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Gandhi — greatest ideal of mankind — is also example of human folly



By Surendra Kelwala, MD --- Livonia, MI:


 This has reference to the page-one news item — Despite protests, Sonia Gandhi weaves magic at UN and community reception — published in India Tribune dated October 12. It was nauseating seeing the gushing sycophancy of the hangers-on of Italy-born Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who has been chosen to represent India at the United Nations. The only solace lies in the fact that as perhaps no one in India had been ready to honor Mahatma Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi grabbed the opportunity. I know it is going against the grain, and will invite howls of protestation at my saying that Gandhi was not so much an apostle of peace as a deeply disturbed man, who spent a lifetime drumming the rhetoric of non-violence to cover up and deflect attention from his deep seated fixation problems. Yet, as Gandhi himself would have conceded, truth should trump every other consideration. It is impossible to even list here the eccentric behaviors to which Gandhi was addicted to, and which were the cause of so much death and destruction, and which no psychoanalyst will doubt arose from his fixation. I will give here a bare sketch of those that had profound effect upon the destiny of India. Gandhi was primarily responsible for drastically altering the methods and constitution of the Indian National Congress during the years 1919-1920. It alienated almost the entire cadre of its senior members, including C.R. Das and Jinnah. The latter could immediately see the disruptive nature of these non-cooperation tactics and warned that it would dangerously divide the Congress and the nation and stimulate illegal activities and degenerate into prolonged violence. From a responsible party, which was dedicated to obtain Independence through constitutional means, it became an off-center party completely dominated by a half naked ascetic, who inextricably mixed up the politics of independence with his religious and spiritual preoccupations, and brought in all kinds of half insane extraneous agendas such as opposition to industrialization and technology, advocacy of life-long celibacy, preoccupation with cleaning latrines, spinning cotton, fasting and other half-baked yogic practices that derailed the entire focus of the independence movement In the Nagpur Congress meeting of 1921, when Jinnah refused to address Gandhi as Mahatma, insisting upon Mr., he was heckled by Gandhi supporters with cries of “Shame, shame” and “imposter” —a little reflection would show us the irony as to who was the imposter. Jinnah asked Gandhi to intervene before it is too late, but Gandhi shrewdly refused. Jinnah immediately saw his constituency had no standing against a Hindu leader, who was already a Mahatma. Should one blame him for breaking his ties with Congress and envisioning a separate land for his people? Gandhi’s first nationwide Satyagraha of 1922, hoisted on the platform of “Swaraj within an year,” had so much public support that the British were not only afraid to jail him, but were brought to their knees and were on the verge of giving him whatever he wanted. But on a flimsy excuse of some violence having occurred against police in Chaura Chauri, Gandhi did an abrupt about-face, calling off the movement. The British not only locked him up right away, they never ever hesitated to jail him again, fully realizing his love for going to jail over getting independence. It should not surprise us either that the riots immediately broke out between Hindus and Muslims, hitherto united against the British, in the wake of the terrible let-down. The entire nation was suffused with an unstoppable energy that had to be vented. The majority of Indian youth never trusted Gandhi again, knowing that the great leader’s method did not go beyond putting everyone in jail. All his subsequent non-cooperative ventures were just a repetition of this pattern. On surface, these movements appeared as non-violent disobedience, but in reality they were pointless, subtly unrealistic and caused unnecessary death and destruction. If one has any doubts about this analysis contrast Gandhi’s immediate halting of the movement after Chaura Chauri because it violated the spirit of non-violence with his “go or fie” directive of 1942 and its barely concealed desire for violence. In place of accepting Cripp’s offer of complete independence with Dominion status — such as Canada and Australia have — with the option of abrogating the dominion status anytime in future — he started his misguided “Quit India” movement. In disgust, Leo Amery, the Secretary of State for India, declared Gandhi an “Expert wrecker.” If only he had accepted the British offer in 1942, the Partition would never have taken place nor the loss of millions of lives. It is paradoxical but true that often the world rather honor and follow its false prophets, ideologies, and leaders than the true ones. Such is the self-destructive jealousy of the human heart. Gandhi as one of the greatest ideals of mankind is the prime example of this human folly.

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