the second section reviews the comparison between the Old and New Traditionalist perspectives. The third examines this comparison in relation to the views of Gandhi and Upadhyaya in particular. The fourth considers the historical development of the Indian economic system and its prospects in light of this discussion. A concluding section follows.

THE OLD AND NEW TRADITIONALIST PERSPECTIVES COMPARED
The concept of the traditional economy is largely due to Karl Polanyi, with his views about it evolving over time. In The Great Transformation (1944) he posited three kinds of traditional economy: household, reciprocal, and redistributive, with an implied story of historical evolution through these three. Later (1957) he modified his perspective to accept the more widely held view of economic anthropologists that the reciprocal form was historically the most primitive form (Stodder, 1995a,b). The paradigmatic example for such reciprocal exchange is the famous case of the Trobriand Islanders ritually trading kula within a broad socio-cultural framework, as studied by Malinowski (1922). The redistributive form is exemplified by the "Big Man" societies wherein a central leader collects and then redistributes goods. It has been argued that the ancient empires developed out of this form, and some see it as a precursor of the later command economic system.
The household system is more likely to arise in peasant economies with independent households. Such systems are likely to be more technologically advanced and more involved in market exchanges than the earlier reciprocal form. But, it is arguably a common characteristic of all traditional economic systems to emphasize the role of the household and of familistic groupism, with such a concern often extending beyond the immediate family to broader groups such as clans, or arguably castes as in India, or even a nation as a whole as has been argued for modern (and partly New Traditionalist) Japan (Murakami, 1984).
Few observers appear to advocate the Old Traditional economy as a system in any of its forms, at least fully. One does find Polanyi and others comparing such economies at least partly favorably with more market-oriented and dominated economies on the grounds of the stronger community orientation to be found in the traditional economy, and the Marxist tradition has long idealized the supposed “primitive communism” of early human societies. This point has certainly been emphasized in literature, especially Romantic poetry, with William Blake complaining of the "Satanic mills" of the industrial revolution in Britain. Indeed, it is easy to dismiss such arguments as merely representing a misplaced nostalgia or romanticization. But, it can be argued that if one allows a broader view of the literature then another set of works emerge that can be seen as taking such a view. These might include Islam’s holy book, the Qur'an, and the Hind Swaraj by Mohandas Gandhi as will be argued further below. For these works the central issue is subordinating market forces to the strictures of ethical rules based on religion.

