An Evaluation of Mahatma Gandhi

By: Shreepal Singh

Mahatma Gandhi, as he is affectionately called in India, is an official “Father of Nation” for India. He is revered throughout the civilized world. He is a pride of India. He is like a Buddha or Christ for much of the democratic world. These are his virtues; but they stand in the way of his realistic evaluation in the world, in which we live. He is taller after his death in assassination than when he was alive. India is known by his name. But nothing is static in Nature; the world marches on with time. Sometimes an evaluation becomes necessary for a nation to reconcile with itself, with the reality in which it lives. Such evaluation of a great man like Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi is not palatable, particularly after 70 years, but it becomes necessary to reconcile India with truth. Here is one such evaluation:

  1. Initial life of Gandhi (for example, at the time when he sided with the British imperialism in Boar War in South Africa and became their military’s Major Sargent for its ambulance corp) was bad. But everybody may commit mistakes in one’s initial immature life. This bad point has not much value when compared to what he did later on in his life.

  2. He grew up when he got the idea of passive resistance, which was an idea got by trial and error method, in South Africa. He was honest to that idea to the core of his heart, he stuck to that philosophy through out his life and practiced it in India.

  3. He was honest to that philosophy beyond reasonable limits – even destroying his family (his son and wife) because of this obstinacy. In his inner private life, he was somewhat above religion (having a mental idea of universality of all religions) but below the accomplishments of a spiritual Yogi. He did not rise above mind and emotions (in spiritual terminology, vital forces) and their limitations, which every Yogi knows and crosses over in Sadhna. Even Sri Aurobindo hinted at his inflated ego.

  4. He was not much aware of Indian history – how India fought valiantly for one thousand years against religious bigotry, how India sacrificed millions of innocent life (for example, killings made by Babar, Mughals, Jauhars – called Saka – committed by Hindu women in the face of attempted violation of their honor, conversion by violence like beheading of Guru Teg Bahadur, imposing Zazia on Hindus etc.) and how non-violence is not a virtue before a brute.

  5. Because of his ignorance of history he committed many political blunders – like supporting Khilafat movement, trusting the British good sense (over confidence of an innocent bafoon) for Indians but had a misplaced distrust against Subhash Chandra Bose; trusted Jawahar Lal Nehru more as against Sardar Patel. Because of this ignorace he trusted Zinnah, Sohrab Vardy and Pakistan – though Pakistan’s political leaders openly declared him an average person, a detastable Hindu – as against Sardar Patel (for example, financially helping Pak despite its attack on Kashmir.

  6. His ideal of non-violence is the highest ideal of humanity … but …. a big but. But till humans are what they are – bigotted, religiously blind, with animal instincts like dominating the competitors by any and every means – non-violence is NOT A VIRTUE. It is a vice. It is a truth that must be admitted. It cannot be an ideal. It is a suicide formula. The proof of this truth can be found in the fate of minorities in Pak, Bangladesh, Syria, Iraq, Iran etc. Committing suicide is not a virtue. Plunging into well is not a virtue. Calling death and embracing it heartily is not a virtue. India has been following “Varnas” system – it is against Kshtriya Dharma. It is against Geeta. Here one has to chose: Gandhi versus Geeta. Let us test its truth. Just imagine we believe in non-violence and we disband Indian army! Why army, even if we disband police, what will be shape of India? A falsehood has to be rejected. Rejecting falsehood is following the truth. You ask any country – USA, England, you name any – to disband their military and see their answer! Let us not make a fool of ourselves. No authority – even a Father of Nation – is greater than the truth. We can neglect the truth at our own peril

  7. It is an analysis of MKG what he stood for till his death in 1948. But India has suffered much more after 1948 because of this idealistic – non-practical – philosophy. Appeasement politics is the direct outcome of this vision – love to all ignoring the bad points of the appeased ones. India has not surpassed Japan, China, even Singapore, Malaysia etc. only because this country has rejected the theory that we should see the stark reality – the truth. We have become a sleeping country ridden with corrupt politicians only because of this passive and false vision of life.

