Sunday, 16 April 2017

Gandhiji, and Myths on Partition

"Make no mistake about it. Mahatma Gandhi is the greatest Indian of the twentieth century and perhaps of the last several centuries.
Yes, Ambedkar did speak against him. Arundhati Roy, a person suffering from intellectual schizophrenia, does speak against him. But pitted against them is a phalanx of great scholars, humanists, intellectuals, scientists, politicians and statesmen who spoke and still speak in favour of him. They did and do speak with reason and conviction.
The phalanx will prevail"

Niranjan Sukhlecha Except for the massacre unleashed on partition.
Aparna Krishnan the decision on partition was a very complex phenomenon with multiple players. Anyway every human being has being has made errorsm and one looks always at the larger perspective he or she bequeths.
Sethuraman Pasupathy i thought Gandhi was against partition all along and had to give in when Jinnah and Nehru rejected every proposal given for non-partition.
Aparna Krishnan but everyone visits this on him !!
Niranjan Sukhlecha True Aparna Krishnan but maybe here lies the crucial difference in #gandhi and #ambedkar statesmanship.
Mark Johnston The British Empire created partition in Ireland, in Palestine, in South Africa and in many other places. The logic was that if they set people to fight each other they will not be in a position to mount an effective economic or military challenge to the Empire. They were (and are) experts in exploiting differences in order to ferment hatred and violence within communities and countries. In my view to place the blame for the violence of partition not on the machinations of Empire, the ambition of some leaders and the individuals who were violent but on Gandhi seems to fly in the face of reason.
Aparna Krishnan but they all do Mark Johnston !! and now hating gandhi is the fashion among many indian modern intellectuals. Trend setter is one arundathi ray.
Aparna Krishnan Niranjan Sukhlecha everything apart  ?
Niranjan Sukhlecha I meant, apart of the role of the Britishers??
Vijayvithal Jahagirdar People who blame Gandhi for partition should revisit history. 
The first official resolution demanding partition was passed in 1942 by a coalition government between Savarkar's Hindu Mahasabha and Jinnah's Muslim league in sindh.
Savarkar's followers tried to assassinate Gandhi 8+ time since 1930's when they finally succeeded in 1948 the excuse given was, "Gandhi did not stop partition"
Hariharan Sukumar From the time (1945 circa) that the leaders were certain that India will get freedom...Gandhi was neglected, when Gandhi wanted our economy to be village based very few of them accepted. All that changed after independence is a brown started ruling us instead of a white..So the odds that Gandhi engineered partition is not right..Might be a propaganda of right wing terrorists
Aparna Krishnan Why are the current style of 'liberals' vying in criticizing Gandhi ? Rightwing of course killed him, and their hatred is known. The 'modern liberal' hatred ?
Hariharan Sukumar Aparna Krishnan its is simple because, Gandhi's village centric principles are against their pomp and glory style of governance. In Gandhi's model 'H' word is central whereas for liberals 'D' word is important.
Hariharan Sukumar Between I am not sure.. Please throw me some light.. Is it true that Netaji had left leaning.. If that's true..
Aparna Krishnan There may be deeper psycological reasons. Gandhi made us look into the mirror. I have realized that today there is nothing people seem to hate more. I have also wondered about the H/D word. Why have those come to mean so much ?
Jagannath Chatterjee If we could have followed his precription for developed we would have been healthy, wealthy (in many ways), and wise.
Hemal Thakker It's easy to sit and hate Gandhi, it's amazing what one man can do, inspiring not only a nation but generations. I was brought up looking upto the likes of Nelson Mandela who in turn was inspired by the life of Gandhi. I would say Mahatma in the truest sense of the word 
Gayathri Nair Perhaps it is indeed true that we can "scarce believe that such a one as this walked this earth", for we earnestly seek to uncover some significant flaw in him that we may find him more believable.
Mohammad Chappalwala Sounds like we cannot do any balsphemy against this indian: 'the' prophet and saviour of all that is India
Aparna Krishnan i did not follow.
Aparna Krishnan the flavour of the day is to abuse him !
Mohammad Chappalwala Yes i know, but we can also read others who are basing some arguments on facts
Mohammad Chappalwala now arundhati writes a lot of other good "antinational" stuff, by calling her a Intellectual schizophrenia, we are washing away all that other hard work too
Mohammad Chappalwala again if you read her she makes a lot of sense and also add that at times Gandhi took positions which he later reversed. and the quotes are from his own writing
Mohammad Chappalwala Even you are in praise of the perfect brahmin, i dont want a perfect brahmin to be poor and keeper of knowledge
Mohammad Chappalwala so yes there are issues with some of Gandhi's ideas and some are very good.
Mohammad Chappalwala so forget about labelling people, lets talk about ideas
Niranjan Sukhlecha .....and so we meet, Mohammad Chappalwala ji
Saksham Singh Mohammad don't you feel one doesn't have to be right all the time and should have the freedom to reposition ?
Mohammad Chappalwala Yes, one should. in what context is your question posed
Saksham Singh Mohammad my context is that Gandhiji changed his positions because he realised that there is no harm in being wrong....
Aparna Krishnan And in attacks on Gandhi, many times, selective quoteing in done - not referancing his change of positions. Roy has done that in many place - intentionally, or out of ignorence.
Aparna Krishnan [Gandhi’s] duality allowed him to support and be supported by big industry and big dams
as well (49).
To this assertion, Roy appends a long endnote, where she claims that ‘Gandhi’s approach to big 
dams is revealed in a letter (5 April 1924) in which he advised  villagers who faced displacement by the Mulshi Dam, then being built by the Tatas to generate electricity, . . . to give up their protest’ (151–152).

