“If our civilization is to survive, we must break with the habit of deference to great men. Great men make great mistakes.”
---- Sir Karl Raimund Popper (1902 -1994)
Some of us must have seen Richard Attenborough’s film on the life of Gandhi which was first screened in 1982. Though many critics say that the film was unfair to Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Subhas Chandra Bose; but taken as a whole, the film was a faithful portrait of Gandhi.
For the ‘Gandhians’ or ‘Gandhibadis’ (devoted followers of Gandhi), Gandhi was the apostle of nonviolence, the ultimate realty, another name of truth and a divine ‘avatar’ or incarnation. Gandhi neither did claim to be a prophet nor even a philosopher. He was not even interested to leave a sect behind him after his death. For Gandhi, ‘Ahimsa’ (non-violence) was not a simple abstention from violence, but it had much higher, infinitely higher meaning. It is the most powerful tool for positive social change.
Gandhi was the strongest symbol of non-violence in the 20th century India. According to him, someone who is following the doctrine of nonviolence cannot harbor uncharitable thought, even in connection with those who consider his enemies. Such a man cannot have an enemy. Once this is achieved with ultimate sacrifice and self-suffering; his self-purification starts. Soon he finds himself in the ultimate stage of spirituality where he can conquer the whole world. Gandhi advised us that we should deliver our lives and honor into the hands of our enemies who want to harm us. This submission, according to Gandhi, requires far greater courage than delivering of blows to the enemy.
However there are many critics who have now appeared with a rather different view of Gandhi. With solid arguments and a revisionist history, they depict Gandhi as a charlatan. They see Gandhi as a crafty politician, a ruthless manipulator posing as a religious leader and presenting a facade of spirituality. Some critics see Gandhi as incredibly dangerous and utterly stupid person.
“I have been known as a crank, faddist madman.
Evidently the reputation is well deserved. For, wherever
I go; I draw to myself cranks, faddists, and madmen.”
----- Gandhi’s honest opinion
about himself (May 9 / 1929)
The present author understands and accepts the fact that after some time of the death of a great man as the Nation enters a new phase, the new generation of writers needs something fresh to say on the subject and they are tempted to look for a way of attacking the accepted view by starting a debunking trend. But these new critics of Gandhi are quite educated and well-experienced in the field of politics and Journalism.
Most of them are first rated thinkers, honest, well-respected and do not have any myth-making tendency. According to them, Gandhi’s nonviolent movement was an utter failure with many violent consequences. We simply cannot ignore them.
On January 30, 1948, Gandhi was murdered by Nathuram Godse, a Hindu. Godse was not a fanatic or ordinary murderer. Though he did not have much formal education but he had well studied History, political science and religious scriptures. He was the editor of a daily and a weekly news magazine. He was honest, upright and a man of self respect, and spent a good amount of time in social work. He took active part in relief operations for Hindu-Sikh refugees from Pakistan, many of whom had been raped or maimed or had lost relatives. He respected Gandhi and studied very closely whatever Gandhi had written and spoken. But in spite of this he fired a pistol on Gandhi which killed him on the spot. What concerns more is that, the Government of India had suppressed information about Godse. His court statements, letters etc. were all banned from the public until recently.
Though media often depicts Godse as a Hindu extremist but this view is very debatable. Many prominent internationally famed journalists do not accept this mainstream view. Judging from the writings of Gandhi’s killer at least one thing becomes very clear – He was no fanatic. His court statements are very well read out and indicate a calm and collected mental disposition. He never even once speaks ill about Gandhi as a person, but only attacks Gandhi’s policies which caused ruin and untold misery to Hindus. Moreover, Godse never harmed anyone in his life; rather he was well known for his unselfish kindness and devoted social work. It would be a grave mistake to call him a Hindu fanatic.
The present author neither supports Nathuram Godse's ideology nor does he disparage Gandhism. The only intention of writing this article is to expose the truth. Today after more than six decades of his death it is time to reevaluate Gandhi under the new light of criticism and to re-examine – was Godse an extremist or nationalist?
