Gandhi’s role in India’s independence
MK “Mahatma” Gandhi’s birthday is one of only three national holidays in India (the other two being Republic Day and Independence Day.) Indians are taught that it was Gandhi’s non-violent non-cooperation movement that led to India’s gaining freedom from the British empire. There, in that one sentence, you get two blatant falsehoods for the price of one.
First, the British gave up their Indian colony not because of Gandhi but because it was no longer profitable to hold on to India, and on top of that colonialism was losing its appeal among the European powers following the Second World War. Clement Atlee, in response to a question about the role of Gandhi in India’s independence, replied, “Mi-ni-mal.” It is likely that Subash Bose was the real instrument of India’s independence from the British.
Second, de jure India became indepedent of the British Raj but Indians never gained freedom de facto. Freedom and independence are two distinct attributes. All that talk about freedom is totally bogus. Indians started ruling Indians but the new rulers found the rules made by the British very much to their taste. The Indians who took over control of the country, notably Jawaharlal Nehru (who fancied himself to be “the last Englishman to rule India”), realized that by retaining the entire structure and nature of government (with the government as the master and the people as their subjects) that the British had established over the previous 90 or so years, they got to lord it over the Indians, just as their British predessors had done so profitably.
British Raj 2.0
In modern terminology, we’d say pre-1947 it was British Raj 1.0; since 1947 it has been British Raj 2.0. It’s a new release of an older operating system with some new features but nothing fundamentally different. The software is backward compatible. You just go on behaving just as you did before and you’d be fine. Know your position in the hierarchy (that you are a servant to your master, the government), and you’d be fine. India is ruled by Indians but they use rules laid down by (now dead) Britishers.
India is ruled by dead Britishers, administered by Brown Sahibs who live in the same buildings that British overlords of India lived in, and in similar pomp and circumstance. Indians have been brainwashed to believe they are free — exactly what the new overlords want the people to believe.
But let’s move on and bring the focus back on Gandhi, the man. I find the deification of Gandhi fascinating. I generally hold to the rule that to explain any sociological phenomenon, all you need to do is to recognize basic human nature for what it is. It’s a sorry tale of the lust for money and power among a few, combined with the unfortunate lack of rationality among the vast majority of mostly uneducated masses.
People are gullible, greedy, selfish, self-seeking, myopic, irrational, and uninformed. Not everyone has all of those handicaps but most of us are generously endowed with many of them. It takes a great deal of effort to even realize that, and even more effort to admit it to ourselves, and additional enormous effort to overcome them. This is not easy.
Gandhi has been sold as a saint for a very simple reason: it helps those at positions of power to control the incorrigibly uninformed. Gandhi, as the story goes, was a saint; therefore his anointed disciple Nehru was a saint; therefore all of Nehru’s descendants are the most eligible to rule, especially those with the Gandhi last name.
Now you have a country of nearly 1.4 billion people, the vast majority of whom believe that whatever Gandhi said or did was true, and beautiful, and moral. You want to justify what you want to do? Just proclaim that it is what Gandhi would do — and you are guaranteed popular acceptance by a few hundred million Indians. It’s the Indian counterpart of the Christian WWJD — what would Jesus do.
No politician worth his salt would ever dare declare that Gandi’s prescriptions for humanity — not just India — to be mistaken. As they say in one major monotheistic creed, you may critisize the monothestic GOD if you wish but you dare not critisize his prophet. (There is a great Urdu saying to that effect.)
Gandhi is the holiest of the holy cows that a great majority of Indians have been taught to revere. Politicians, Indians quite readily agree, are not perfect but there is one politician who is perfect, and that is Gandhi. I should take that back: politicians are not perfect but Gandhi, people think, is perfect because he was not a politician.
The sad fact is that Gandhi was the consummate politician. The perfect criminal is one who is never caught. The perfect politician is one who avoids the label politician. Gandhi was nothing if not the perfect politician. He cloaked his ambition in self-abnigating rhetoric, and he did that perfectly because he understood his audience perfectly.
In this piece, I wish to explore the matter of Gandhi’s megalomania and the devastation that has engendered. The evil that men do lives after them, as the Bard of Avon so succinctly put in Mark Anthony’s mouth. Gandhi’s evil has condemned hundreds of millions to a miserable life and an early death. It is not easy to realize that in all of human history, Gandhi’s ideology has been responsible for more misery than the easily recognizable monsters such as Stalin, Mao and Hitler.
