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M K Gandhi And The Gandhian Legacy
" A Mahatma he may have been, but he had serious flaws as a politician>

I don't see how he can be called a Mahatma. He had a massive ego, and admitted he wasnt self-realized.

He had no divinity within him. If Gandhi is called a Mahatma then all of us should be called Mahatma.
I suggest we do not pursue this line of argument any further. There will always be controversy about this and at this point in time we will shed only more heat than light by pursuing this question. We should let history be the judge and remain agnostic in the meanwhile. Further thisis an issue which divides Bharatiya, and we do not need more of these.
well the issue is going to be brought up, and Gandhi's true personality and actions will be revealed.
<!--QuoteBegin-Karkala Joishy+Aug 22 2004, 10:12 AM-->QUOTE(Karkala Joishy @ Aug 22 2004, 10:12 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->Dewanand,

How many Hindus are there in The Netherlands? Are they persecuted? Why don't you guys organize yourselves like the Muslims do? Thats been a major failing of us Hindus. We have failed to organize ourselves and speak in one voice.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
There are about a 150.000 hindus in The Netherlands. We are not being persecuted <!--emo&:lol:--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/laugh.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='laugh.gif' /><!--endemo--> . Instead hindus are one of the most succesfull minorities when it comes to education and social-economic progress. The only threath that we hindus have here is not preserving our culture. Many of our youth don't speak their motherlanguage (me neither unfortunateley <!--emo&Sad--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/sad.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='sad.gif' /><!--endemo--> ) for example. And they also don't know much about their religion or visit a mandir.

We are organized sort or less, there is a central hindu council to represent the hindu community for communicating with the government. And there are more small associations for hindu activitities etc.

I often hear the criticism of my people that there is no unity among us in the netherlands. Is this also the case in India and in other places where hindus have setled? Some say it's in our blood. <!--emo&Sad--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/sad.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='sad.gif' /><!--endemo-->

Can you give any tips how we should organize? How we can create more unity?
Dr Ramesh Rao's article which was published in a local desi newspaper in US. Apparently MK Gandhi's grandson (who's only claim to fame was his Gandhi genes) was not too happy and started a chain of letters to the editor.

Some excerpts...

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->What if Gandhi had not supported Motilal and Jawaharlal Nehru in their bid to create a Nehru dynasty in India?  Few people have remarked about the machinations of Gandhi to have his way and make Congress his “political-spiritual” playground.  Motilal did not support Gandhi’s “leading the country away from the path of constitutional struggle into the wilderness of sterile political agitation”, as did C. R. Das, and Vithalbhai Patel (brother of Vallabhai Patel).  To win Motilal over to his side, Gandhi appointed Jawaharlal to be his principal aide as General Secretary of the Congress, promoting the novice over the heads of senior party men.  Motilal was not just won over, but then began to actively lobby for Jawaharlal’s climb to power in the party. 

The Lahore session of Congress saw Jawaharlal appointed as party president, over the wishes of the majority of Congressmen who wanted Sardar Patel to be made President.  Patel had led the civil disobedience movement at Bardoli in 1928 and organized it and commanded it so well, he had been given the sobriquet of “Sardar”.  When Durga Das asked Gandhi why he had chosen Jawaharlal over Vallabhai, and had succumbed to pressure from Motilal, the Mahatma said that he was won over by Motilal’s argument that Jawahar represented “youth and dynamism”.  As Das remarks, “It is certain that Gandhi’s decision marked a turning point in the history of modern India.  A dying man, Motilal was naturally eager to see Jawaharlal Congress President in his own lifetime….  But the effect of Gandhi’s decision was to identify the Nehru family with the nation.  There is little doubt that this identification was a factor in the choice of Nehru as the first Prime Minister of free India and of his daughter Indira as the third”.  Das wrote this in 1969, and we now know that this was also the reason why Rajiv Gandhi became Prime Minister, and why Sonia Gandhi is now the defacto Prime Minister, and why Rahul and Priyanka are waiting in the wings to take over the mantle.

Gandhi’s writ ran so large that he got away with many more undemocratic actions.  And his “ascetic” bent and idiosyncrasies saw him inflict shame and embarrassment on fine men, and mindfully ignore the worse peccadilloes of his favorite, Jawaharlal.  For example, Gandhi heeded the gossip and complaints about Bhulabhai Desai’s drinking, and he wrote to Desai asking him whether he drank!  Gandhi had taken on the role of father, school teacher, and scolder of men, and there was none who could challenge him except Jawaharlal.  Seems when Gandhi persisted in asking Maulana Azad if he drank, Nehru said, “I took sherry last evening.  Why pursue this matter?” 

