Dear Ramesh uncle,
I m a bit confused regarding a certain issues which are
creating a bit of a problem.
In such a situation I felt you would be the best person
to help me out.
I would like to know whether Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
was a fraud or not
Some people are totally in awe of him and some are
Some say that he was partial towards the British and it
was because of him that the partition of India took
Whereas the others say that it was because of him that we
are free from the British.
If you ask me personally I m not able to make up my mind
and form an opinion of him
Hope you will take out some time from your busy schedule
and answer my question and give your opinion .
Thanking you, M.
Life itself being confusing, it would be unnatural if one
were not confused about things. So on that count, not to
worry if you get confused once in awhile.
In any case, with regard to whatever your problem is with
Gandhiji, here are replies specific only to the
misgivings that you have expressed in your email:
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was definitely not a fraud
(except in some of the most minute ways, in which all of
mankind is equally culpable). The word fraud is very
strong, and I recommend that in your life, you use it
frugally. 'Fraud' implies someone who is insincere, who
knowingly tries to fool others. Gandhiji, on the
contrary, was passionately, even fanatically, sincere in
his beliefs. Whether we agree with them or not is another
matter. He was among the greatest of men known in the
history of mankind. But then, there is nothing, or no
creature, or no human being, in this universe, who is
The partition of India did not take place because he was
partial to the British, although he was. It took place
because of historical suspicions and errors which, at the
time of their occurrence, could not be perceived by the
people who perpetrated them. Muslim suspicion of Hindu
dominance of India cannot be denied total validity,
although, at the time that it occurred, it was
inopportune and unfortunate. This suspicion catapulted
Jinnah to raise his level of ambition, putting every
other consideration, human and humane, in peril.
Gandhiji's error was in not comprehending the force of
this inevitability; and not accepting, even in abject
helplessness at the failure of his idealism, the ground
reality. This was one of the gravest political errors in
our country. The consequences were plunder, murder and
untold misery that it brought to people who had lived in
harmony. It tore them apart, and the toll of the dead
surpassed any other so far in this country. And all this
while he talked of non-violence.
Gandhiji, and he alone, was responsible, because most of
the other thinkers and historians knew better. He, in the
deepest recesses of his mind, realised the result of his
obstinacy and did what can be called the severest
penance, or self-punishment and self-denial. But that did
not help him, or do any good to others. Therefore, one
can conclude that, no matter how one loved him, he was
guilty of a catastrophic, unpardonable, and unforgettable
error of judgment, the consequences of which fell upon
others to suffer.
As to whether he freed us from British rule, the fact is
that all colonies were freed from all colonisers; we were
going to be granted freedom circa 1938. He is responsible
for not accepting it, because he wanted to persuade
Jinnah to come round to the one-nation theory, even by
offering him the highest position of power in independent
India. This delay resulted in our having to allow Indians
to be killed in a war with which we had nothing to do:
World War II. It was only at Gandhi's command that Indian
soldiers joined the British, and therefore, Allied
forces, and laid down their lives in a war that they did
not comprehend. All this because Gandhi did not accept
independence when it was offered, in his hope and
stubbornness that he will convince Jinnah to accept an
undivided India, which everyone knew was impossible.
I have answered only the questions you raised in your
note to me. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi cannot be dealt
with so summarily and briefly. I would be delighted to
talk on more aspects, good, bad and worst, of Gandhiji;
or on any other subject, whenever you wish, or in
whatever manner that you wish.