First of all, what was Gandhi’s thinking behind his philosophy of nonviolence? Undoubtedly he was a religious man in search of God. Though he was a Hindu and Hinduism in general preaches nonviolence, Gandhi was not well versed in Hindu scriptures. He never read the ancient Vedas because of his lack of reading interest. He was a below average student and had hardly shown any interest in reading books beyond study books. Though he had read the sacred Hindu scripture the Bhagavad Gita, but it is doubtful how much he understood. He also did not study Indian history well. But in spite of all these drawbacks, which he was well aware of, he structured his philosophy of nonviolence according to the Hindu philosophy. This is where he made the serious mistake. The Hindus mistook him as a Hindu saint and were misguided by his distorted thinking. It made Gandhi a living God at the cost of many innocent lives and National integrity.
This was the crankiness of Gandhi. He preached nonviolence but he did not know where to stop. On September 3, 1939, when Great Britain declared war on Germany, Gandhi met Lord Linlithgow (the Viceroy of India) and started weeping like a child insisting that Britain must give up arms and oppose Hitler with spiritual force. Gandhi thought that the viceroy would accept his proposal and communicate to British government. He was so much absorbed in his judgment of nonviolence that he thought that a tyrant like Hitler could be stopped by nonviolence.
Not only this, Gandhi wrote an open letter to the British government, urging them to surrender to the Nazis. Later, when the extent of the holocaust was known, he criticized Jews who had tried to escape or fight for their lives. Gandhi said,
“Hitler killed five million Jews. It is the greatest crime of our time. The Jews should have offered themselves to the butcher’s knife. They should have thrown themselves into the sea from cliffs. It would have aroused the world and the people of Germany”.
Gandhi even told the Jews to “pray for Hitler”. It means; the Jews should have saluted Hitler and walked cheerfully into the gas chambers because that's what Gandhi’s nonviolence dictates. Gandhi was so eager to sell his nonviolence that he wrote a letter to Hitler during July 1939 (which the government of India did not permit to go) addressing him “My friend”. Then during December 1940, Gandhi wrote another letter to his friend Hitler again addressing him "My friend" and closing his letter with "your sincere friend". He ended the letter with a brief statement "That I address you as a friend is no formality. I own no foes.” In this love letter Gandhi mentioned, “We have no doubt about your bravery or devotion to your fatherland, nor do we believe that you are the monster described by your opponents”.
Gandhi knew nothing about Jews history and the plight of the Jews. He said, “The cry for the national home for the Jews does not make much appeal to me.” And about the Israeli Jews, Gandhi said,
“They can settle in Palestine only by the goodwill of the Arabs. They should seek to convert the Arab heart. The same God rules the Arab heart who rules the Jewish heart. They can offer Satyagraha [the philosophy and practice of nonviolent resistance] in front of the Arabs and offer themselves to be shot or thrown into the Dead Sea without raising a little finger against them”
This is the height of Gandhi’s confidence in his doctrine of nonviolence, which according to him, was based on the teaching of Hinduism. But let it be on record, nowhere in Hinduism or in Hindu scriptures, these utterly disgusting concepts are advocated. During his student life, Gandhi was a below average learner and passed his matriculation with a third class. He had a very little knowledge about the teachings of Hinduism. So the cult of his nonviolence was his own brainchild and what he thought to be the pillars of Hinduism were his misinterpretation, misunderstanding, misconception and malevolence. He projected himself a Hindu saint but his unwise actions and absurd preaching brought deep shame to Hinduism.
In sum; Gandhi’s doctrine of nonviolence was completely different from the Bhagavad Gita’s doctrine of peacefulness, sublimity, forgiveness etc. In Hinduism, strict nonviolence only applies to ordinary peaceful life and between two good people, and not to the emergencies created by evil causes. In the Hindu epic Mahabharata, it is mentioned,
“Ahimsa [nonviolence] is the highest Dharma [justice].
It is the highest purification.
It is also the highest truth
From which all Dharma proceeds” (XVIII: 1125.25).
But in spite of this preaching of nonviolence, the main characters of Mahabharata were skilled warriors and they fought fiercely and destroyed evil in the battlefield. The battle of Mahabharata that took place in ‘Kurukshetra’ was a violent clash which caused death of a large number of people. But still Mahabharata is all about Dharma (Justice) and the action. It is about the way a man should see life, fight the wickedness and love humanity and live with honor and self respect.