Gandhi undermined Subhash Chandra Bose’s influence in the party when he opposed Bose becoming president for the second time.  Bose argued that Nehru had been president for two consecutive terms, and he too deserved that chance.  Gandhi proposed Pattabhi Sitaramayya, who lost to Bose.  Gandhi quit in a huff, and Bose’s position was undermined when the Congress High Command passed a resolution directing Bose to form his “cabinet” in consultation with Gandhi!

May be the final act of Gandhi to anoint Nehru “leader” was taken in 1944 when he insisted once again on Nehru becoming party president.  Patel was head of the Congress Parliamentary Board, and all the provincial Congress Committees had expressed their preference for Patel to be party president.  Why, Durga Das asked Kripalani, did Gandhi prefer Jawahar over Vallabhai?  It seems Kripalani said that like all “saints and holy people” Gandhi wanted “significant men” among his adherents, and he believed too that Nehru would be a “better instrument to deal with Englishmen as they would talk in a ‘common idiom’”. 
<!--QuoteBegin-Rajiv+Dec 1 2004, 05:05 AM-->QUOTE(Rajiv @ Dec 1 2004, 05:05 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->

Can you give any tips how we should organize? How we can create more unity? <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Rajiv, Check your mail box.

Gandhi - II

Gandhi a crypto-xtian ?
Jinnah in memory

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->KR Phanda

Qaid-e-Azam Jinnah, Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru will always be remembered, though for different reasons. Jinnah is the only leader who single-handedly created a new country for Muslims. No wonder, Beverley Nichols, a distinguished British journalist, wrote about him: "The most important man in Asia is 67, tall, thin and elegant, with a monocle on a grey silk cord, and a stiff white collar which he wears in the hottest weather.

He suggests a gentleman of Spain, a diplomat of the old school, one used to see his like sitting in the window of St James's Club, sipping Contrexeville while he read Le Temps, which was propped up against a Queen Anne toast rack stacked with the toast Melba.. He can sway the battle this way or that as he chooses. His 100 million Muslims will march to the left, to the right, to the front, to the rear at his bidding, and at nobody else's. It is not the same in the Hindu ranks" (Verdict On India).

Mahatma Gandhi, on the contrary, will be remembered mostly for resowing the seeds of an Islamic state in independent India. He neither studied history, nor learnt from it, nor did he listen to his contemporaries. At the Round Table Conference held in London in 1931, Gandhi blamed the British for Hindu-Muslim disorders. He asserted: "The quarrel is not old. I dare to say that it is coeval with the British advent" (The Constitutional Problem of India, Sir R Coupland). This statement was not only contrary to facts of history but also amounted to saying that once the British leave India, Hindus and Muslims would live peacefully thereafter. Jinnah, in sharp contrast, declared: "The Hindus and Muslims belong to two religious philosophies, social customs, literature. They neither intermarry nor interdine and, indeed, they belong to two different civilisations which are based on conflicting ideas and conceptions" (Speeches and Writings of Jinnah, Jamiluddin Ahmad).

Jinnah, on being asked by Nichols as to how he would describe the vital principles of the demand for Pakistan, replied in five words: "The Muslims are a nation." Nichols goes on to say that "the difference between Jinnah and the typical Hindu politician was the difference between a surgeon and a witch doctor. Moreover, he was a surgeon you could trust, even though his verdict was harsh".

BR Ambedkar was the only Hindu who, like Jinnah, was fully convinced that Muslims could not live peacefully with Hindus (kafirs). In his words, "According to Muslim Canon Law, the world is divided in two camps - Dar-ul Islam (abode of Islam) and Dar-ul Harb (abode of war). That being the canon law of the Muslims, India cannot be the common motherland of the Hindus and the Musalmans. It can be the land of the Musalmans but it cannot be the land of the Hindus and the Musalmans living as equals" (Thoughts on Pakistan).

