Shouldn't Mohan Das Karamchand Gandhi be Assessed?

Is it wrong to try to assess correctly Mohan Das Karamchand Gandhi, the so-called father of the Indian nation-State? Is Mohan Das Karamchand Gandhi a super human being who must not at all be assessed?

The correct assessment about any historical figure is generally possible only by the posterity and not their contemporaries. The contemporaries are more likely to be biased or prejudiced in their judgments owing to superfluous factors like a sense of awe and deep respect for the contemporary historical figures or a sense of animosity towards them. But, the succeeding generations generally tend to be free from such emotional or sentimental hangovers and as such are in a much better position to see the plus and minus points of a gone-by-era-personality.


The above passage applies aptly to all those who had fought to gain India the freedom from the British yoke. In the period following India's Independence in 1947, Mohan Das Karamchand Gandhi was viewed in a preferential mode of assessment and made larger than life by his contemporaries and followers. But, now more than 60 years down the line, most Indians are in a more informed position to make an unbiased and dispassionate opinion on the Indian freedom fighters in the light of the cold facts and not any other superfluous considerations.

The factual reality is that any textbook history could easily have accommodated diverse strands of Indian history. But, the emotional or sentimental hangovers favouring Mohan Das Karamchand Gandhi coupled with the ruling Indian National Congress' anxiety to perpetuate its own rule in India, trying to imprint the impressionable young minds by eulogizing only Mohan Das Karamchand Gandhi's role, ensured that Mohan Das Karamchand Gandhi was given the status of a cult figure in the text-book history in India.

Bhagat Singh has been derided as having been wildly optimistic in believing that a few violent protests would cause revolution in India. But, Mohan Das Karamchand Gandhi was no better on this count either! Despite all his pretensions of non-violence, Mohan Das Karamchand Gandhi launched the "Do or Die", "British Quit India" movement of 1942 which did not succeed in dislodging the British from India immediately.

So, Mohan Das Karamchand Gandhi too could be said to have been too wildly optimistic in believing that a "Do or Die" kind of movement would ignite Indians to send the British quickly out of India. India had to wait for the freedom till 1947 when the British had to quit India mainly on their own due to the weakening of the British Empire by the World War II.

Mohan Das Karamchand Gandhi is praised for having created awareness instead of making grand proclamations. Bhagat Singh had precisely only tried to create awareness amongst Indians about their mass passivity and fatalism by throwing the bomb in the Assembly Hall. Despite Bhagat Singh knowing full well that he [Bhagat Singh] might be finished by the British, he [Bhagat Singh] did not run away! If he [Bhagat Singh] wished, he [Bhagat Singh] could have run away. Morever, his [Bhagat Singh's] intention was not to kill any one, rather it was to make the deaf British rulers hear the Indian aspirations for the freedom.

Mohan Das Karamchand Gandhi could not turn the adversity into advantage. He failed miserably. The net result was that he [Mohan Das Karamchand Gandhi] could not prevent the partition of India which in turn resulted into the killings of millions of innocents in the ensuing Hindu-Muslim religious riots in 1947. Thus, Mohan Das Karamchand Gandhi could be said to have given the Indian subcontinent long-term instability in terms of the two independent nation-States of India and Pakistan who have fought three bitter wars worse than the civil war!

Also, he [Mohan Das Karamchand Gandhi] could not handle Mohammed Ali Jinnah who saw to it that an independent Muslim-dominated nation-State of Pakistan was created to assuage his [Mohammed Ali Jinnah's] hurt ego that had been caused by Mohan Das Karamchand Gandhi himself only by giving undue attention to Jawaharlal Nehru as compared with Mohammed Ali Jinnah. This despite the stark fact that Gopal Krishana Gokhale, the Political Guru of Mohan Das Karamchand Gandhi himself had earlier declared Mohammed Ali Jinnah to be the ambassador of the Hindu-Muslim unity!

So, it's fully clear that Mohan Das Karamchand Gandhi had created successfully the incentives for Mohammed Ali Jinnah for the later to call for a separate independent Pakistan!

The above discussed historical facts prove wrong the assumption that Mohan Das Karamchand Gandhi was perhaps the only visionary. Subhash Chander Bose was perhaps the biggest of all these visionaries. He understood and internalized well the British rulers' contemporary international strengths and weaknesses. Although the killings of the innocent Jews by Hitler is unjustified yet realizing that "a Foe's enemy is a friend", Subhash Chander Bose took Hitler's help against the British and almost had knocked out the British through the North-East India, militarily.

Despite having been denied the presidentship of the Indian National Congress by Mohan Das Karamchand Gandhi, Subhash Chander Bose proved to be a visionary in the sense that he [Subhash Chander Bose] perhaps realized the shaky/tricky superfluously non-violence oriented Mohan Das Karamchand Gandhi to be the only main obstacle to his military advance against the British and understood excellently Mohan Das Karamchand Gandhi's "inflated insatiable ego" to appease whom only he [Subhash Chander Bose] addressed him [Mohan Das Karamchand Gandhi] as "the father of the nation."

Expectedly, like all true narcissistic individuals, Mohan Das Karamchand Gandhi mellowed on listening to these flattering words from Subhash Chander Bose, his political arch-foe.

Karanjia, the well-known editor of the Blitz, is once said to have termed Mohan Das Karamchand Gandhi to be a confused person. Aurobindo Ghosh, one of the great saints of India, had once expressed his exasperation with Mohan Das Karamchand Gandhi's confused personality by asking sarcastically what Mohan Das Karamchand Gandhi actually was trying to achieve!

It is a mockery of the process of the logical and healthy discussion to deride those [being able to assess Mohan Das Karamchand Gandhi correctly] as being those accepting the celluloid and comic book versions of the past as the hidden reality or as lacking in patience with the historical rigour.

The factual reality is that the people/interests used-to having seen Mohan Das Karamchand Gandhi as the only visionary among many patriots seem to be unable to come to terms with the today's Indians being able to deconstruct and demystify the myth constructed around Mohan Das Karamchand Gandhi.

Finally, to be fair to the dictates of a healthy and logical discussion, it is certainly true to say that Mohan Das Karamchand Gandhi does not deserve to be mocked, but a healthy debate about Mohan Das Karamchand Gandhi need not be misconstrued as a plain gross mockery of Mohan Das Karamchand Gandhi. The undeniable truth is Mohan Das Karamchand Gandhi remains one of the greatest political sons and daughters ever produced by the Indian subcontinent. He [Mohan Das Karamchand Gandhi] did his best in his own ways whatever he thought fit and best to serve India.

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