The Vedas have advocated the Kashatriya (the warrior sect of Hinduism) code of honor based on active fighting in an open combat zone. Similarly the philosophy of nonviolence as mentioned in Bhagavad Gita is completely different from that of Gandhi. Few short quotes are as follows,
“In this world there are two kinds of created beings. One is called the divine and the other demoniac.” (16:6)
“Those who are demoniac do not know what is to be done and what is not to be done. Neither cleanliness nor proper behavior nor truth is found in them” (16:7)
“The demoniacs, who are lost to themselves and who have no intelligence, engage in unbeneficial, horrible works meant to destroy the world.” (16:9)
“Know what your duty is and do it without hesitation. For a warrior, there is nothing better than a battle that duty enjoins” (2.31)
“Whenever and wherever there is a decline in religious practice, O descendant of ‘Bharata’ [The Hindu Nation], and a predominant rise of irreligion—at that time I descend Myself. To deliver the pious and to annihilate the miscreants, as well as to reestablish the principles of religion, I Myself appear, millennium after millennium” (4:7, 8)
These few quotes from Bhagavad Gita are enough to show that Gandhi’s understanding of nonviolence was totally different from the philosophy of nonviolence of Hinduism. The last two quotes from Bhagavad Gita are particularly important. Lord Krishna promised to reborn and destroy the evil to reestablish dharma. Gandhi’s nonviolence is cowardice and there is no heroism in it. In Hindu philosophy, the nonviolence is the quality of a courageous man and there is absolutely no place of spinelessness in it. A warrior is duty-bound to fight the evil. Gandhi may not have an enemy, but according to Hinduism all the evils are enemies of humankind that cannot be ignored. The core message of Bhagavad Gita is to wage a righteous war against the enemies of the truth and motherland. Therefore, Gandhi’s nonviolence was Gandhi’s fantasy. Hinduism has nothing to do with it. Hinduism does not support Gandhi’s ‘my friend’ attitude to Hitler and his irrational advice to the Jews to ‘pray for Hitler’ and die cheerfully.
Bhagavad Gita teaches men to live with honor and if necessary die for it. Sadly, this simple Hindu wisdom never entered in the fat head of the naked Hindu saint Gandhi. Hence instead of following the message of Bhagavad Gita, Gandhi wanted Indians to follow the cowardly whim of his nonviolence. Because of his little understanding, he suffered from lack of realism. That’s why he could not see Hitler's fanaticism, cruelty, coldness of heart and other reprehensible traits; rather he advised the Jews to offer themselves cheerfully to the butcher’s knife. It was not greatness of Gandhi; rather it was his great stupidity.
Gandhi loved experiment. Throughout his life he had experimented with nonviolence and truth. He was principled and pure at heart, hardworking, truthful, kindhearted, a strict vegetarian and down to earth. He rejected the title of Mahatma (great soul). He said, ’I myself do not feel like a saint in any shape or form’. But the ordinary village people of India spontaneously began to see Gandhi as a Mahatma and as the title became universally accepted, he had to put up with it. But neither Gandhi ever used it nor encouraged his friends to use it.
He renounced all worldly possession, devoting his life to work for the dignity and uplift of the downtrodden. After his death, someone took a photograph of all his worldly possessions. It was a tiny heap consisting of his glasses, a pair of sandals, a homespun loin cloth (he had only one garment), a dozen of books and a watch. That was all. By reducing his own needs and possessions to an absolute minimum, Gandhi had demonstrated that the commonly assumed connection between wealth and merit is false. Once, when asked by a foreign visitor what his message was, he replied ‘My life is my message’. This is why he was so challenging a person to encounter.
But in spite of many noble and rare qualities in his character; Gandhi’s life and teachings were full of contradictions and it is doubtful how much he succeeded in his experiment. As example, he condemned untouchability but preached the validity of caste system. He did not believe in the exclusive divinity of the Vedas but called himself a Hindu and at the same time did not believe in Hinduism as an exclusive religion. He did believe that Mahabharata was a work of fiction that actually never took place but he read Bhagavad Gita religiously, not understanding the fact that Bhagavad Gita is a part of Mahabharata. He found much spirituality in Koran but he projected himself to be the spiritual leader of India as a Hindu saint. And lastly; according to him, any non-Hindu can practice Hinduism but he cannot be accepted in the Hindu fold.