Only a few leaders in the Muslim world, like Jinnah and Kemal Ataturk, were bestowed the title of "Qaid-e-Azam". The goddess of history would always remember the singular contribution that Jinnah made for the cause of Muslims. History would also not forget that with a view to solving the Hindu-Muslim problems for good, the British rulers agreed to the division of India on religious basis in 1947. Mahatma Gandhi, with his blinkered vision, brought it back. Hindus everywhere will continue to pay the price for Gandhi's fads, whims and fancies for generations to come.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Gandhi had nothing to do with India's freedom

Keep in mind, the british left all their colonies and most of these colonies did not have any freedom movement

The real freedom fighters for India was

1. Kaiser
Who killed 2 million british soldiers
in WW1

Before WW1, Curzon was speaking of a 1000 year british empire
After WW1, the british gave local autonomy, since they were grossly weakened by the kaiser

2. Hitler
He rained death on UK civilians who had escaped WW1
and WW2 fully impoverished UK

3. Stalin
The impoverishment of UK by WW1 and WW2
gave an opening to commies all over Western Europe and the ruling classes
had to focus on raising benefits for the general populace
lest they turn to communsim and the only of doing it was to dump their costly colonies

4. The over-educated over-empowered western women
Pre 1911, western women were breeding even faster than muslims , but as
western women cut back on fertility,

( western women who used to fornicate and breed decided to cut back on breeding and just do the easy part - fornicating )

it became demographically harder to hold onto their colonies without genocide and after Hitler, genocide became a taboo for he west

5. Subash Bose
He subverted the loyalty of the Indian army
Attlee named Bose as the #1 reason for leaving India

6. Japanese
They punctured the invincibility myth
of the white military by their rapid victories in 1942

7. Veer Savarkar
He recruited 2 million hindus into the british army and de-islamised it

The congress was simply a bunch of parasites
Ahimsa never won freedom
By 1931, it was costing the UK more to hold onto their colonies than they could squeeze out of their colonies
India had been sucked dry

And Gandhi's Ahimsa was phony
he recruited hindus to help the british in the boer war
He was only opposed to hindus defending themselves
Gandhi and Godse - KR Phanda

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->In Indian history, two Hindu leaders had changed the course of Hindu destiny for the worst. One was Raja Jaichand of Kannauj, whose treachery led to the establishment of Muslim rule in India. The other was Mahatma Gandhi, who treated India as his personal fiefdom and Hindus as his slaves. Gandhi lived and died for Muslims.

He commenced his political career in India by heading the Khilafat movement which was patently an anti-national and anti-Hindu act. Before his death, he went on a fast to pressurise the Government to release Rs 55 crore to Pakistan. The Government had withheld the amount because Pakistan had invaded Kashmir. This was one of the points made by Nathuram Godse in his deposition before the court as to why he had killed the Mahatma.

About 56 years ago, Mahatma Gandhi was killed by Godse, a Brahmin from Pune. Eight persons including Vinayak Savarkar, Bar-at-Law from Bombay, were charged with murder. The trial commenced in Red Fort on June 22, 1948 before Atma Charan, a senior member of the ICS. Of the eight persons charged, Savarkar was acquitted; five were awarded life sentence, and Godse and Apte were sentenced to death.

Appeals against these sentences were filed before a bench comprising Justice Bhandari, Justice Achhruram and Justice GD Khosla. Justice Khosla records that normally a bench comprising of two judges is constituted to hear such appeals, but considering that a leader of the stature of Gandhi had been killed, a three-judge bench was constituted. All the accused were represented by their lawyers except Godse who was permitted to argue his appeal himself.

The highlight of the appeal was the discourse delivered by Godse and reproduced by Justice Khosla in his book, The Murder of the Mahatma. This was, in fact, a part of the written statement made by Godse and reads: <b>"In 1946 or thereabouts the Muslim atrocities perpetrated on Hindus under the Government patronage of Suhrawardy in Noakhali made our blood boil. Our shame and indignation knew no bounds, when we saw that Gandhiji had come forward to shield that very Suhrawardy and began to style him as Shaheed Saheb. Gandhiji persisted in reading passages from the Quran as a part of the prayer in that temple in spite of the protests of the Hindu worshippers. Of course, he dared not read Gita in the mosque in the teeth of Muslim opposition. But he could safely trample upon the feelings of the tolerant Hindu. To belie this belief, I determined to prove to Gandhiji that the Hindu too could be intolerant when his honour was insulted."</b>

It further reads: <b>"Gandhiji's inner voice, his spiritual power and his doctrine of non-violence, of which so much is made of, all crumbled before Jinnah's iron will and proved to be powerless."</b> As to the impact of Godse's defence on the audience, <b>Mr Justice Khosla records: "The audience was visibly and audibly moved. There was a deep silence when he ceased speaking. Many women were in tears and men were coughing and searching for their handkerchiefs... I have, however, no doubt that had the audience of the day been constituted into a jury and entrusted with the task of deciding Godse's appeal, they would have brought in a verdict of not guilty by an overwhelming majority".</b>

Both Godse and Apte were executed and cremated on November 15, 1949, in a jail at Ambala. The cremation ground was ploughed up and the ashes were secretly submerged at a secluded spot in river Ghaggar, Madhya Pradesh.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
x-posting Ramana garu's post from the "core values" thread..