Did Gandhi intend the harm that he caused? Perhaps not. Maybe he was well-intentioned. It is most likely that he did not really mean harm. But a toxic combination of power and arrogance is in its effect indistinguishable from intentional malice. The death of an innocent or the deaths of a billion innocents is a fact that cannot be justified by saying that the murderer did not actually intended to kill but was intent on saving them from god’s wrath.
I think Gandhi will be remembered long after all the minor players in the political arena are long forgotten. I think that centuries hence, humanity would have forgotten its biggest benefactors — “Borlaugh? Who is that? Fleming? Never heard of the guy” — but it will be a long time before humanity forgets the monsters they know. And it will be even longer for humanity to forget the monsters they didn’t know existed because they are the real monsters.
Gandhi, as I will argue next, is the most evil person who has ever lived so far. He is more evil because he is considered to be good.
In commenoration of Gandhi’s date of birth today, I will raise a glass of premium Scotch. Why? Because it’s a “dry day” in India. What’s that, you ask? Well, it’s a day when the poor cannot buy alcohol in India but if you are rich, and can rent a room at a 5-star hotel in India, then you can order all the booze you want as room service. Gandhi, apparently, disapproves of alcohol but makes an exception for the rich.
This is a family-rated blog. So I really cannot use what I consider to be appropriate language to describe the man. That is why I have used mild language.
More to come. In the next bit I will explore Gandhi’s idiocy related to economics. Or maybe his unhealthy fascination with matters sexual. I know a bit about economics. About sexual psychology, I know next to nothing. But even then I can tell that Gandhi was a sexual deviant and that could explain why he was such a disaster. I cannot but wonder if there’s a parallel between Gandhi and a famous originator of a monotheistic creed — both obssessed with the old in-n-out. Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.
I think I will leave the economics bit for later. For the next bit, I will focus on the sex bit. Not to worry, I will make sure that it is all G-rated. It will be fun. As they say on social media, please forward this to everyone.
Next up: Mohandas K. Gandhi — The Sexual Pervert. And then, Mohandas K. Gandhi — The Economics Retard. And then, Mohandas K. Gandhi — The Megalomaniac.
On the back burners: why a reform of the education policy will help Indians; and continuation of an essay on poverty. Stay tuned, as they say in the radio business.
 In June 2007, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution declaring 2nd October as the International Day of Non-Violence.
 A January 2016 article published in India Today says this:
Most Indian history text books about the freedom struggle are dominated by the role played by the non-violent movement of Mahatma Gandhi. Ahinsa and Satyagraha are the shining ideals that are central to the idea of how India won its hard fought freedom. But was India’s freedom gained entirely by the non-violent struggle of Mahatma Gandhi and was there no contribution of the use of force?
… In 1956, Clement Attlee had come to India and stayed in Kolkata as a guest of the then governor. Remember, Clement Richard Attlee was the man, who as leader of the Labour Party and British Prime Minister between 1945 and 1951, signed off on the decision to grant Independence to India.
PB Chakraborthy was at that time the Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court and was also serving as the acting Governor of West Bengal. He wrote a letter to the publisher of RC Majumdar’s book, A History of Bengal. In this letter, the Chief Justice wrote, “When I was acting Governor, Lord Attlee, who had given us independence by withdrawing British rule from India, spent two days in the Governor’s palace at Calcutta during his tour of India. At that time I had a prolonged discussion with him regarding the real factors that had led the British to quit India.”
Chakraborthy adds, “My direct question to Attlee was that since Gandhi’s Quit India movement had tapered off quite some time ago and in 1947 no such new compelling situation had arisen that would necessitate a hasty British departure, why did they had to leave?”
“In his reply Attlee cited several reasons, the principal among them being the erosion of loyalty to the British crown among the Indian army and Navy personnel as a result of the military activities of Netaji,” Justice Chakraborthy says.
That’s not all. Chakraborthy adds, “Toward the end of our discussion I asked Attlee what was the extent of Gandhi’s influence upon the British decision to quit India. Hearing this question, Attlee’s lips became twisted in a sarcastic smile as he slowly chewed out the word, m-i-n-i-m-a-l!”