All the above examples prove that Gandhi’s thinking was bizarre. He cherished a fancy belief that all the conflicts in the world could be solved in a nonviolent manner. It is like a ‘sure-cure’ medicine of a quack doctor who can treat all types of diseases with a single miracle medicine. That’s why he failed miserably and ultimately had to pay by his life. There are many examples when Gandhi brought untold misery to others by simply remaining obstinate to the unrealistic ideas of his doctrine of nonviolence. For this if necessary he did not mind contradicting himself. He failed again and again but like an addicted gambler neither he listened to anyone nor ever ready to give up his advocacy of nonviolence.
It’s not that a gambler always loses. Gandhi’s strategy of nonviolence worked wonder at South Africa, where his Satyagraha and the ‘Truth-force’ had all the remedies of all the evils that the White people had heaped on the Indians (both Hindus and non-Hindus). Gandhi had achieved incredible success in all fields through nonviolence against the British exploitation in South Africa.
Gandhi joined active politics after returning back to India. As time passed his influence in the Congress first increased and then became supreme. In his little wisdom, Gandhi imagined that the problems that persisted in South Africa were no different from the ones that rocked India.
But he was wrong in his judgment. In South Africa, both Hindus and Muslims fought together against British oppression. India suffered not only from British tyranny but at the same time there was worst type of communalism. There were tremendous tensions between the (religious) communities, mainly between Muslims and non-Muslims, mostly Hindus. However, British were primarily responsible for creating these interfaith tensions because of their notorious ‘divide and rule’ policy.
This is where Gandhi made the biggest mistake of his life. He thought that like in South Africa, he would be accepted as leader by both Hindus and Muslims of India. Gandhi declared that Hindu-Muslim unity was possible “because it is so natural, so necessary for both and because I believe in Human nature.”
This shows Gandhi’s absolute ignorance of the Islamic faith. Gandhi claimed that he had read the Koran and found much spirituality in it. He did not know that Islam had divided the mankind into two groups. The Muslims belong to the party of Allah and are assured victory against the infidels, the party of Satan. Koran has led it down unequivocally that all Gods are false except Allah and Islam is the religion of dominance. A country is Darul Harb until it is dominated and ruled by the Muslims. With this attitude a Muslim cannot live peacefully with the non-Muslims anywhere in the world. This simple fact Gandhi could not understand because of his little intelligence. In the thick mind of Gandhi it never occurred that according to Koran, India is an infidel land and except few honorable one, most Muslims want total destruction of India. A Muslim born in India thinks of himself as a part of the international Muslim brotherhood instead of believing to be an Indian national. Muslims deliberately want to forget the fact that 99% of them have the same blood and cultural traditions as do the Hindus. They prefer to think of themselves as descendants of foreign invaders.
Therefore Gandhi started with his ‘support the Muslims and blame the Hindus’ policy to advance his cult of nonviolence. In fact Gandhi’s pro-Muslim policy began as soon as he landed in India. At any cost, this dim-witted leader of India was eager to impress the Muslims and to become their undisputed leader. As the present author said before, Gandhi was very fond of experiment; now Gandhi started a new experiment on how to impress the Muslims. He did not mind that all his experiments were at the expense of the Hindus. With the prosperity of his political career he turned more and more anti-Hindu. He began giving several legally questionable and illogical promises to the Muslims as if he was handing over to them a blank cheque facility. By this way, Gandhi actually pushed the Muslims who had entered the mainstream society back to the Islamic fanatic middle ages.
There are hundreds of examples, when Gandhi’s pro-Muslim policy and experiment with truth was solely at the cost of non-Muslim Indians. Gandhi was guilty of blunder after blunder, failure after failure, disaster after disaster, but he neither admitted his mistake nor ever learnt a lesson from it.
Gandhi showed his perverse attitude on the question of the national language of India. Obviously Hindi has the most prior claim to be accepted as the premier language. But as he found that Muslims did not like it, he insisted that Hindustani (a cross-breed colloquial language between Hindi and Urdu without grammar and vocabulary) alone should be the national language of India.
Gandhi intentionally denied the fact that Muslim rulers converted countless number of Hindus by force. One day a fanatical Muslim leader met Gandhi. To please him Gandhi said,
“I know the secret of spread of Islam. I am aware that Islam spread not due to sword but by the teachings of Fakirs and Maulavis. The sword had been used to merely protect the Muslim culture”.
