The world knows Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi as ‘Mahatma’- the great soul. A person who gained so much respect that non-violence became synonymous with his name. A figure that represents peace and truth. An entity that became the ‘Father of our Nation’. A soul that is not only venerated in India but also in South Africa and all other places where non-violence is talked about. Our history text books clearly suggest that ‘He’ was the reason why India attained Independence. Every currency note in India has his image printed on it. Examples, stories and legends about this great man inspire us to be someone like him.
But, it is surprising to see that such a great soul had many adversaries. Great people are hated, that’s common, but it’s a principle stand where Gandhi faltered and others brought that to notice. Mahatma Gandhi’s story seems like a case of distorted history. Was he a good man? We don’t know. His image is obviously on the overwhelmingly positive side but, facts state otherwise. There are hidden realities of our supposed ‘hero’ who brought us Independence, using non-violence as a weapon.
The Zulu War: Sgt Major Gandhi-
Gandhi encouraged the British colonial administration in South Africa to recruit Indians to serve in the Bambatha War of 1906. His reason for doing so? Serving the British army to legitimize full citizenship status of Indians living in South Africa. At that time, over 100,000 Indians resided in South Africa and also had a rich spice trade. Gandhi believed that Indians had a separate identity from the native Zulu’s and the British should acknowledge that.
After literally begging for service in the war, the British decided to recruit a few Indian people who would serve as nursing assistants to the ailing soldiers of war. Gandhi wasn’t satisfied, he wanted ‘actual warfare’ but he was never heard. He was later made Sergeant Major. The apostle of peace today had endorsed the war against the Zulu’s and had supported the British.
He is a hero in South Africa because he took a U-turn in his ideologies. He opened the Tolstoy farm from where he initiated propaganda in a peaceful manner to get voting rights for native Blacks. His peaceful movement against the British, whom he had supported few years ago, led to his heroic image. But, the truth comes out breaking the walls of a fortress- due his actions in the War; he never won the Nobel Peace Prize that a man of his stature is supposed to have.
The Irwin Pact-
Terrorists Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev Thapar and Rajguru deserved capital punishment according to the then Viceroy of India, Lord Irwin. Three youngsters had given up their lives for the sake of free skies but now, they were in prison and only Gandhi could get them out. With the long awaited Irwin-Gandhi pact of 1931 yet to be proposed, Gandhi was eager to sign the document. The pact was pro-Congress and anti-National. The agreement was to end the civil disobedience movement and in return the British would free all Congress prisoners and would enable free trade.
The entire nation was requesting, in fact begging at Gandhi’s feet to cancel out capital punishment for the three heroes. In a loss-loss agreement, Gandhi signed the pact without demanding what the whole nation was begging for. Not even a feeble request was made by the ‘Mahatma’. The pact had many benefits for the British so they were very keen to get it signed at any cost. Gandhi didn’t take advantage of this. Rather he chose to walk away while the blood that had endured great sacrifices was about to be hanged.
Our Kind of enemy-
Peaceful in nature or by pretending, we don’t know. But, the British loved Gandhi. So much so that on many occasions they called him, ‘their kind of enemy’. Indian revolutionaries since the Uprising of 1857 had been more than a handful to the British administration. Love for the country and she being ruled by discriminators unleashed a warrior that the Indians preserved. The intention was there, destroy the enemy, but without direction it wasn’t possible. That’s where Gandhi did a favor for the British. His peaceful methods in a scenario like India only delayed the Independence.
To an extent it weakened the revolution. Gandhi knowingly or unknowingly hijacked young minds and directed their energy towards singing bhajans, spinning charkha and selling Khadi. It was eventually the impotency of the British after the Second World War and a widespread navy and military revolt that led to the speeding up of the Independence. Gandhi halt the growth of Indian youth who could have become legends like Bhagat Sing, Udham Singh or Khudiram Bose.
Several books that have exposed the reality of Mohandas Karamcahnd Gandhi have been banned in India. Even the media before independence venerated Gandhi as God and all those media men either worked on British pay roll or under their pressure. It has been evident that Gandhi was a shield rather than a sword for the British. There are more reasons why people hate him and that hatred led to his assassination. But, those reasons can be subjective so, disputed. But, that doesn’t bury the fact that he was never godly, he was just propagated in that manner.