The great divide between the Old Traditional and New Traditional perspectives is over technology and accepting or advocating the adoption of modern technology. Accompanying this is the advocacy of a re-embedding of modern or modernizing economies within some traditional socio-cultural framework, usually based on some religion. Certainly Polanyi accepted the adoption of modern technology, but he appears to have seen the resolution of the problems of alienation and dislocation associated with modern market economies in their replacement by some form of socialism. In short, he accepted the idea that the appearance of modern technology, especially industrial technology, necessarily brings about the end of the traditional economy and its replacement by and subordination to either the market or command system.
As Rosser and Rosser (1996, 1998, 1999) argue, New Traditionalism has arisen largely out of advocates of various religions, especially in countries that faced actual or threatened political or economic domination from outside by the western industrialized powers. Most of the major world religions now have persons associated with them who can be seen as advocating to some degree or other a New Traditionalist perspective, including even various branches of Christianity and Judaism in the advanced market economies. In the case of Japan, the move arguably came with the Meiji Restoration of 1868 when the leadership chose to open up to outside influences in science and technology while seeking to preserve Japanese culture. This is symbolized by the phrase that was emphasized beginning then of Wa-kon Yo-sai, "Japanese spirit and Western ability." Such a shift would come later in other areas of the neo-Confucian zone (Hung-chao, 1989; Rozman, 1991; Zhang, 1999).
The important case of Islamic economics was a consciously constructed effort arising directly out of the anti-colonial struggle in the British Raj. The work of Maududi (1975 [1947]) combined a search for an Islamic identity in newly independent Pakistan within the modern world with studies of modern British economic thought whose influence was felt by thinkers in that area under the British colonial experience. Even today, a disproportionate number of leading Islamic economists have come from Pakistan originally (Siddiqui, 1980; Kuran, 1993; Nasr, 1994).
Curiously, it can be argued that the views of the Prophet Muhammed himself were New Traditionalist in that he did not oppose modern technology or science, per se. The same might be argued for the great medieval Islamic philosopher, Ibn Khaldun, who presented fairly sophisticated analyses of economic issues and questions (Issawi, 1987). But, of course neither of these had to deal with the kind of society that would arise with the emergence of modern industrial technology and the phenomenon of rapid technological and social change. This made them de facto and in comparison with the modern Islamic economists, theorists of the Old Traditional economic system.
Given this array of examples and cases it can be asked at this point if there is any substantial difference between the concept of the New Traditional economy and that of “national capitalism” (Rodrik, 2003) that has become especially popular since the collapse of the command socialist system. This view argues that although now almost all nations have adopted the market capitalist system, each does so in its own way with its own local institutional variations that reflect its own national cultural, political, and historical traditions, including those involving economic practices. Thus, the French economic system continues to exhibit elements of its long dirigiste tradition from Colbert (if not earlier intellectually), even as it no longer uses formal indicative planning (Kresl and Gallais, 2002); the German economic system continues to exhibit remnants of its unique Mitbestimmung system of industrial relations that arguably reflects traditions dating from the medieval guild system even as this has weakened with the slowdown of the German economy since its 1990 reunification (Smyser, 1992), and Sweden continues to have probably the most extensive welfare state system of any essentially market capitalist economy despite some cutbacks and reforms in the early 1990s, which arguably reflects a balance of individualism and communalism that dates from the Viking era (Freeman, Topel, and Swedenborg, 1997). Likewise, the familistic groupism of Japan discussed above can be seen as simply a holdover of elements of its feudal system.
However, in our view what distinguishes this viewpoint from ours is that in the case of the New Traditional economy there is a conscious effort to revive something that has been perceived to have been lost, and that what has been lost is part of a fully developed socio-cultural system, usually based on a religion. Ideologically the goal is to re-embed the modern economy within this system, even if this is ultimately a hopeless cause. Often, this perceived system has been artificially reconstructed, as with the example of modern Islamic economics, and arguably with the more extreme (and more recent) versions of Hindu economics as well. In contrast, the sorts of national variations described above in Western Europe do not involve efforts to revive some full blown traditional system. Rather they are simply institutional forms that have evolved in those economies fully as part of their modernity, but which nevertheless reflect elements of their past national uniqueness. They exist separately from any effort to reimpose a presumed former system ultimately based on a non-economic ideological structure.