  8. Truth, non-violence, love ARE NOT STATIC formula. They cannot be applied to all regardless of who they are. You cannot love electric current, it will kill you; you cannot love a rabid animal, it will kill you; you confront a habitual offender – a serial killer – to tell him to spare you, he will most likely harm you; you befriend and lovingly trust a person who is religiously obsessed to convert or kill a Kafir, he will kill you if you don’t comply his dictate (do you need an example? Indian history is full of good people who were so killed). Did MKG think for a moment why Sikh Guru Govind Singh had to divert the entire energy of Sikh Panth away from the peaceful path of devoting to Akal-Purush (God) towards the path of fighting the wicked, while devoting to God? If you strike your head against stone, your head will be broken. Obstinacy – persistence without applying reason – does not pay in this world, which has its plentiful quota of wicked persons. Your such obstinacy may harm you, and harm all those who follow you, who have faith in you. If you are held high – a great man – in the estimation of your followers, it becomes all the more important for you to apply reason, to think as a reasonable person; it leaves no scope for you to be obstinate, to be obsessed. Of course, an accomplished Yogi can do it without harm (Buddha chaged Angulimal) but all people – billions of Indians – are not Buddha. Even Pak is not a Buddha. A Yogi – an accomplished spiritual person – has to rise above “thoughts and its world” – called by Patanjali “Chitta Vritti Nirodh”. One who so rises above thoughts, has the power of changing the thoughts of others too – like Buddha did to Angulimaal. Thoughts make people different from each other; thoughts can make them a loving and kind person or, alternatively, a cruel murderer and rapist. The proof of the truth – and the example of following the untruth by MKG on this aspect – is that Gandhi could not change the thought of those Muslims who went to Pakistan, the thought that they and Hindus were one in essence; despite Gandhi’s sainthood, these Muslims thought that they were a separate people, that their religion and culture were separate. They created Pakistan despite MKG’s opposition to it. We are not concerned here with the “craftiness” of the British imperialists in intentionally creating Pakistan but the efficacy of the Gandhi’s way. Gandhi still persisted that Pakistan’s Muslims should be treated as if they are one with India. It was not so; they attacked Kashmir and supplied arms to Nizam of Hyderabad for fighting against India. Truth is to see and accept the reality. Non-violence is: Do not kill the weak but kill the brute to save the weak. Love is: All are having a Divine soul (Atma) in them, even if they do not know it; so love them, take care of them, save them from harm, bring them on to a good path. Bring the wrong-doer on to the good path; it is loving him; it would be beneficial to the wrong-doer too.

  9. MKG was an innocent and honest human being. But he was ignorant. He also had an inflated ego, which is normal thing for one who might be a religious person but not an accomplished in spiritual achievements. He must be given his due place, without any doubt. MKG should be accorded his due respectful place in India because he made effort in the right direction. He tried to attain the level of Buddha or Christ by rising above the level of ordinary people, though he could not attain that level. He was a great human being because he walked on the path of Buddha and Christ in an age dominated by materialism. It is unbelievable thing in the modern age to have been done by any person, an age in which we live.

  10. He is the pride of India and a symbol of India for peace and non-violence. But India must not be allowed to suffer because of the weakness of his philosophy, or vision – if one wants to call it a vision. The truth is that this world is full of good and wicked people. Let the good unite to destroy the wicked – without any ill-will or affection. India should not harbor an enmity against the wicked but must do its duty to destroy the wicked to save the peace loving good people from them. So far as the need for India to follow the path of MKG is concerned, let first Indians rise in their character like Buddha before hoping to change criminal Angulimals of this world by non-violence. Till then, India must be guided by Geeta where the wicked has to be vanquished by the Kshtriya so that the wicked is punished, the good is saved and the peace for the good is ensured in this world. According to Geeta, it is the duty of a Kshtriya. Let India be guided by this teaching.