What are the facts? Roy omits a salient one, which is that three years earlier, in April 1921, when displaced villagers first started their satyagraha against what was then only a proposed dam,
Gandhi had penned a biting, if also courteously worded, challenge to the Tatas in his journal, Young India:
I wish the great house of the Tatas, instead of standing on their legal rights, will reason with the people themselves, and do whatever they wish in consultation with them . . .
What is the value of all the boons that the Tata scheme claims to confer on India, if it is to be at the unwilling expense of even one poor man?
I dare say the problem of disease and poverty can be easily solved, and the survivors will live in luxury, if the three-crore half-starved men and women, and lakhs of the decrepit humanity, were shot and their bodies utilized for manure . . . And yet nobody but a lunatic will put up such a suggestion. Is the case any weaker when men and women are not to be shot but  compulsorily disposed of their valued lands, [around] which sentiment, romance and all that makes life worth living, have grown up?
I suggest to the custodians of the great name that they would more truly advance India’s interests if they will defer to the wishes of their weak and helpless countrymen (27 April 1921; CW 20: 40–41).
The Tatas went ahead nonetheless. In less than a year, Gandhi on his part was sent to prison – not for his views on the Mulshi dam, but for sedition against the King of England. By the time he was released, the dam was half-completed, and as Gandhi put it in the letter that Roy does quote in her endnote, ‘the vast majority’ of displaced villagers had accepted compensation. Moreover, the leader of the still-continuing satyagraha was not, in Gandhi’s view, committed to nonviolence. 
Stating all this, Gandhi advised that the satyagraha be dropped.
Whether or not this advice was sufficiently pro-peasant or sufficiently anti-dam is a fair question, which may elicit a variety of answers. (It would also call for genuine research.) Yet, Roy’s suppression of Gandhi’s remarkably strong and public words to the Tatas regarding the Mulshi dam disqualifies her as a judge, while also obliging us to be hugely sceptical when, elsewhere in the text, Roy suggests that Gandhi was soft with the Tatas.

Perhaps I am mistaken here. Perhaps Roy was ignorant of Gandhi’s tough words to the Tatas, even though the words have been available for decades in the public domain. Indeed, blemishes in ‘The Doctor and the Saint’ frequently make one wonder whether its author has, in fact, studied Gandhi.
Aparna Krishnan He had his faults. Which human did not. There were certianly problems he had, which need to be understood in totality. But the present article that stylishly dismiss him I find silly. Yes, i also would have not used that adjective, but as it is a quote I let it be.
Aparna Krishnan I have differences with some of Roy's writings, though she has certianly made some good articles. But her 'Doctor and Saint' is half baked and somehow she seems to neither understand Gandhi or the doctor or india, i am sorry.
Aparna Krishnan Mohammad Chappalwala. this was a good response from Rajmoham G then. Would interest you.
Aparna Krishnan I like the points, and also the tone of the article. "Since what Arundhati Roy says carries weight with several good people, I thought it necessary to point out some of the flaws in her attacks on Gandhi. Before doing so, I should, of course, acknowledge that Gandhi merits criticism, including on some of the points underlined by Arundhati Roy.
Though he constantly asked caste Hindus to repent for the great sins of untouchability and caste superiority, he only rarely led or encouraged direct struggles for Dalit rights, whereas he led and
triggered a large number of direct battles for Indian independence. During his South African phase, he struggled for Indian rights, not directly for black rights. These are undeniable – if also well-known – truths, and Roy has every right to reiterate them, even if Gandhi had his reasons for choosing certain priorities at different times in his life. ... "
Niranjan Sukhlecha Aparna Krishnan some lapses here and there do not take away from the astounding role the man (Gandhi ji) played in leading #india to it's destiny.
Aparna Krishnan Of course there are lapses. That is human inheritence.
Hemal Thakker It's just appalling that people focus more on negatives, look at what the man has done instead, pull off even 5% of that first..
Aparna Krishnan Hemal Thakker i have always felt so also. Now I am beginning to feel that some people are just negative. Its their problem, rather than gandhiji's.
Rajesh Pandey Why this comparison of two great sons of India ? It is totally avoidable in today's times, when plain discussions lead to hard feelings and bitterness.
Aparna Krishnan Well Roy tabled her book. I suspect simply for her image building and popularity ratings, because I do not see the book as a very deeply thought out search for truth and understanding. Having said that, these were two giants, both with the deepest commitment, who have had some deep differences. And I think an understanding is in order even on this late day.

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