These are thoughts on issues of current interest [my comments - as an Indian citizen - within square brackets], including instances of some double standards of our public figures, especially in the construction of Indian identity (all those Macaulayan myths, and the hypocrisy that is Nehruvian secularism) - Krishen Kak
[V'mala 20 enunciated the Nehru-Gandhi Secular Creed, and 21 and 22 showed something of what lay at the basis of the Mahatma's secularism. This offering features an unusual viewpoint:]
"India's Rebirth" by Sri Aurobindo
.....Gandhi is a European - truly, a Russian Christian in an Indian body. And there are some Indians in European bodies!
Gandhi a European!
Yes. When the Europeans say that he is more Christian than many Christians (some even say that he is "Christ of the modern times") they are perfectly right. All his preaching is derived from Christianity, and though the garb is Indian the essential spirit is Christian. He may not be Christ, but at any rate he comes in continuation of the same impulsion. He is largely influenced by Tolstoy, the Bible, and has a strong Jain tinge in his teachings; at any rate more than by the Indian scriptures - the Upanishads or the Gita, which he interprets in the light of his own ideas.
Many educated Indians consider him a spiritual man.
Yes, because the Europeans call him spiritual. But what he preaches is not Indian spirituality but something derived from Russian Christianity......
[Unsurprisingly, the only scriptural quote in The Hindu's 31/1/1948 column-long obituary of the Mahatma is from the Bible]
(A disciple:) Gandhi writes that non-violence tried by some people in Germany has failed because it has not been so strong as to generate sufficient heat to melt Hitler's heart.
I am afraid it would require quite a furnace!.....The trouble with Gandhi is that he had to deal only with Englishmen, and the English want to have their conscience at ease. Besides the Englishman wants to satisfy his self-esteem and wants world-esteem But if Gandhi had had to deal with the Russians or the German Nazis, they would have long ago put him out of their way.....
(A disciple:) Gandhi has offered his help through the Viceroy to the British government and asked the British to lay down their arms and practice non-violence.
He must be a little cracked.
While asking them to lay down their arms, he wants them to keep up their spirit.
And be subjected in practice!.......
[Go to the URL. Sri Aurobindo's opinion of the Mahatma is quite clear (and not just on Hindu-Muslim relations but also on the Mahatma's fasting as coercion, and his dictatorialness) and, since Sri Aurobindo gives reasons and examples, his conclusions in this regard must be considered seriously. Thus, the Mahatma believing non-violence "to be the root of Hinduism" ("The Mahatma and The Hindu, A 125th Anniversary Special Release, n.d., p.3) is an interpretative freedom to which our pluralism entitled him, but it is certainly not the lesson of the dharma (including the Gita).
However, whether the Mahatma suffered dhimmitude, or whether he was a prime example of that missionary-colonial strategy to make us Christians without our knowing it, the effect on India, the consequence for Hindus is the same - he visualised our extermination as a noble ideal (and his chosen Prophet - of whom in the next offering - established it in independent India). No wonder Gandhi called Hitler his "beloved brother". Francois Gautier, who reports this, has an interesting discussion of the Mahatma and concludes, as I do here (but not entirely with the same reasoning), that "ultimately, it must be said that whatever his saintliness...Gandhi did enormous harm to India..."("Rewriting Indian History", New Delhi: India Research Press, 2003:59-60).
The missionary-colonial strategy was summed up by William Wilberforce as Indians "would, in short become Christians, if I may so express myself, without knowing it" - see Dharampal's Introduction in his "The Beautiful Tree: Indigenous Indian Education in the Eighteenth Century" - a must-read for those interested in the reality of pre-British education in India, the construction of Indian identity, and all B.Ed. students. Available from The Other India Press, Mapusa (Goa).]