There is a Latin saying, de mortuis nihil nisi bonum , which can be roughly translated as: ‘thou shalt not speak ill of the dead’. The dead can’t defend, so the living should give the dead, the benefit of doubt. But if the finger of suspicion has raised against one of the national icons of India, Mahatma Gandhi, The Indian Government has a responsibility to either clear M.K. Gandhi’s name or bring to light one of the great treacheries played on Indians by the British Government.
Since Independence, the Congress led national Government needed Mahatma Gandhi for two obvious reasons. Gandhi represented Indian National Congress’s struggle for independence and secondly the Nehru family gained enormously from the Gandhi surname. If Gandhiji’s name is tarnished, the Gandhi’s will lose their political appeal.
Was Gandhi a British Agent? There are many unanswered questions and it is time Indians find an answer for those questions.
Gandhiji in South Africa
If we examine Gandhi’s activities in South Africa, no honest eye can deny the fact that Gandhi worked for the British and not against the British, which had endeared him to the British intelligence agencies there. Naturally the British would have thought that Gandhi could be better used in India than in South Africa. In South Africa, Gandhiji co-operated with the British in many ways. Critics may say that Gandhiji was trying to create a distinct identity for Indians which is more aligned with the British than the native black population.
Gandhiji in South Africa
(a)During the Boer War, Gandhi volunteered in 1900 to form a group of stretcher-bearers as the Natal Indian Ambulance Corps. Gandhi raised eleven hundred Indian volunteers. They were trained and medically certified to serve on the front lines. Gandhi and thirty-seven other Indians received the War Medal.
(b)In 1906, when the British declared war against the Zulu Kingdom in Natal, Gandhi encouraged the British to recruit Indians. He argued that Indians should support the war efforts to legitimise their claims to full citizenship.
Meanwhile in India, the Independence movement was getting increasingly violent. Naturally Gandhi was a perfect candidate for the British to lead Indian Independence Movement.
Question Number 1 – Gandhi returned from South Africa in 1915. Within 6 years of his arrival back to India, in 1921, he assumed the leadership of Indian National Congress. Did the British plant him at the top post?
Gandhiji and Madeline Slade
In 1925, Madeline Slade, daughter of Rear-Admiral Sir Edmond John Warre Slade, Director of Naval Intelligence, arrived in India to live with Mahatma Gandhi. Madeline Slade later changed her name to Mira Behn, and even accompanied Gandhi to London for the Round Table Conference.
Question No. 2 – Was she (Mira Behn) sent by the British intelligence to have full control on Gandhi?
Gandhiji and Subhas Chandra Bose
Subhas Chandra Bose leader of the radical, wing of the INC became Congress President in 1938 and 1939. That was the time Gandhi feared to lose control of INC and subsequently his upper hand on Indian Independence movement. Gandhi acted and ensured the ouster of Subhas Chandra Bose. Bose was subsequently placed under house arrest by the British before escaping from India in 1940. During the power struggle, Subhas Chandra Bose fell seriously ill, there were allegations that Gandhi had a hand in it too.
Question No3. Was Gandhi working in congestion with the British?
Gandhiji and Bhagat Singh
In 1931 Gandhiji was criticised from all quarters for not lifting his finger to secure the commutation of the execution of three freedom fighters Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru. Soon after the executions Gandhi had to face demonstrators in the Karachi session of the Congress. Demonstrators were shouting slogans of “Gandhi go back”, “Down with Gandhism”, “Gandhi’s truce has sent Bhagat Singh to the gallows”, and “Long Live Bhagat Singh”.
Question No 4. – Can we justify Gandhiji’s reluctance to help the trio purely based on his opposition to the use of violence?
Gandhiji and Divisive politics
Recently Justice Markandey Katju in his blog has raised a serious question on Gandhiji’s integrity. His Blog Post goes on like this
“This post is bound to draw a lot of flak at me, but that does not matter as I am not a popularity seeker I have often said things knowing that initially that will make me very unpopular, and I will be vilified and denounced by many. Nevertheless I say such things as I believe they must be said in my country’s interest. I submit that Gandhi was objectively a British agent who did great harm to India.”
“These are my reasons for saying this: 1. India has tremendous diversity, so many religions, castes, races, languages, etc
Realizing this the British policy was of divide and rule, by constantly injecting religion into politics continuously for several decades, Gandhi furthered the British policy of divide and rule.
If we read Gandhi’s public speeches and writings ( e.g. in his newspapers ‘Young India’, ‘ Harijan ‘, etc ) we find that ever since Gandhi came to India from South Africa in 1915 or so till his death in 1948, in almost every speech or article he would emphasize Hindu religious ideas e.g. Ramrajya, Go Raksha ( cow protection ), brahmacharya ( celibacy ), varnashram dharma ( caste system
Thus Gandhi wrote in ‘ Young India ‘ on 10.6.1921 ” I am a Sanatani Hindu. I believe in the varnashram dharma. I believe in protection of the cow “. In his public meetings the Hindu bhajan ‘ Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram ‘ would be loudly sung.
Now Indians are a religious people, and they were even more religious in the first half of the 20th century. A sadhu or swamiji may preach such ideas to his followers in his ashram, but when they are preached day in and day out by a political leader, what effect will these speeches and writings have on an orthodox Muslim mind ? It would surely drive him towards a Muslim organization like the Muslim League, and so it did. Was this not serving the British policy of divide and rule? By constantly injecting religion into politics for several decades, was Gandhi not objectively acting as a British agent? “
Question No.5 – Was Gandhiji furthering British Policy of Divide and rule?
Gandhiji and Nehru
Gandhiji and Nehru
Gandhi found an ally in Nehru, who had the heart of the British. Gandhi favoured Nehru over Vallabhai Patel to lead an independent India.
Question No. 6 – Was Gandhi acting on behalf of the British, driving the final nail on India?
Author : Rajesh B.A