“He ruined the nation.” “He was a nuisance.” “ It’s a good thing he was assassinated.”
This is 90% of the teens talking about the father of our nation, Mahatma Gandhi.
Why do they hate him so? What did he do to make almost all teens despise him?
I asked my friends and got confused and incomplete answers. He was non violent when it was not necessary. He allowed partition of India and Pakistan.
Mahatma Gandhi was born, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi on October 2nd 1869 in Porbandar, Gujarat. His best points were-
- Compassion for all sentient beings.
- Fasting for self purification.
- Mutual tolerance among individuals of different faiths.
We all know Gandhiji as our history textbooks portrayed him to be. A great visionary, leader...a great man. But was he really as great as our textbooks said? Is there something more to him that we were never told about in the books? There is. The mistakes by Gandhiji.
He recruited soldiers for the British army in the world war in expectation that they would be more considerate in granting India freedom. Which- of course- they were not.
He was very strict on his non violent principles, ending many riots simply because they were too violent. It is said many times that he wielded much more power than he could have handle. If he might have encouraged a little violence (as we were at war), we might just had won freedom much earlier.
He chose to let Ali Jinah go ahead with the partition of India and Pakistan, instead of going on a hunger strike to death, which would have surely halted the process.
After the partition, Gandhiji refused to acknowledge Pakistan as an enemy state. He opposed any attacks against Pakistan and went on a hunger strike to force the Indian government to grant 55 crores to them.
At the time of riots, he ordered people to stay where they were, instead of fleeing. He was of the opinion that people should die brave in their motherland, than to live as cowards in a foreign country. He openly criticized these “cowards”.
The main points, the base of all these mistakes (and many more) was a complete lack of realism in the later years of his life. He chose to live in an imaginary world of perfect human beings, instead of facing reality and how humans react to situations.
Gandhiji gave us the greatest weapon the common man could ever have- non violence. But it to be used as a force to oppress unjust practices. Not blackmail the government into acting how one prefers. As he often did.
Non violence won us the freedom. But it was not the only thing that did. Many other factors contributed.
This article is not written to degrade the Mahatma, or his memory. I personally respect him and I know that it’s not easy commanding an entire nation and being in everyone’s good books.
This is just the truth about him, which not everyone knows. And I think, on his birthday, we should acknowledge his good points and his bad points. After all, no one is perfect.
I apologize for any hurt sentiments.