THE TRANSITION FROM GANDHI TO UPADHYAYA
Perhaps more than any other work, Mohandas Gandhi's Hind Swaraj of 1909 (Gandhi, 1958), written well before he became the leader of the Congress Movement in India (and "Father of Indian independence"), is a clear statement of support for the Old Traditional economy as an economic system. Indeed, the general public image of Gandhi's views on economics is based on this work, which takes a more extreme position than he evolved to later in his life. It calls for a particularly utopian economic model for India. Central to this work is the concept of swaraj, or "self-rule," achievable for Indians only by adhering to their traditional civilization. He saw this as corrupted by the influence of the British colonial rulers who broke down the autarkic autonomy of rural villages through introducing railroads, through their imposing of laws that undermined traditional customs, and through doctors who lowered the mortality rate thus triggering a population explosion that undermined the "Hindu equilibrium" (Lal, 1988-89, 1993), although it can be argued that the introduction of green revolution technologies into rural agriculture has more recently played this role. He opposed modern machinery, with villages to be self-sufficient in producing hand-spun cloth with spinning wheels, with the latter becoming the symbol of the Congress movement. The caste system and its system of reciprocal patron-client relations known as jajmani was to be preserved, although untouchability, the condition of being beneath all caste categories, was to be eliminated. Trade protectionism was strongly supported, a position that became a main feature of post-independence Indian economic policy.
However, a more complete overview of the evolution of Gandhi's views shows a moderation of some of these views as he came to feel the responsibility of leading the national independence movement. Dasgupta (1996) has documented this evolution by thoroughly surveying his numerous articles, interviews, letters, and speeches in Hindi, English, and his native Gujarati. A general theme that emerges is that although Gandhi favored an ethical approach over that of mere utilitarian economics, he came to understand that moral values themselves may be in conflict, especially within the context of economic decisionmaking. This led him to a position of arguing that ethical rules that imply impractical economics may be invalid. Thus, by the end of his life, Gandhi's views on many economic issues came to be more nuanced with general positions modified by exceptions or qualifications derived from the hard practicalities of economic imperatives.
Thus, although the poorest should be materially uplifted, welfare is bad because it destroys work incentives and the rich should not be dispossessed. Although villages should be self-sufficient, they may import certain necessary items such as surgical equipment. Machinery may be allowed to produce certain necessary items, such as Singer sewing machines to be used in conjunction with spinning wheels. <b>While supporting the rights of the oppressed (to be asserted nonviolently according to the doctrine of satyagraha or "truth-force"), he saw rights as tied to duties and opposed the UN Declaration of Human Rights. While opposing the killing of cows in accordance with traditional Hindu beliefs, he discussed ways to improve productivity in the leather goods and other animal parts industries. While supporting cooperation between workers and capitalists and between tenants and landlords through his theory of "trusteeship," he supported nonviolent removal by tenants of landlords receiving special privileges from the British. While opposing contraceptives, he supported slowing population growth through the "rhythm method" of birth control. He proclaimed the equality of men and women and supported equal pay for equal work, while declaring it a woman's place to raise children. While the individual was the foundation of society, the good of the individual is the good of all. He called the law of supply and demand a "devilish" concept, yet he supported the use of the market and the ideas of efficiency and entrepreneurship (Dasgupta, 1996).</b>

Furthermore, he declared himself to be a "socialist" and was the prime force behind the more strongly socialist Jawaharlal Nehru's coming to the leadership of the Congress movement, even as he rejected Marxist class struggle and differed with Nehru's pro-industrialization position. Given the ultimate complexity of his views it is unsurprising that today nearly all political movements look to Gandhi's writings as a source of support for their respective ideological positions, from pro-free market to socialist, and, of course, the new traditionalist Hindu nationalists of the BJP.

For the latter, as well as their predecessors in the Bharatiya Jana Sangh (BJS) party, how to deal with Gandhi and his legacy has been a profound problem. This is because historically he was the great opponent of their viewpoint of Hindu nationalism, supporting general religious tolerance and especially of the Muslims. The history of the Congress movement included a period when the Hindu nationalists dominated it, notably after Lord Curzon partitioned Bengal in 1905, leading to the formation of the Muslim League and a backlash by the Hindu nationalists. This period continued until Gandhi came to lead the movement around 1919 and imposed his more tolerant perspective (Frykenberg, 1993; Pattanaik, vol. 2, 1998).