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Has anyone read Mahatma Gandhi's "Hind Swaraj"? it appers to have most of these questions answered in 1908.
Link to pdf file of Hind Swaraj: Hind Swaraj pdf file

What a great man!!! Now I know how and why India got its freedom. He provided the intellectual basis for India's freedom struggle and the Idea of India.
By emphasising his views on non-violence modern Indians managed to dig themsleves into the morass.

Link: Hind Swaraj

<!--QuoteBegin--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->However, it is not for this reason alone that Gandhi wrote Hind Swaraj, and indeed its afterlife suggests that it is seldom read as a treatise on non-violence. Over the remaining forty years of his life, Gandhi would continue to write on non-violence, and his later writings have eclipsed Hind Swaraj in this respect.<b> But if Hind Swaraj occupies a seminal place in Gandhi’s oeuvre, and can even reasonably be described as one of the most critical documents of the twentieth-century, it is because in this work he initiated what he himself described as "a severe condemnation of ‘modern civilization" (p. 16). Gandhi inaugurated the most far-reaching critique of modernity that one can imagine, and though it must have struck the preponderant number of his contemporaries as an absurd treatise, Hind Swaraj strikes the reader of late modernity as a work of extraordinary prescience and insight.</b> All too often Hind Swaraj has been read as a denunciation of the West (qua West), but this reading is nowhere substantiated by the text. <b>Throughout, Gandhi remains clear that the replacement of white rulers by brown rulers would be of little consequence to the people if the new set of rulers governed by the same principles, with the same objectives, and with a similar commitment to principles of modern civilization. As he put it with characteristic forthrightness, addressing his imaginary interlocutor, "we want English rule without the Englishman. You want the tiger’s nature, but not the tiger; that is to say, you would make India English. And when it becomes English, it will be called not Hindustan but Englistan." As he adds, pointedly: "This is not the Swaraj [freedom, self-rule] that I want" (p. 30). </b>Doubtless, Western civilization was already largely synonymous with modern, industrial civilization: to this extent, Hind Swaraj can be read as a critique of the West. <b>But Gandhi remained unequivocally bound to the view that India had been grounded into submission not so much by the British as by modern civilization; it is the glitter of the modern world that seduced India and rendered it captive. As he wrote, in a chapter entitled "Why was India Lost?", ""The English have not taken India; we have given it to them. They are not in India because of their strength, but because we keep them" (p. 38).</b>

In Hind Swaraj, Gandhi launched into a ferocious critique of the "parasitic" professionals who staff modern society, particularly doctors, engineers, lawyers, and the like. He gave it as his opinion that sometimes "quacks are better than highly qualified doctors"; as for doctors trained in modern, allopathic medicine, Gandhi observed that "for the sake of a mistaken care of the human body, they kill annually thousands of animals. They practise vivisection" (pp. 59). Lawyers existed to "advance quarrels instead of repressing them" (p. 55). These and numerous other similar sentiments which crowd the pages of Hind Swaraj continue to be profoundly embarrassing to modernizing Indians, and Gandhi’s own contemporaries predicted that Hind Swaraj would soon be forgotten, repudiated by Gandhi himself. Gandhi’s own ‘mentor’, the political leader Gokhale, opined that Gandhi would consign Hind Swaraj to the dustbin of history, but Gandhi affirmed in 1921, and again in 1938, that he saw no reason to retract anything he had written in Hind Swaraj. There seems even less reason today to view Hind Swaraj as a merely Luddite or romantic document: in its ecological wisdom alone, and in its profound sense that there must be limits to human consumption, wants, and addiction to technological solutions, it remains an enduring and endearing work. Hind Swaraj is the indispensable work in the Gandhian canon.
Hind Swaraj is a joke, as Naipaul said (and I am being nice in my paraphrase), even Gandhi's most ardent followers would not be able to make much sense from Hind Swaraj

of course, there is another aspect to Hindu Swaraj that gives it a more suspicious edge
Sattva , Please feel free to express your views on Hind Swaraj. Let us know your thoughts- what is lacking in it and what could he have said.