The fact is that about 80 million Hindus had been killed in India by Muslim invasions. The famous historian Will Durant summed it up like this, “The Islamic conquest of India is probably the bloodiest story in history”. Sometimes entire cities were burnt down and the populations massacred. Hundreds of thousands killed in every campaign and those who were alive deported as slaves. Every new invader made (often literally) his hills of Hindus’ skulls. Some Muslims rulers made it a rule to kill one hundred thousand captives in a single day. The conquest of Afghanistan in the year 1000 was followed by the annihilation of the Hindu population; the region is still called the Hindu Kush, i.e. Hindu slaughter. The pre-Islamic name of Hindu Kush was 'Paariyaatra Parvat'.
Either Gandhi knew nothing about Indian history or he denied purposely. About the Hindu hater king Aurangazeb, Gandhi said,
“Since Aurangazeb has lived here for so many years, allegations of enmity and distance leveled at him should cease and he should be considered one of us. For this, if from time to time some sacrifice has to be made to resolve the issue, it should be done. And in this way Aurangazeb and Shivaji should together found a new Hindu Nation.”
Congress showed respect to Gandhi by adopting the Tiranga (Tricolor) with Charkha as its flag. This flag used to be unfurled on every major event of the Congress. The Gandhibadis used to decorate their homes with this flag. The university students used to hoist this flag in the university building to demonstrate their nationalist sentiments. But once a fundamentalist Muslim found the flag unbearable and took objection to it. Hearing this, Gandhi immediately ordered to take down the flag. He even did not bother to ask other Congress people. This is how he trampled the faith of hundreds of Congress people only to please one Muslim man.
Gandhi was never interested in the sentiments or the feelings of the Hindus. The famous ‘Vanda Mataram’ song had proved an inspiration during those days. Bengali community almost worshipped the song. But when Jinnah, the president of Muslim League and a handful of his follower Muslims objected, disregarding the nationalist sentiment of the song, Gandhi put a ban on it and forced the whole nation to abandon it. In 1940, Congress announced a decision that the words ‘Vanda Mataram’ should not be used by Congress members in any public speeches and announcements. These two words, which had potential to ignite a spontaneous wave of patriotism among the Bengalies could have prevented the splitting of Bengal. Gandhi also put a ban on ShivBanvani. ShivBanvani is a small inspiring poem by poet Bhushan. The poet had written that if Shivaji had not been born, entire India would have been converted to Islam. The poet had used exact words to correctly depict the fierce fanaticism and intolerance preached within Islam. Gandhi imposed a ban on this poem to keep the sentiments of his ‘Muslim brothers’.
To please the Muslims, Gandhi supported the mutiny against the Hindu king of Kashmir. The followers of Gandhi even insulted the Hindu kings in the areas of Jaipur, Bhavnagar and Rajkot. But his attitude towards Muslim kings was exactly opposite. Gandhi asked the Hindu king of Kashmir to retire and go to Kashi after handing over his kingdom to Shaikh Abdullah because Kashmir had a Muslim majority. But according to the same logic, Gandhi never asked the ‘Nizam of Hyderabad’ to retire and go to Mecca after handing over his kingdom to a Hindu king because Hyderabadis were Hindus in majority. In fact Gandhi announced, “After British leave India, the Nizam of Hyderabad would be the ‘Badshah of Bharat’ [supreme ruler of India]”.
When Hindu population of Bhopal was suffering under the tyrannical rule of the Muslim ruler, Hindu girls were abducted and raped, Hindu culture was opposed and rapid Islamisation was taking place; Gandhi once visited Bhopal and like an innocent child declared, “The people of Bhopal are happy under the rule of Nawab. He leads a simple life and a ‘Ramraja’ [a righteous king].”
Gandhi practiced duplicity to appraise the Muslims during Khilafat movement. Khilafat movement was an attempt by the Indian Muslim community to unite together in support of the Turkish Empire ruled by the Khalifa. The Muslims considered the Khalifa as the custodian of Islam. Under the leadership of prominent Muslim leaders, the Khilafat movement was launched in most parts of North India. Surprisingly, Gandhi while advocating non-violence to Hindus; permitted violent recourse to Muslims during the Khilafat movement. Gandhi suggested the Muslims,
“If the peaceful non-cooperation movement does not succeed in getting justice, then, they have the right to follow the path shown in the Holy Books of Islam and I whole-heartedly support this path.”
