- Introduction: Why Reassess Gandhi?
- Gandhi Spreads Racial Hatred of Africans
- Gandhi Creates Racial Segregation in South Africa
- Gandhi Goes to War Against Black Africans
- Gandhi Sexually Abuses His Grandnieces
- Gandhi’s Wars: Becoming a Nobel Peace Prize Reject
- Gandhi Creates an American Widow
Introduction: Why Reassess Gandhi?
Ominously, President Obama now calls Gandhi “an inspiration” but censors attempts by South Asian Americans to get him to reassess Gandhi. Read about how the White House yanked a petition — on Valentine’s Day, no less — asking Obama to reassess his hero.
Some people question the importance of reassessing Gandhi. “He’s already dead,” they protest. Indeed, they also note, there are many other evil politicians currently serving at high levels in the Indian state who have not been convicted or even tried for their blatant involvement in the massacre of Indian minorities. For instance, the Indian State has not punished, but rather promoted, the perpetrators of the June 1984 and November 1984 genocidal attacks on Sikhs.
This leads us to question, why is Kamal Nath in India’s Union Cabinet after perpetrating genocide in 1984? Why is Narendra Modi the Chief Minister of Gujarat after perpetrating genocide in 2002? Why is there impunity for every one of these massacres of minorities, just as in the slaughter of Orissan Christians in 2008? Why is there no action to implement real, systemic reforms despite the description of India’s police by human rights groups as “criminals in uniform”? Indeed, why are police and military officers across South Asia rewarded for torture, rape, disappearances, extra-judicial executions, false encounters, and the systematic fostering of chaos and carnage?
A primary explanation is that Gandhi’s philosophy underpins the entire apparatus of the Indian State. Perhaps the propaganda that Gandhi, who is claimed as the Father of the Nation, was an icon of peace has some connection to the Indian State’s tradition of violence. By realizing that the commonly held view of Gandhi’s near-divinity is a myth behind which India delights in masking itself and by acknowledging that Gandhi’s greatest legacy was the spread of racial hatred and caste division, we can begin to grasp why modern India behaves as it does.
How can we comprehend where we are without understanding how we got there? The Hindu supremacism and anti-minority violence tolerated, encouraged, sponsored, and perpetrated by the Indian state did not spring from a vacuum. Logically, the philosophers and politicians who formed India before and after independence must have had a vast impact on the current nature of the country. The policies of PM Manmohan Singh are influenced by the actions of Indira Gandhi just as her policies were influenced by the actions of Jawaharlal Nehru just as his policies were influenced by his friendship and joint creation of independent India’s sociopolitical structure with Mohandas Gandhi.
So, if you want to understand why 1984 happened, look to Gandhi. After all, Indira Gandhi was groomed and mentored from an early age by her hero, Mohandas Gandhi. Why did she despise equal rights for Sikhs? Maybe because Gandhi despised equal rights for blacks when he was in Africa — and then, upon his return to India, worked to preserve the Hindu caste system, praising its “fundamental divisions” and insisting that a system which is based on separating humans into groups of decreasing importance is “not based on inequality.” (CWMG, Vol. 22, p. 67)
In short, Gandhi’s work to spread apartheid throughout the world, beginning first in South Africa and then continuing in India, is the reason South Asia’s minorities are today threatened by an imperial Hindu nation. This supremacist attitude inspired the formal ideology of Hindutva, which holds that India should be a Hindu nation, that non-Hindus are foreign to India, and that Hinduism should subvert and absorb all other faiths and cultures. Gandhi explicitly promoted Hindutva during a prayer speech in 1947, declaring:
“Hinduism is an ocean into which all the rivers run. It can absorb Islam and Christianity and all the other religions and only then can it become an ocean. Otherwise it remains merely a stream along which large ships cannot ply.” (CWMG, Vol. 97, p. 465)
Gandhi’s embrace of Hindutva was foundational to the adoption of that poisonous belief by modern India’s ruling elite — as we explained in an open letter to then-Senator Obama in 2008. This exact philosophy disenfranchised millions of minorities when it was enshrined in Article 25 of the Indian Constitution, which reads (in part): “The reference to Hindus shall be construed as including a reference to persons professing the Sikh, Jaina or Buddhist religion.” Thus, with the stroke of a pen, the Indian State imposed a forcible conversion on all three of these minority groups — a conversion against which they have protested with every fiber of their beings for the past six decades.
So, why focus on Gandhi when he’s already dead but those responsible for other atrocities are still alive and flourishing in India? Because his philosophy undergirds the motivation for the mass murder of India’s minorities by the country’s ruling elite.
Abstract: Gandhi was passionately prejudiced towards black Africans, as clearly displayed by his own writings over his 21-year stint in Gandhi’s writings during his 20 years in South Africa. He promoted racial hatred, in theory, and campaigned for racial segregation, in practice. In his newspaper, The Indian Opinion, he frequently wrote diatribes against the black community. Of particular concern to him was any contact between Indians and Africans. His efforts to improve the status of the Indian community in South Africa were primarily focused on ensuring Africans were treated worse than Indians. Thus, his goal was increased social inequality rather than universal equality. The following series of quotes, which is but a small selection of his extensive writings on the topic, documents Gandhi’s intense hatred for equal treatment of blacks and Indians.
Abstract: Gandhi’s racial hatred towards black Africans is heavily documented by his own writings, many of which were published in his newspaper, The Indian Opinion. One of the most notable manifestations of his distaste for the African population was his campaign to racially segregate the Durban, South Africa post office. This was reported by The Telegraph in 2013, an excerpt from which is below. Our more detailed and fully documented explanation, posted farther down on this page, demonstrates Gandhi’s campaign for racial segregation extended far beyond Durban.
Abstract: In 1906, the Zulus of South Africa rebelled against the colonial British government. Protesting a new poll-tax, Zulus confronted and killed two British tax collectors in 1906. In retaliation, the British declared war on the Zulus. They hung, shot, and severely flogged thousands of Zulus. Around four thousand Zulus were killed during the rebellion. This war was called the Bambatha Uprising. Gandhi was irrepressibly eager to support the war effort in every manner possible; his agitations in favor of colonial British violence against the black Zulus are summarized here.
Abstract: The following excerpts from articles in The Wall Street Journal and The Independent, published in 2011 and 2010 respectively, detail Gandhi’s bizarre experiments with sex. The key point they contain is, for years, Gandhi sexually abused his 17-year-old grandniece Abha and his 18-year-old grandniece Manu. He forced them to sleep with him — simultaneously and naked — nightly. The story is a tragic one of psychological and physical molestation perpetrated against vulnerable young girls with no option for escape.
Abstract: During his life, Gandhi vocally supported every major war, including the Second Boer War, the Bambatha Uprising, World War I, World War II, and India’s military annexation of Kashmir, Hyderabad, and Junagarh. He served as a volunteer in the colonial British Army in the first two conflicts.
Abstract: Mohandas Gandhi, a popular preacher and political star, incited a race riot by his followers during a visit to India by a British overlord. Mistaking him as British, rioters killed William. To keep Annette quiet, Gandhi offered her bribes and threatened her life.
Politicians everywhere are famous for promising one thing while delivering something completely different. Perhaps this explains why Gandhi claimed to love nonviolence, yet supported every major war of his lifetime. Certainly, his rejection for the nobel peace prize on five separate occasions — in 1937, 1938, 1939, 1947 and 1948 —means others noticed this inconsistency. Some of the reasons for that rejection were explained in a December 1999 article by the Nobel Prize Committee.