It was only after they lost control of the Congress movement that the Hindu nationalists began to form their own separate organizations and political movements. Probably the most important of these was a technically purely cultural organization, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) which exists today. It has formed the activist core of both the BJS and the current ruling BJP, with the current prime minister of India, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, having come out of it. The RSS has been banned three times in India's history: first after a Hindu nationalist assassinated Gandhi in 1948 for his tolerant views of religion, then during the period of direct rule by Indira Gandhi in the mid-1970s, and in 1992-93 after Hindu nationalists destroyed a mosque on a sacred Hindu site in Ayodha in northern India, thus triggering widespread communal riots.
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Clearly there are serious difficulties for any Hindu nationalist in invoking the authority of Gandhi, not only his tolerance of Muslims and other minority religious groups in India, but his support of equal rights for untouchables and women. And of course there is the terrible legacy of Gandhi's assassination by a Hindu nationalist, a continuing embarrassment for them. Nevertheless, given his support of the caste system and his support of the traditional culture and economy of rural India, the Hindu nationalists have been strongly attracted to many of his views and have not only adopted them but have indeed loudly proclaimed his support of these positions. They have even invoked him regarding the issue of "reservations" of government jobs for members of lower castes, which they strongly oppose, noting that Gandhi supported equality of opportunity rather than equality of outcomes.</span>

<span style='color:orange'><b>The key figure in reconciling Hindu nationalism and Gandhiism was Deendayal Upadhyaya, most notably in his Integral Humanism (1965). Upadhyaya is especially important in being both a main founder of the BJS as well as being its leading ideologist, with the successor BJP also looking to him for guidance. He is the figure who took the more nuanced positions of Gandhi and transformed them into something more closely resembling New Traditionalism. Although he argued for a "third path" consonant with the ancient Hindu social order and supported Gandhian decentralization and self-sufficiency, he altered the view of technology to be that of swadeshi. This still implied the idea of being "home-spun," but now was altered to allow for modern technology. In conjunction with ideas of several western-influenced economists, Upadhyaya emphasized the issue of what would now be called "appropriate technology," namely that it be consistent with the labor-intensive factor conditions of India. Also, he explicitly called for a "third way" between capitalism and communism, a position even more strongly stated by Vajpayee, the current prime minister, who led the BJS at the end of the 1960s (Lal, 1993, p. 419</b>).</span>




http://cob.jmu.edu/rosserjb/oldnewtransindia.doc

http://cob.jmu.edu/rosserjb/oldnewtransindia.doc



More recently a variety of Indian economists have followed up on Upadhyaya in trying to construct a "Hindu economics." Much of this effort consciously imitates the efforts of the New Traditionalist Islamic economists of Pakistan in attempting to explicitly reconcile modern economics concepts with traditional Hindu ideas taken from such ancient texts as the Rig Veda. One is Bokare (1993) who claims to subsume all previous economic thought in his system of thought. He supports a decentralized (Gandhian) order of "exploitationless" self-employment (socialism), with no taxes and no interest (Islamic economics), appropriate technology (Upadhyaya), and a general market context. Arguably this sort of effort reflects more an all-embracing incoherence than a genuine alternative economic system.
<b>
We should be clear about why Old Traditionalism simply cannot fill the bill for the Hindu nationalists. Even though much of the rural economy continues to fall into that category, Gandhi was right in noting the breakdown of the autarky of the rural villages with the spread of railroads. British-based legal codes broke down the authority of the old traditions, and the rise of population broke down the old economic equilibrium. More recently since Gandhi’s time this latter has been further accelerated by the introduction of green revolution technologies into the countryside. Furthermore, this rise in population has resulted in large-scale migration to the cities where the more modern market and planned socialist sectors of the Indian economy hold sway, with urbanites more able to escape from the socio-economic strictures of the caste system to some extent.</b>

This pattern repeats that which emerged in Europe initially in the late medieval period, but which accelerated dramatically with the Industrial Revolution, of peasants escaping from the feudalism of the countryside by joining the market economy of the cities. So, the drive for a New Traditional approach in India depends more on being relevant for those who live in the more modern economy of the urban areas than on being so for the still largely Old Traditional rural dwellers, even if this relevance is substantially to provide a nostalgic identity in a rapidly changing economic and social environment.