Meanwhile in Pionee, 27 Jan., 2005
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Paradox that was Gandhi

<b>Prafull Goradia </b>

On January 30, fifty-six years ago, Mahatma Gandhi fell to the ground with the words "He Ram". <b>If even while dying he could remember Ram three times, his attachment to God and Hinduism must be total.</b> Yet in the course of his political life he sacrificed much on behalf of the Hindus. Indeed Gandhi was a phenomenal paradox.

<b>Non-violence was his faith. In fact, he introduced the concept of satyagraha as a strategy as well as a weapon for political agitation. He showed vision by choosing non-violence in his struggle against the British rule. He was quick to realise early in his career that, if there was violence, neither women nor children nor older people could participate in the struggle for freedom.</b> Yet, the same gentleman was so uncaring for the feelings and aspirations of his wife Kasturba. He boasted about his abstinence from sex from the age of 46. What emotional cruelty upon a devoted spouse! The story of his eldest son Harilal, who became Abdullah, and who eventually died of syphilis in a public hospital, is legend.

Gandhi was a systems genius. He began by impressing people of his mahatmahood. He knew that Hindus had a special weakness for sanyasis and saints, whom they would obey implicitly. <b>He then introduced khadi and the charkha to convey to the simplest folk in the villages what freedom could mean for them, namely, economic emancipation. What a powerful symbol the charkha proved to be! It spread Gandhi's message across the country within five years since his return to India in 1915. </b>Indians owned few newspapers then. There were fewer highways and no long distance buses. There was no radio until 1927 whereafter also it was in British hands.<b> By espousing the cause of the dalits or harijans, he demonstrated how much he felt for the poorest. If he could feel for the most deprived, he would care for all</b>.

The Mahatma dressed frugally; he did not wear even a shirt during the later 31 years of his life in India. Yet when it came to living, he did not hesitate to stay in the palatial houses of Agha Khan and GD Birla. Although he travelled in a third class rail compartment, the whole bogey had to be booked for his entourage.

<b>There was no doubt that Gandhi was dead against the Partition. He had said that it would only take place "over my dead body". </b>Yet during September 1944 he visited Jinnah at his Bombay residence 14 times and had in principle conceded the division! The only reservation he had made was that the final decision should follow and not precede the departure of the British. Fasting came quite naturally to him. He had fasted many times on issues of disagreement. <b>But he did not fast against the Partition,</b> although he did so in order to coerce the Government to pay Pakistan Rs 55 crore within two months of August 15, 1947.

One explanation for this paradox was that Gandhi suffered from a pathological dread of Muslims whereby he could never confront them no matter what's the cause. In an editorial in The Harijan, he called every Muslim a bully and every Hindu a coward. Could he have, in this statement, unconsciously reflected his own complex? <b>Or was it that he loved India's freedom so much that, if necessary, he was prepared to barter Hindu interests for the sake of Muslim goodwill and support for the cause?</b>

This is what he wrote on the morrow of the Moplah riots. "The Moplahs are among the bravest in the land. Their bravery must be transformed into purest gold. They are God fearing." The massacre by the Moplahs is well known. In the words of Sir Sankaran Nair, a member of the Viceroy's Council, "For sheer brutality and venom, I do not remember anything in history to match the Malabar rebellion." The 1924 riots at Kohat in Baluchistan was another example of atrocities committed on the Hindus. Gandhi's advice was: "Even if the Mussalmans refuse to make approaches and even if the Hindus of Kohat may have to lose their all, I should still say that they must not think of returning to Kohat. I can only suggest solutions in terms of swaraj. <b>I would sacrifice the present individual gain for future national gain."</b>

On the murder of Swami Shraddhanand, he wrote "let every Mussalman also understand that the Swami was no enemy of Islam, that his was a pure and unsullied life." Yet he went on: "I have called Abdul Rashid a brother and I do not even regard him guilty of the Swami's murder." (All the references are taken directly from the Collected Work of Gandhi, published by the Government of India.)