Gandhi should have opposed this path, which was contrary to his principle of nonviolence, but he supported it whole-heartedly. When the Indian Muslims invited the Amir of Afghanistan to attack India and to convert this Darul Harb into Darul Islam, Gandhi supported this move also.
Gandhi justified the atrocities committed by Muslims on Hindus. At Malabar, Moplas tormented Hindu Dharma, Hindu dignity, Hindu lives and Hindus' wealth for a long time. Hundreds of Hindus were forcibly converted into Islam and Hindu women were raped. Gandhi did not say a word against these atrocities. On the contrary he justified their atrocities and brushed the whole thing away by commenting that, “Brave God-fearing Moplas who were fighting for what they considered as religion, and in a manner, which they considered as religious”.
Gandhi also blatantly denied that innumerable cases of conversion into Islam had taken place. He wrote, “The Moplas were right in presenting the Koran or sword to the Hindus. And if the Hindus became Mussalmans [Muslims] to save themselves from death, it was a voluntary change of faith and not forcible conversion.”
In this riot more than 600 Hindus were killed and more than 2500 Hindus were converted to Islam forcibly. Number of Hindu women raped was unknown. But Gandhi wrote in the news letter 'Young India' that only one incidence of forcibly conversion had taken place. The Malabar Mopla atrocity was such a gruesome incident that even Muslim friends of Gandhi pointed out this wrong statement, yet Gandhi did not correct the false report. This was the height of his pro-Muslim policy.
Gandhi treated Muslims better and absolutely ignored their evil actions. Hindus were made guinea pig of the Muslims by this naked Hindu saint. He was a ‘Mahatma of convenience’. Once, when he went to Delhi he held his prayer meetings in a Hindu temple in the sweeper’s colony. Ignoring the strong protests of the priests he adamantly read few passages from the Koran as part of the prayer meeting inside the Hindu temple. But he did not have the courage to read passages from Bhagavad Gita in a mosque. What type of distorted judgment was this? It was easy for him to trample upon the feelings of the tolerant Hindus but while dealing with Muslims he was very careful.
Arya Samaj (Noble Society) was a Hindu reform movement founded by Swami Dayananda in 1875. Muslims were against Arya Samaj because this organization put the large-scale reconversion of Muslims to the Vedic tradition high on Hindu society's agenda. To show his love for Muslims, Gandhi started attacking Arya Samaj without any provocation and repeatedly denounced them as fanatical. Arya Samaj made a powerful but polite retort and for some time Gandhi was silenced. Individual members of the Samaj were strong nationalists. They opposed to Gandhi’s pro-Muslim Policy, and openly fought him on that issue. But the growing political influence of Gandhi weakened the Arya Samaj and slowly the Samaj had ceased to be the force and the power that it was at one time.
Here again we will see the duplicity of Gandhi. Gandhi’s eldest son Harilal rebelled against his father, renounced all family ties and embarked upon a tragic, lifelong path of self-destruction. This self-destructive alcoholic converted to Islam and took a new name Abdullah. With his conversion the popular Muslim slogan was, “Today the son has known the true religion of Islam; tomorrow we shall make Gandhi recite the Kalama.” However, Harilal was later brought back to Hindu fold with the help of Arya Samaj in a Shuddhi ceremony (reversion -- a return to a former religion), the same Hindu organization which Gandhi condemned as fanatical.
Gandhi’s all experiments failed miserably, except his experiment for Pakistan, which was done successfully. Pakistan was created due to the suicidal policy of Gandhi. Muhammad Ali Jinnah and M. K Gandhi put in action the Theory of Division of the Motherland. Jinnah hung the dream of Pakistan before several fanatic eyes like a carrot that dangled before a donkey and Gandhi assisted him (Initially Gandhi was against the partition of India but at the end he changed his mind). Two self governing countries, India and Pakistan legally came into existence at the stroke of midnight on August 15, 1947.
At the time of India-Pakistan partition violent Hindu-Muslim riot took place. Millions were uprooted from their ancestor’s territory and massive violence and slaughter occurred on both sides of the border. At the lowest estimate, one million people perished and fourteen million became homeless. When hundreds of thousand Hindu and Sikh refugees entered India, Gandhi showed no sympathy for them. He criticized the Hindu refugees and told them to go back and die. Gandhi said,
“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.”