SYSTEMIC EVOLUTION OF THE INDIAN ECONOMY
Using the Polanyian trichotomization of tradition, market, and command, it can be argued that India possesses the most compexly mixed economic system in the world, with all three elements strongly present. We have already noted the ongoing presence throughout much of rural India of the caste system and its non-monetary set of reciprocal patron-client jajmani relations involving direct compensation in services and products (Lal, 1988). This is the deeply entrenched remnant of the Old Traditional economy, which has largely lost its economic hold in urban areas. We note here that although traditional Brahminic Hinduism has four broad castes: Brahmin priests, Kshatriya warriors, Vaisya merchants, and Sudra workers and farmers, the more detailed reality is a much finer gradation of many specific castes who constitute the elements of the specific jajmani economies in specific local areas of India.
At the same time, even as it was once one of the "ancient empires," India has from the depths of history been a major center of international trade throughout the Indian Ocean. As far back as Mohenjodaro around 2500 B.C.E. there was trade with Mesopotamia and with Rome from the time of Emperor Tiberius out of the southeastern port of Arikamedu. Although the earliest exports were precious jewels, from the time of Tiberius forward cotton cloth would be India's prime export until the industry was severely reduced under the impact of the industrial revolution in Britain during British rule in the early 1800s (Tomlinson, 1993). Indeed, during 1200-1300s, India was arguably the "hinge" of world trade (Abu-Lughod, 1989). There is evidence that prior to the British conquest in the 1700s, India may even have had a higher standard of living than Britain as attested by none other than India's conqueror, Robert Clive:
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"On entering Murshidabad, the old capital of Bengal in 1757, Clive wrote: 'The city is extensive, populous and rich as the city of London, with this difference that there were individuals in the first possessing infinitely greater property than in the last city.' Similar words were used of Agra, Fatechpore, Lahore and many other Indian towns." (Goody, 1996, p. 113) </span>

