Today is also Mohandas K. Gandhiji’s birthday. A mass leader of extraordinary calibre who,with the Congress made a significant contribution to the freedom movement.
However,his birthday is the right time to dissect him dispassionately,count his pluses and minuses. Here they are
He was essentially a politician. A politician has to do wheeling and dealing and can never be a saint. The aura of sainthood that surrounds him is due to his deft handling of religion to weld Hindu masses.
His advances in ensuring social justice,especially abolition of
untouchability,are laudable. However,they were confined to Hindus. He never tried to abolish purdah,Teen Talaq or polygamy among Muslims which,as practices,are as hateful as untouchability.
His skills in manipulative politics are unquestionable. But it failed with Jinnah
before whose iron will he bent like putty. He cried,”Vivisect me but not India”,but in the end lamely conceded Pakistan. But he put such skills to good use in elbowing out Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose from the Congress.
He was a total failure in forging Hindu-Muslim unity. Could
prevent neither partition nor the Moplah rebellion nor Calcutta riots nor the Noakhali carnage. All he could do was to prevent Bengali Muslims from leaving West Bengal (thus letting them have the best of both worlds) while Hindus from East Bengal,
driven out by Islamic persecution entered India in hordes and had to live a subhuman life. He even refused to condemn Islamic persecution.
But his worst feature was his sexual experimentation by sleeping naked with young girls while travelling in Noakhali-yechh!
Earl Attlee,
the British Prime Minister who granted independence to India,when asked to what extent his movements were instrumental in driving the British out,said “minimal”. Actually after the INA trials and the Naval Mutiny the British felt they could no longer count on the loyalty of
their Indian troops,and THAT was the reason why they fled India.

All that said,Gandhiji was unquestionably a great leader,one among many such. Pranam.
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