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Complexion and Contradiction

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Gandhi’s fanatic ideas had done much harm to India than solace it


Gandhi had disavowed and castigated all the revolutionaries of that time, including Bhagat Singh, Raj Guru, Chander Shekhar Azaad and so forth. He unsympathetically despised and shunned them to the extent of terming them terrorists and enemies of the country

Ahsan Altaf

In 1893, a young, ambitious non-white person was thrown out of the train at Pietermaritzburg Railway Station, South Africa for travelling in a first class compartment. He was saddened over the deplorable condition of coloured people in their own homeland. He sought help the local ruling elite, but got none. He decided to return to India, where the masses and renowned politicians hailed him. What’s most however intriguing is his idealism.

The maltreatment of leftist revolutionaries and nationalists at the hands of Gandhi is irreprehensible. He was a demagogue who used religion as a tool to attract masses. His so-called ‘Ahinsa’ doctrine was a web of contradictions. For instance, he was not doctrinally opposed to violence as he had enlisted soldiers for the British army during the First World War. His speech on 1 June, 1921 tries to justify this by saying that “he was morally bound to help the Brits in their hour of distress”.

On 13 April 1919, General Reginald Dyer ordered his group of 50 Gurkha riflemen to fire on an unarmed assembly at Jallianwala Bagh, killing approximately a 1,000 Indians and injuring 500 people. On 6 April 1921, Gandhi wrote in the Young India: “I would not punish or procure punishment even of General Dyer for his massacre, but I would not call it voluntarily – doing injury to him – to refuse to give him pension or to condemn his action in fitting language.” And, later on, he went on to castigate (on 12 March 1925) the revolutionaries as guilty of “the exciting and unquenchable thirst for the blood of English officials and those who were assisting them.”

Gandhi had disavowed and castigated all the revolutionaries of that time – Bhagat Singh, Raj Guru, Chander Shekhar Azaad and so forth. He unsympathetically despised and shunned revolutionaries to the extent that he called them terrorists and enemies of the country. He preached tolerance and Ahinsa but had been intolerant in his criticism against revolutionaries. Above mentioned people were those who risked everything to get independence.

The missionaries have also commented on how Gandhi aided the efforts of the government to crush the revolutionaries and sidelined them. In the words of a prominent apostle, Stanley Jones, “He saw clearly that there were two ways that India might gain her freedom. She might take the way of the sword and the bomb – the way Mohammed Ali and Shaukat Ali, the Mohammedan brother, untamed by Gandhi, would have taken; or the way that the Bengal anarchists actually took.

It is despicable that he called off non-cooperation movement to save the Ottoman Empire against the backdrop of Chaura Chauri incident in which 22 police personnel were burnt alive by a furious mob. Gandhi abandoned it without consulting Muslims. He left Muslims in the lurch and locked himself in the room. If Machiavelli were alive, he would have killed Gandhi with his own hands.

Revolutionaries attempted to blow up the Vice-regal on 23 December 1929 in Delhi. Gandhi himself moved a resolution in December 1929, Lahore session of the Congress, congratulating the Viceroy on his escape and condemning the revolutionaries. In his speech after moving the resolution, he said, “The Congress Resolution also congratulates the Viceroy and Lady Irwin and their party including the poor servants.” It is interesting to note here that Gandhi called himself the trustee of British lives but angrily deplored revolutionaries and Indians. Moreover, sadistically, he moved the congratulatory resolution on British lives but never condemned the brutalities of the British against Indians. He never moved a resolution in favour of the nationalists. His sycophancy was obvious.

Gandhi did not utter one word in support of Jatin Das, while Das observed a hunger strike protesting the treatment meted to under-trial political prisoners, in which he eventually died on 13 September 1929. It is speculated that Gandhi’s most important weapon was “fast unto death”. He used it frequently to get his wishful things. He used it to the extent that Brits were frustrated and decided to let blackmailer Gandhi be killed and face the short-term consequences than facing long-term blackmailing.

His fanatic ideas had done much harm to India than solace it. A secret police officer even said, “Brits are here because of Gandhi otherwise they would have gone by this time”.

How Gandhi treated one of the most important figures in history – Subhash Chander Bose, and socialist fellows will be covered in another piece of article.

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