Whatever the actual reality, it was widely perceived in India that the Indian cotton cloth industry was destroyed by British imperialism and trade policies, a fundamental underpinning of both Gandhi's swaraj ideology of self-sufficiency as well as of the protectionist trade policies adopted after independence by the Congress Party governments initially led by Gandhi's pro-socialist protegé, Nehru. Inspired by the Soviet example, Nehru introduced extensive central planning of the indicative variety (Mohan and Aggarwal, 1990; Byrd, 1990), and established new state-owned enterprises. These policies were carried much further by his daughter, Indira Gandhi, in the early 1970s when she carried out a wave of nationalizations and imposed a series of strict regulations on the remaining privately owned sector and on imports, an ultra-protectionist system known as the "License-Permit Raj" (Nayar, 1989).
Much of Indian economic policy since, both under her son, Rajiv Gandhi in the 1980s, and especially under a Congress government in 1991, has been to undo her legacy. This has included some lowering of tariffs and loosening of controls on foreign direct investment, some loosening of the various regulations on firm size and firm entry, sale of stock in state-owned enterprises, and various monetary and fiscal changes (Bhagwati, 1993; Joshi and Little, 1996; Ahluwalia, 2002). The GDP growth rate has risen since the early 1980s, despite a foreign exchange crisis in 1991 (Clark and Wolcott, 2003; Basu, 2004), and has been accompanied by the emergence of a high technology sector seen to be competing with high income countries such as the United States. However, along with this increased growth rate has come an apparent increase in income inequality, both regionally (Drèze and Sen, 1995, 1996) and between rural and urban areas (Datt and Ravallion, 2002).
Nevertheless, India retains much of its previous socialism, with indicative planning still in place, if weakened, with continuing state ownership of most firms previously owned by the central government (even though some state governments are engaged in full privatization programs), and the continuation of many regulations, especially in labor markets, and a still higher degree of trade protectionism than in all of India's trading partners (Ahluwalia, 2002). Thus it is that India is a deeply mixed economy with significant elements of all three of the principal systemic categories defined by Polanyi, with these elements altering their respective balance over time.
The position of the ideologically pro-New Traditionalism BJP in all of this is highly equivocal and complex and evolving. Prior to its gaining power at the national level in the mid-1990s, the BJP and its predecessor BJS only had governing experience at the state level. Generally the most prominent policies actually implemented were weakening the favoring of lower castes in state government hiring and imposing strict rules forbidding the killing of cows. After marketizing and opening to foreign trade and investment accelerated after 1991 under the Congress Party, state governments under the BJP opposed certain direct foreign investments that had been approved by the central government on cultural grounds, including by KFC and Coca-Cola. The most prominent such example case came in 1995 in the state of Maharashtra which contains India's largest city and financial capital, Mumbai (Bombay), when the local BJP-dominated government cancelled a contract by U.S.-based Enron to build new electricity generating facilities, a particularly severe need in much of India. This decision was later overturned by a federal court and the contract reinstated.
However, since achieving power at the national level, the BJP appears to have at least initially downplayed its Hindu nationalist ideology except for proceeding with building and testing nuclear weapons in confrontation with neighboring Pakistan over Jammu-Kashmir and more generally competing with Pakistan over nuclear energy and space programs. Even so, and despite engaging in military conflict with Pakistan, Prime Minister Vajpayee visited Pakistan in a peace effort and such efforts have continued despite ups and downs in the Indo-Pakistani relationship. In power, the BJP has continued the opening and marketizing reforms initiated by the previous Congress government, although this has been demanded by the coalition partners in its government, most of them regionally based parties without whom the BJP would be unable to rule.
Despite this turn of policy, it remains the case that substantial factions within the BJP (especially those associated with the old RSS) oppose these policies and support a reimposition of protectionism and other more identifiably New Traditionalist policies. Some of these views have been manifested in such phenomena as the suppression of Christian missionaries in some parts of India, and other actions to assert the cultural supremacy of Hinduism within Indian society. This has accelerated more recently since riots between Hindus and Muslims broke out in Gujarat where the BJP-led state government supported a hard pro-Hindu line and was strongly reelected. In 2003, new efforts were made to impose restrictions at the national level on the killing of cows by the BJP, against the wishes of its coalition partners.
The exact balance that the BJP-dominated government will establish between its marketizing reform policies, the maintenance of its socialist indicative planning, and its impulses towards New Traditionalism remain unclear. But, it is clearly the case that the remaining traditional element in Indian economic ideology and reality is increasingly of the New rather than of the Old variety. That particular transition is fully underway.

SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS
In India the transition between the Old and New Traditional economies, both ideologically and in fact, has been much closer and immediate than in other areas where New Traditionalist movements are important. In the Islamic world a much longer gap existed between the formulation of the Old Traditionalist doctrines in the medieval period and their replacement by the New Traditionalist ones beginning in the mid-twentieth century after the experience of European colonialism. Similar observations can be made about most other such movements as well.
In the case of India, a substantial actually existing Old Traditional economy has persisted in the villages and countryside, although under pressures to change from modern transportation and agricultural technologies as well as the increasing influence of the official legal system. The writings of Mohandas Gandhi early in the twentieth century represent a strong advocacy of the Old Traditionalist perspective, albeit with some reformist elements such as equal rights for lower castes, women, and religious minorities that put him at odds with Hindu nationalists. Many of his ideas, such as trade protectionism and small village industries, came to have influence on post-independence economic policy, despite a strong emphasis on heavy industry by the socialist central planners under the direction of India's first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. The combination of these socialist-oriented policies with the traditionalist legacy and a deeply entrenched market economy has left India as one of the most complexly mixed economies in the world.
Although they were tainted with the assassination of Gandhi in 1948, Hindu nationalists under the leadership of Deendayal Upadhyaya in the 1960s developed a New Traditionalist ideology that drew heavily on Gandhi's ideas. However, they accepted modern technology in "appropriate" forms while differing with Gandhi on such issues as religious tolerance. While ruling state governments, the Hindu nationalist parties have opposed programs favoring hiring of disadvantaged castes and have implemented such laws as forbidding the killing of cows. In the early 1990s, such state governments opposed foreign direct investments that were being allowed by a reforming central government. However, leading several central governments since the mid-1990s in coalition with parties favoring pro-market reforms, the Hindu nationalist BJP has increasingly shifted toward such policies, although continuing to push certain distinctive policies such as preventing the killing of cows.
Effectively its New Traditionalism in practice may amount to a gradualism that leaves the major elements of the highly mixed Indian economy in place. Such an outcome would be consistent with the long expressed admiration for a "third way" between capitalism and communism by the leaders of this movement in India, and by supporters of New Traditionalism more generally. Thus, the movement has made its transition from the old to the new, both ideologically and in policy terms as well.
<!--emo&<_<--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/dry.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='dry.gif' /><!--endemo--> DEVIL'S ADVOCATE: Gandhian Violence
Sauvik Chakraverti



