This well written article further exposes the hypocrisy and the mess that Gandhi was. He was – inherently – a man of conveniences. He chose his battles – where sometimes he would love the Krishna of Mahabharata and sometimes he would become Jesus like! He was schizophrenic at best and thoroughly self-centered and selfish at worst! Read this passage from this article (I have highlighted the main areas for easy reading):
WE ARE therefore presented with the seeming anomaly of a Gandhi who, in Britain
when war broke out in August 1914, instantly contacted the War Office, swore
that he would stand by England in its hour of need, and created the Indian
Volunteer Corps, which he might have commanded if he hadn’t fallen ill with
pleurisy. In 1915, back in India, he made a memorable speech in Madras in which
he proclaimed, "I discovered that the British empire had certain ideals with
which I have fallen in love…." In early 1918, as the war in Europe entered its
final crisis, he wrote to the Viceroy of India, "I have an idea that if I become
your recruiting agent-in-chief, I might rain men upon you," and he proclaimed in
a speech in Kheda that the British "love justice; they have shielded men against
oppression." Again, he wrote to the Viceroy, "I would make India offer all her
able-bodied sons as a sacrifice to the empire at this critical moment". To some of
his pacifist friends, who were horrified, Gandhi replied by appealing to the
‘Bhagavad Gita’ and to the endless wars recounted in the Hindu epics, the
‘Ramayana’ and the ‘Mahabharata,’ adding further to the pacifists’ honor by
declaring that Indians "have always been warlike, and the finest hymn composed
by Tulsidas in praise of Rama gives the first place to his ability to strike
down the enemy."
This was in contradiction to the interpretation of sacred Hindu scriptures
Gandhi had offered on earlier occasions (and would offer later), which was that
they did not recount military struggles but spiritual struggles; but, unusual
for him, he strove to find some kind of synthesis. "I do not say, `Let us go and
kill the Germans,’" Gandhi explained. "I say, `Let us go and die for the sake of
India and the empire.’" And yet within two years, the time having come for
swaraj (home rule), Gandhi’s inner voice spoke again, and, the leader having
found his cause, Gandhi proclaimed resoundingly: "The British empire today
represents Satanism, and they who love God can afford to have no love for
The idea of swaraj, originated by others, crept into Gandhi’s mind gradually.
With a fair amount of winding about, Gandhi, roughly, passed through three
phases. First, he was entirely pro-British, and merely wanted for Indians the
rights of Englishmen (as he understood them). Second, he was still pro-British,
but with the belief that, having proved their loyalty to the empire, Indians
would be granted some degree of swaraj. Third, as the home-rule movement
gathered momentum, it was the swaraj, the whole swaraj, and nothing but the
swaraj, and he turned relentlessly against the crown. The movie to the contrary,
he caused the British no end of trouble in their struggles during World War II.
BUT it should not be thought for one second that Gandhi’s finally full-blown
desire to detach India from the British empire gave him the slightest sympathy
with other colonial peoples pursuing similar objectives. Throughout his entire
life Gandhi displayed the most spectacular inability to understand or even
really take in people unlike himself–a trait which V.S. Naipaul considers
specifically Hindu, and I am inclined to agree. Just as Gandhi had been totally
unconcerned with the situation of South Africa’s blacks (he hardly noticed they
were there until they rebelled), so now he was totally unconcerned with other
Asians or Africans. In fact, he was adamantly *opposed* to certain Arab
movements within the Ottoman empire for reasons of internal Indian politics.
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