So, Gandhi dismissed those as cowards who saved their lives fleeing the massacre by a vastly stronger enemy. Furthermore Gandhi presented a fantastic Ahimsa formula to the Hindu refugees. This messiah of nonviolence failed to see violence in the concept and practice of Islamic Jihad and advised the Hindus, “The Hindus not to die helplessly. But they are to die without a murmur. Only then the riots will stop.”
Gandhi also put forward a call to the raped women not to fight the rapists. “The women must know how to die … women [should] face death bravely and without a murmur. Then only would the terrible killing now going on, stop.”
In another incident, Gandhi addressed the homeless Hindus at the end of one of his Prayer Meetings and said, “After all, who are the killers? They are our Muslim Brethren, none other. Does a converting into another religion break the bond of brotherhood?”
In a speech on April 6, 1947; Gandhi again advised the destitute Hindus, “Even if Muslims decide to wipe out the Hindu race, there is no point in Hindus getting angry on Muslims. Even if they slit our throats, we should be patient and accept death. Let them rule the world, we will pervade the world and merge with it. At least we should not be afraid of death. The providence is made of life and death. Why feel unhappy about it? We will enter a new life if we face death with a smile. We will create a new Hindustan [India]. ”
Even after so much destruction, Gandhi was not yet satisfied. On September 23, 1947, during a prayer speech, Gandhi said, “[Even if Muslims] killed our relatives, our people, why should we be angry with anyone? Those who got killed met with a proper end. We should know that they attained heaven. Let this happen with Gods' wish with each one of us. God should grant us this kind of death. If you want to ask God for anything, let it be this.”
On Muslim slaughter of Hindus and Sikhs, Gandhi elsewhere said, “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. … 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.”
Such was the nonviolence fantasy of Gandhi. According to his theory; if a large number of cattle willingly offer themselves to the tiger, one day the tiger will get tired of eating them. Then the tiger will turn vegetarian and will live on eating grass instead of hunting. Gandhi never admitted that his “nonviolence” gimmick failed to achieve any results, rather he repeatedly told the Hindus to die happily in the riots. Gandhi is being referred to as the ‘Father of the Nation’ -- an epithet of high reverence. But if so, he has failed in his paternal duty. Gandhi was not the father of the Nation. He was father of Hindu genocide in disguise of a Hindu saint. He may be Mahatma by title, but those who know Gandhi much will never accept this title. Gandhi did not deserve this title of Mahatma, because there was nothing that could qualify him to be Mahatma.
First Indo-Pakistani War (also known as the First Kashmir War) was fought between 1947 and ’48. Gandhi was in action again with his bizarre philosophy of nonviolence. On November 5, 1947, Gandhi expressed a dream of non-violent war. Someone asked Gandhi, 'How should we resist attack on Kashmir by non-violence?' Gandhi replied,
“Do not provide army for their protection. The State should provide ample literature to them on nonviolence. Whether such literature is available or not, those who are attacked should, in their enormous numbers, not counter attack a disciplined army, and not even resist their blows [meaning, bear the attacks repeatedly]. The attacked should sacrifice their lives, without anger and malice. Do not use weapons. Don't even use fists to counter attack. Such non-violent resistance will become a dazzling example of velour, not witnessed in the history till date. Then the land of Kashmir will become pure. The fragrance of this purity will permeate not only Hindustan but the whole world”.
So, Gandhi wanted to stop a Muslim army by providing them sufficient literature on nonviolence. Gandhi was not a wise and balanced person at all. He was an emotionally troubled social activist and a ruthlessly sharp politician. For him what counted was his philosophy of nonviolence. He least bothered about the Hindus or India. He had many faces. He frequently appeared like Christ or Buddha, but then at the very next moment he was just a powerful ambitious politician. In one moment he behaved like a saint with divine wisdom but at the very next moment he was nothing more than a self-interested wizard or a sorcerer.
Gandhi not only misguided the Hindus, but was against large-scale industrial and agricultural development of India also. He warned that any development would economically ruin India's villages, where 80% of India's people lived and still live. He was fond of spinning cotton yarn on a compact spinning wheel which had been developed by him and his colleagues. He simply could not imagine anything better than that.