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Whereas Gandhi advocated non-violence, his followers have always utilised violence in order to promote their leader's ideas of a good society.

For example, in Gujarat, where Gandhi came from, violence is still used by the police to enforce the prohibition of alcohol.

Gandhi's hatred for alcohol has meant that, all over India, the excise officialdom has obtained political sanction to entangle the retail trade in alcoholic beverages in a labyrinth of red tape, all of which is enforced with violence.

Then there are the ideas of khadi and swadeshi. Gandhi's preference for homespun cloth meant that the government used violence and force in order to promote one kind of cloth at the expense of another.

India's blooming textile industry was made into a bonsai using state violence. As far as swadeshi is concerned, the customs department enforces this idea of autarky.

If any citizen returns from abroad with goodies and gadgets, these armed personnel of the Gandhian government use force and violence in order to deprive the citizen of his rightfully acquired properties, or to charge him a hefty fine if he wants to take them home.

An enormous amount of violence continues to be perpetrated in order to promote Gandhian ideals. This very Gandhian violence is best exemplified by the currency note, which has Gandhi's photo on it.

Even up to fairly recent times, eminent businessmen became victims of violence on the part of an enforcement directorate empowered to ensure that these notes of the Gandhian government could not be privately converted. Gandhian violence is a very real phenomenon.

It exists because Gandhians have never understood the purpose for which a government is constituted. To Gandhians, and this includes all Congressmen, government exists to do 'good things'.

This fatal flaw in their thinking occurs because their master didn't realise that any government is but a monopolist in the use of legitimate force, and that the crucial question political science must answer is to what ends this legitimate violence must be used if it is to remain legitimate.

Since Gandhi and the Gandhians never considered this question, they continue to use violence towards illegitimate ends. Gandhianism lies at the root of bad government.
Has anyone read the book" Gandhi's Truth" by Erik Eriksen published in 1969? It won a Pulitzer Prize and was a national best seller in its time.

The Truth is what Gandhi calls in his autobiography.

Gandhi in his heart and mind was a loyal soldier of the british government......he never demanded purna swaraj, because he could never conceptualise a free india standing on its own might, without the crutches of the british foundation. All his letters are signed, your hubble servant "gandhi".....It proves that he forget nationalism, he was a british sycophant and the british found him an effective tool for sustaining their rule over India.

He was also a master politician......he knew he was no mahatma, his knowledge of the scripture was NIL, he was pathetic as a philosopher, and hence he knew to project himself as the unopposed leader of the masses, he must reinvent himself as being different......So the shameface, in his autobiography projects his candidness as the means to his making of the mahatma........It must be remembered that dialectical debates wasnt his cup of tea and moreover he was endowed with a weird sophistic logic as claimed by Sri Aurobindo himself........he was so horny, but he projects himself as the brahmacharya of the century.

Someone has recently claimed online that gandhi was actually an asura. I second that!



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