ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Gandhi the Man

This is with reference to the article ‘The Gandhi Everyone Loves to Hate’ (October 4) authored by Vinay Lal. The article not only balances the contradictions in Gandhi’s persona but more importantly, stresses on the “man” Gandhi rather “Mahatma” Gandhi. Not unexpected of a man is to have contradictory views, self- defying notions and incongruency between actions and words. Not unexpected of a man is to have prejudices and an unopen mental framework. But also not expected of a common man is to carry notions so uncommon, to be obsessed with truth and non-violence.

This is with reference to the article ‘The Gandhi Everyone Loves to Hate’ (October 4) authored by Vinay Lal. The article not only balances the contradictions in Gandhi’s persona but more importantly, stresses on the “man” Gandhi rather “Mahatma” Gandhi. Not unexpected of a man is to have contradictory views, self- defying notions and incongruency between actions and words. Not unexpected of a man is to have prejudices and an unopen mental framework. But also not expected of a common man is to carry notions so uncommon, to be obsessed with truth and non-violence. One seldom finds Gandhi giving antagonistic views on truth and non-violence. His sacrifice of national freedom owing to a minor Chauri Chaura incident shows his insecurity but also his rigidity. He gives no second thought once his principle stands vindicated.

Rightly, Gandhi dug his own grave by opening up his life so totally but does it not also show his unabashed faith in truth. Truth and non-violence were for him faultless principles of life. But his prejudiced notions have also brought after effects. A sudden halt to the non-cooperation movement has done India a grave fault for which we are paying till today. And his Experiments with Truth has exposed him to constant criticism. No doubt, he averted a red revolution which could have brought a massacre but at the same time his unmindful decisions bore results later, bringing on a massacre during the Partition. Political opportunists invoking him do not bring him into fault. Echoing him, Hindu fanatical groups call for “Ram Rajya” but at the same time forget his views on the need of temples while demolishing the Babri masjid.

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