<b>Nevertheless, there is no doubt that it was Gandhi who awakened the masses to the value of freedom. In the process, he brought many sections of the people, especially the rural folk, into the mainstream. </b>A great achievement indeed! But then <b>it was Netaji Subhas who drove home to the British that they could no longer rely on the loyalty of their Indian employees. That they would no longer rule India with the help of only a lakh expatriates. </b>For the sake of joining Netaji's Indian National Army, the soldiers, who had sworn loyalty to the Crown, violated their oath. The civilian employees of the Raj was not bound by any oath. However valuable might be Subhas Bose, Gandhi had no compunction in squeezing him out of the Congress presidentship and the party in 1939. Such was the paradox of Gandhi!

Hi Ramana

to elaborate a little further, I read a lot of Hind Swaraj (not all of it) but I can tell you how it was designed.

It was designed in the form of a long Q& A

so basically, Gandhi wanted to present questions that he supposed a reader to have, and he gave his answers.

So you would have

Question: etc etc etc (sometimes there would be a lengthy explanation)

Answer (Gandhi used Editor I think) - which was meant to be Gandhi's opinion on the question at hand.

The thing was, when one reads it, you find yourself agreeing with the views of the Questioner more than Gandhi's "Editor" response! That's part of the reason I stopped reading it after a while. And Naipaul's comment is in regard to Gandhi's "Editor" responses - which did a terrible job at answering the question part. Now let me go and look for Naipaul's comment:

Khalid Hasan

The Friday Times, Lahore, Feb 27 - Mar 4, 2004

here is the part i am referring too -

<b>He called Mahatma Gandhi "uneducated and never a thinker". Gandhi, he
explained, was a historical figure who came at a particular moment and
turned all his drawbacks into religion. He used religion to awaken the
country in a way that none of the educated leaders could have done. "He has
absolutely no message today. People talk too much about Gandhi and study him
too little." He called Gandhi's first book "so nonsensical it would curl the
hair of even the most devoted admirer". He said he knew of no Indians who
actually read Gandhi. "They take from him some vague idea of a great
redeeming holiness and they are free to ignore the practical side - Gandhi
the hater of dirt, the hater of public defecation. That last is still very
much an Indian sport. In fact, the Gandhian idea of piety and a very holy
poverty is used now to excuse the dirt of the cities, the shoddiness of the
architecture. By some inversion, Indians have used the very idea of Gandhi
to turn dirt and backwardness into much-loved deities." That sounds like
Naipaul should sound and has always sounded, his nose up in the air sniffing
the clouds.</b>

that first book was Hind Swaraj


"There's an extraordinary work by the young Gandhi-his 1909 book, Hind Swaraj, about the need for Indian independence-where he says that what is really wrong with India is modern civilization: doctors, lawyers, railways (spreading famine and vice). His arguments are quite absurd."

- the arguments of the Questioner make sense, the arguments of the editor(gandhi) are poor
but to find a more sinister angle to the absurdity of Hind Swaraj, check sulekha in a couple months
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Stereotype thinking

Utpal Kumar

Apropos KR Phanda's article, "Gandhi and Godse" (January 19), in which the writer regards Raja Jaichand and Mahatma Gandhi as "two Hindu leaders who changed the course of Hindu destiny for the worst." Indeed, Jaichand was responsible for weakening the Indian response against Islamic marauders. Gandhi too went all the way towards appeasing Muslims. His admiration for the Moplahs as "the bravest in the land" and "God fearing" after their act of vandalism in 1921 says it all. But, history is never a straight chronicler of events.

Jaichand is often branded as a villain when we talk of Islamic rule in India. But, why only Jaichand? Even Prithviraj Chauhan was guilty of grabbing defeat from the jaws of victory. Jaichand and Prithviraj can be pardoned for their follies because Islam was then an unknown entity. The same, however, cannot be said of Gandhi, who definitely indulged Muslim and Islam despite being aware of its true nature. Towards the end of his life, it was indeed surprising to see the transformation of the man who had once said "every Muslim is a bully and every Hindu a coward".

Still, Gandhi's concern for his Hindu brethren was genuine and he worked sincerely for their social and moral uplift. Mahadev Desai cites one instance of a Polish student asking Gandhi for his signature on a photograph that would help a Catholic school. Gandhi refused, saying: "You don't expect me to support the Fathers in their mission of conversion?" This was the true Gandhi - a man who loved Hinduism, opposed missionaries and appeased the Muslims and therein lay his failure. After all, how can a man be so critical of missionaries on the one hand and so submissive to Islam on the other?