Subhash Chandra Bose or Mahatma Gandhi – Who made the British make-up their mind to leave India?

1 of 3: A video

2 of 3:

By: Shreepal Singh

How do we evaluate the circumstances under which India got freedom from the British rule?
In any society, people are an amorphous tectonic force lying potent, only to be made active and utilized by individual leaders in the service of their ideas. Despite the suppression of 1857 armed revolt, the belligerent fire of Indian people against the British rule was still kindling. People were gravitating towards the revolutionary ideas of Bagha Jatin, Sri Aurobindo, Surya Sen, Ras Bihari Bose, Lala Hardayal and the likes, when Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi came on the political scene of India and diverted people’s liking from revolutionary ideas to the idea of nonviolence. For the British, it was a welcome diversion of ideas from the revolutionary path to the peaceful method. As it was easy for the people to agitate peacefully and so was it easy for the British to suppress their agitation.
However, the real worry of the British was that revolutionaries, their belligerent ideas and the mass appeal of these ideas had not died down despite Gandhi’s preaching of nonviolence. The memory of 1857 was still fresh in their minds and they were really scared of the popularity of Chandra Shekhar Azad, Bhagat Singh, Subhash Chandra Bose. The descimation of their military power during WW 2, Navy’s revolt in Bombay and popular surge against the trial of Azad Hind Fauz’ soldiers in Red Fort, forced the British to hand over the rein of India to the advocates of nonviolence by passing a law in their Parliament. 

3 of 3:

By: Sundararajan

News paper report of mutiny of R.I.N. Ratings

When B.P. Chakravarti was acting as Governor of West Bengal, Lord Attlee visited India and stayed as his guest for three days at the Raj Bhavan. Chakravarti asked Attlee about the real grounds for granting independence to India. Specifically, his question was, when the Quit India movement lay in ruins years before 1947 where was the need for the British to leave in such a hurry. Attlee’s response is most illuminating and important for history. Here is the Governor’s account of what Attlee told him:

In reply Attlee cited several reasons, the most important were the activities of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose which weakened the very foundation of the attachment of the Indian land and naval forces to the British Government. Towards the end, I asked Lord Attlee about the extent to which the British decision to quit India was influenced by Gandhi’s activities. On hearing this question Attlee’s lips widened in a smile of disdain and he uttered, slowly, putting emphasis on each single letter – “mi-ni-mal.” (Emphasis added.)

Said Sir Stafford Cripps, intervening in the debate on the motion to grant Indian Indepence in the British House of Commons in 1947 (‘The Freedom Struggle and the Dravidian Movement’ by P.Ramamurti, Orient Longman, 1987)

…The Indian Army in India is not obeying the British officers. We have recruited our workers for the war; they have been demobilised after the war. They are required to repair the factories damaged by Hitler’s bombers. Moreover, they want to join their kith and kin after five and a half years of separation. Their kith and kin also want to join them. In these conditions if we have to rule India for a long time, we have to keep a permanent British army for a long time in a vast country of four hundred millions. We have no such army….”

The crucial point to note is that thanks to Subhas Bose’s activities, the Indian Armed Forces began to see themselves as defenders of India rather than of the British Empire. This, more than anything else, was what led to India’s freedom. This is also the reason why the British Empire disappeared from the face of the earth within an astonishingly short space of twenty years. Indian soldiers, who were the main prop of the Empire, were no longer willing to fight to hold it together.