Secondly; Gandhi's nonviolent action was designed to avoid violence. Though Gandhi steadfastly avoided violence toward his opponents, he did not find a way for his followers to avoid violence toward themselves. He liked to see Hindus ‘willing to die’, but never ‘willing to survive’. This cowardice act is nonviolent towards the opponents but how can we call it ‘nonviolent’ when it is projected on them by their violent opponents? Moreover, if the use of force is taken out entirely, it whets aggressor's appetite and provoke far more violence. If a political novice makes such a stupid mistake it is forgivable, but for an experienced leader like Gandhi it was a serious failure of judgment.
Gandhi started a process of unimaginable destruction of India with his unrealistic pro-Muslim policies. During more than thirty years of the unquestionable leadership of Gandhi there were more destruction of Hindu temples, more forcible and fraudulent conversions to Islam, more outrages on women and finally the loss of one third of the country. This is what Gandhi achieved by his Muslim sycophancy. The whole idea of his nonviolent struggle was perverted. A logical person will think twice before calling such a person a patriot. Throughout his political career he chased a mirage of "Hindu-Muslim unity". He failed in his experiment, he stopped for a moment but then he got up and started pushing hard all over again against all odds. He not only followed the path of destruction but took the whole Nation with him. Today should we deny the fact that his mistakes had provoked large scale Hindu massacres and partition of India; but surprisingly we Indians still call him the ‘father of the Nation’?
Gandhi was heading for the dustbin of history. But the killer of Gandhi, Nathuram Godse, whom the mainstream media depicts as a Hindu extremist, actually saved Gandhi from "the dustbin of history". Not known to many, Godse was an avid follower of Gandhi, but he distant himself from Gandhi after realizing that Gandhi’s nonviolent movement was actually ruining the Nation. Godse had nothing personal against Gandhi. In fact, before he fired the shots, he actually wished him well and bowed to him in reverence. But in spite of his deep respect for Gandhi, his killer Godse "could not tolerate this man to live any longer".
No doubt Gandhi did undergo sufferings for the sake of the Nation. But then Godse also knowingly ruined himself by killing Gandhi. Gandhi suffered to establish his philosophy of nonviolence and Godse suffered to save the Nation from Gandhi’s spiritual terrorism. The present author believes that the sacrifice of Godse was no less than that of Gandhi. Following his assassination of Gandhi, Godse was put on trial. During the trial, Godse did not defend any charge and openly admitted that he killed Gandhi after a long disposition on his reasons for assassinating Gandhi. On November 8, 1949, Godse was sentenced to death.
Gandhi’s mistake carries a message of its own. No society can develop in peace and in dignity unless it removes Islam completely. No amount of goodwill is capable of changing Islamic theology and its inherent political ambition of world conquest. We should not look at Islam through the eyes of our own spirituality. There is definitely something very inflexible in the heart of Islam that even a man of an oceanic goodwill like Gandhi failed to move it. This is a lesson to learn. Ever since the death of Gandhi, the Islamic apologists invoke Gandhi’s name to blacken Hinduism, but they were of no use for Gandhi while he was alive. This is the ugliest dishonesty in the history of India. Muslims attacked him in the crudest language, thwarted his policies, opposed him tooth and nail and physically beaten him up. It was the Hindus who revered him and still revere or at least respect him. Today Gandhi is the most hated person in Pakistan. Not facing the truth about Islam was a costly mistake in Gandhi's time and the situation is no different today. With Islam's increasing strength and self-confidence, it may prove to be a deadly mistake in the near future.
1. “A suppressed chapter in history: The exodus of Hindus from East Pakistan and Bangladesh”. By, Tathagata Roy.
2. “A tale of two Gujarati saints”. By, Anwar Shaikh
3. “Distant Neighbours: A tale of the subcontinent” By, Kuldip Nayar.
4. “Gandhi Hatya Keno?” (in Bangla) By, Gopal Godse.
5. “Genocide in East Pakistan / Bangladesh”. By, S. K Bhattacharyya.
6. “May it please your honour”? By, Nathuram Godse
7. “Mahatma Gandhi and His Myths” By, Mark Shepard
8. “Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi: Ekti Akopot Jibony” (in Bengla) By, Rudrapratap Chattopadhyay.
9. The Holy Bhagavad Gita.
10. “The life of Mahatma Gandhi”. By, Louis Fischer.
11. “Ulama Freedom Struggle and Concept of Pakistan”. By, Mohammed Anwer Hussain
12. “Why Godse killed Gandhi?” By, Kanchan Gupta
Author can be contacted at counter.jihad [AT] yahoo.co.uk