Gandhi definitely failed during Partition, but the question remains: Could Hindu society have prevented it in his absence? It's doubtful because the policies that led to Partition had begun long before Gandhi's arrival. Badruddin Tyabji observed in 1887 that the Congress couldn't take any decision without the consent of Muslims. Lokmanya Tilak, a staunch Hindu leader, signed the Lucknow Pact in 1916, which legitimised separate electorate for Muslims.

Gandhi is often criticised for his support to the Khilafat movement, but we ignore that it had the support of other leaders like Lala Lajpat Rai, Bipin Chandra Pal and Madan Mohan Malviya as well. Such was the consensus that even Swami Sraddhananda spoke in favour of the Khilafat movement, whereas CR Das signed a pact permitting Muslims to kill cows during their festivals while forbidding Hindus from playing music before mosques.

There are two reasons for such Hindu attitude. First, the failure of Hindus to comprehend the nature of Islam. Here the fault lies not in any particular figure - Jaichand, Prithviraj or Gandhi - but the Hindu society itself, which has failed to realise that Hinduism and Islam are incompatible. It is this inability to come to grips with the dialectics of difference that has made us repeat the same mistakes - from the battle of Tarain in 1191 to the Simla agreement in 1972 when India released 93,000 Pakistani soldiers without any obvious gains. Second, the prevalence of "dhimmitude" among Hindus.

Even erudite scholars like Raja Rammohan Roy and Keshav Chandra Sen, and aggressive Hindu leaders like Dayananda Saraswati, were not left untouched by the phenomenon. Their defensive attitude on idol-worship is a manifestation of their feeling of inferiority complex. So, why blame Gandhi alone? He was just a reflection of Hindu society - with all its strengths and weaknesses. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Ramana Garu,

Would you be interested in writing an article on Hind Swaraj ? It would be nice if there was a good short article on Hind Swaraj which provides the structure and context in which to read Hind Swaraj.
I am working on it. Its very relevant still. Right now presed for time.
"Gandhi is often criticised for his support to the Khilafat movement, but we ignore that it had the support of other leaders like Lala Lajpat Rai, Bipin Chandra Pal and Madan Mohan Malviya as well. Such was the consensus that even Swami Sraddhananda spoke in favour of the Khilafat movement, whereas CR Das signed a pact permitting Muslims to kill cows during their festivals while forbidding Hindus from playing music before mosques."

Poor argument. This is the "I know he did but so did other people" logic. The author is indirectly admitting that Gandhi made a mistake in support of the Khilafat movement. Not only that, but bringing up the names of Lajpat Rai, C.R Das and Bipin Chandra Paul is underhand, because any serious student of history ought to know that these were men who had previously been ardent revolutinaries, and -for some- and were under constant watch and -important of all - had little of their previous power. (BTW now that I come to think of it, Lajpat Rai had some sort of disagreement during the time period, maybe even a direct disagreement over the appeasement of Muslims, i need to go and relook this up because it may directly negate the authors argument)

It was during this time period that Gandhi had the most power he was ever to have, because he really did have an influence on the masses (later, his power would be limited to Congress actions). But even then, he had strong control over Congress actions, and since some of these men were in the Congress they were bound to do as he said, and sign what he wanted.

****NOTE: I am reading that Bipin Chandra Pal opposed Gandhi's non-cooperation movement - this makes a lot of sense considering that Chandra Pal was part of the initial revolutionary movement. This completely negates the authors argument, leaving it as a bold-faced lie.***


" He came back to India in 1919 and presided over the Bengal Provincial Conference held at Barisal in 1921. But, unfortunately, he kept himself completely aloof from the non-violent non-cooperation movement of Mahatma Gandhi which was now sweeping the country, and this made him extremely unpopular. He also criticised G. R. Das, the idol of the Bengalee nationalists, and entered into a bitter controversy with Maulana Muhammad Ali over the nature of the communal problem in India (1920-25).

<b>He opposed the non-cooperation movement mainly because it was associated with the Khilafat cause and pervaded by a blind reverence for Gandhiji’s leadership.</b> His importance as a public figure declined from active politics though he continued to express his views on national questions through books and articles till his death on 20 May 1932.

Aurobindo rightly described Bipin Chandra as one of the mightiest prophets of nationalism"

the pioneer author is either a liar or clueless - someone who likes to throw in any old name to support his argument.

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