10 Curious Controversies About Mahatma Gandhi


Was He To Blame For The Partition Of India And Pakistan?

Various critics and historians believe that the woes India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh have experienced for the past decades can be blamed solely on Mahatma Gandhi. This is due to his attitude of appeasement and believing that Hindus and Muslims could find a common ground and be reconciled. It was a laudable effort, but some critics believe that such actions were a “boomerang,” letting Muslims come into power and allowing Muhammad Ali Jinnah to claim Pakistan in 1947.

An even more radical view by anti-Muslim critics is that Gandhi’s friendly overtures to Muslims were due to a severe beating he had received years prior. In 1908, an angry mob left him “lying on the floor, looking half-dead . . . his face cut right open through the lip.” Allegedly, this caused him great fear and anxiety, which is why he no longer wished for India to put up a brave fight in the face of partition.

Finally, a rather far-fetched view held by a few conspiracy theorists is that Mahatma Gandhi was an Illuminati pawn. According to this interwoven tale, Gandhi was a Freemason employed by MI6, and his main role was to set up India’s partition. This event was supposed to culminate in a series of conflicts whereby the “New World Order” would set up the “world government” to restore peace. Sound familiar?

Racial Discrimination

A statue to honor Mahatma Gandhi’s contributions to South African society, unveiled in Johannesburg in 2003, triggered a wave of controversy. It was supposed to have represented Gandhi’s opposition to racism and prejudice in the country during his stay there from the late 1800s to the early 1900s. Instead, critics were reminded of the many times Gandhi had actually made racist remarks in public.

Gandhi addressed a public gathering in 1896, saying that Europeans sought to degrade Indians to the level of “raw kaffir”—natives of Africa. “Kaffir” is also a derogatory term considered worse than the N-word. To Gandhi, the only occupation native Africans knew was hunting, their only ambition was to collect cattle to buy a wife, and their only contentment in life was to pass it in “indolence and nakedness.”

Gandhi also considered the natives incredibly lazy, thinking that they were not as hardworking as Indians and that they pretty much avoided work completely. Gandhi fought a prejudicial registration of Indian workers, though he was accepting of the same happening to black people. Gandhi, in many publications, exalted the virtues of his fellow Indians and humiliatingly derided black people at every turn. Gandhi stated that natives gave little benefit to the country and owed their prosperity to Indians. Similarly, he believed that black people were hustling and abusing good citizens, whereas the “better-class Indians” were a lot more respectable.

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