By: D.C.  Nath, Former Spl. Director, IB

In an interview to BBC in February 1955, Babasaheb elucidated the reason why the British left India in  1947. Subsequently, Attlee agreed Netaji was the toughest challenge the Empire faced. Several defence and intelligence experts agreed, too.
Unfortunately, however, he is, in more than one sense, the least honoured among  the national leaders, by the nation and by the Indians as whole. Neither is there any worthwhile statue or bust of his in the capital nor is there any important road in the capital after his name. A private body has, however, been fighting for enshrining his memory in the city.
And, to cap it all, his name was something like a taboo to a large section of Congressmen and is still today. The then government had even suppressed the note of dissent by a member of a panel the Government had set up years after independence whether Netaji had indeed died in the air crash.
Is it not a shame to the nation that we have been made to remain ignorant even today about his date and time of Netaji’s death? After two made-to-order sham Commissions of Enquiry, serious attempts (conspiracy?) were made in the not-too-distant past, by a very senior Congress functionary to bring back to the country Netaji’s “ashes” (?) even when his death and the place, where he was believed to have died, had not been proved.
Things have been made so complicated that two Commissions of Enquiry could not satisfy the nation and so, a third (so far the last) Commission of Enquiry had to be set up for the same cause—to ascertain the exact circumstances around the place and cause of Netaji’s. Despite the government not having shown the necessary papers to him, on the same ground as is being offered now, the Mukherjee Commission has done some remarkable work. It is queer that the report of this Commission has not yet been placed before Parliament. We will love to be proved wrong if it is otherwise. In any case, from whatever has now been in available in the public domain, this Commission has proved beyond doubt:

·       that there had been no such plane crash at the site on the date and place, as had been given out.
·       so, the question of Netaji having died then did not arise.
·       that Netaji was found alive in Russia well after that “never happened” plan crash.
In this background, we invite your attention to the attached copy of the lead editorial in “The Pioneer” of April 16, 2015. It has rightly started:
“The need for non-prejudiced history to be told and written for the benefit of present and future generations is necessary to prevent political parties from twisting historical material to suit their purposes. This is why classified files relating to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose must be freed from the veil of secrecy.”
So, the editorial comments, even if it may seem to some as biased, that “The allegations that these developments (non-cooperation by Nehru and Indira Gandhi) fit into the Congress” pattern  of not allowing inconvenient historical material to be revealed as it would dent the image of their iconic leaders and simultaneously raise Netaji’s stock, cannot be easily brushed aside. Nevertheless, politics on the issue is not what Netaji Bose deserves (it is good to remember). There must be a satisfactory closure to the mystery behind his disappearance and death. The BJP had before the Lok Sabha election promised to declassify the ‘Netaji files’. It has taken the first step in that direction by forming an inter-ministerial panel to do the needful.”

Dr B.R. Ambedkar speaks on M.K. Gandhi [BBC sound archives] by Channel BAWS

Speaker is a distinguished Scholar, Constitutionalist, Revolutionary and leader of the Depressed Classes. Human Rights champion of the 21st Century who played an important role at the Round Table Conferences held in London . He was opposed to Gandhi’s policy relating to a separate electorate. Memories of the few times he had met Gandhi in 1929 and after the signing of the Poona Pact in jail. Feels as he saw Gandhi in the capacity of an opponent, he saw more of the real man than his devotees. Maintains he was “an episode” rather than “an epoch-maker”.  Believes he deceived the people and was two-faced (double dealing) over caste. Dr. Ambedkar was 65 yr old and ill at the time when he talked

One must listen to Ambedkar’s views on Gandhi

Dr B.R. Ambedkar speaks on M.K. Gandhi [BBC sound archives]

By: C M Vikram

So, British took the American advise, and gave freedom to the colonies. The real reason why Briton and France left their colonies is the Second World Wars.  Britain, France and Spain had many colonies and through the colonies they controlled the world trade.  Germany, Italy and Japan found that they cannot expand their world trade due to British and French control on world trade.  So, these countries went on a rampage.  After the WW2, USA also placed lot of pressure on Europe to give up their colonies.  Britain and France found out that it is getting to be more expensive to keep the colonies and the economic benefit is declining. 

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