Gandhi: Your assessment of his character & contribution to winning Indian Independence?

Oct 2015
1,138
India
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was undoubtedly the most revered leader in India from 1920-1948.

His personality was charming & magnetic, all the same enigmatic as well. He inspired worship among most people who were lucky to meet him in person but occasionally repulsion as well.

Some did not agree with his methods of working towards freedom of India, a few going to extent of saying that his contribution to winning freedom for Indian was nil.
 
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Oct 2015
1,138
India
Positives:

On the plus side I remember two incidents about Gandhi documented in Freedom at Midnight by Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre. They write (reproduced from my memory):

Gandhi was tarvelling in a passenger train's Class-III compartment which was scheduled to halt for few minutes at Nagpur Railway Station. Large crowd had gathered at the station to see and hear him. The train chugged into the noisy station milling with people. Gandhi came out and stood at gate of his railway compartment. He raised a finger and instantly the crowd fell silent, there was pin-drop silence in the whole railway station. Such was Gandhi's hold over people of India.

In 1946/1947, Gandhi had gone to visit few villages in Punjab during the bloody partition riots. Whole day, he had travelled bare feet in villages talking to people and telling them to maintain peace. During the return journey to Delhi he was in the car along with Jawaharlal Nehru, the future Prime Minister of India. Both were in the back seat. While the tired, 77-ear old Gandhi lay curled on in the backseat, Nehru had his feet on his lap - and was washing and cleaning them with water/cloth. Such was the devotion of people who knew Gandhi personally.
 
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Oct 2015
1,138
India
Negative Assessments:

All the same, there was a small number of people who had a dislike towards Gandhi. One of the first to admit his dislike and/or frustration was Churchill. At later stage BR Ambedkar also had a few comments which can't be considered as positive.

Many disagreed with the methods Gandhi adopted for working towards freedom of India. Among them was Subhash Chandra Bose. Disapproving comments of BR Ambedkar, Jinnah, and Nathuram Godse are available in public domain.
 
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Sep 2019
13
'Merica
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was undoubtedly the most revered leader in India from 1920-1948.

His personality was charming & magnetic, all the same enigmatic as well. He inspired worship among most people who were lucky to meet him in person but occasionally repulsion as well.

Some did not agree with his methods of working towards freedom of India, a few going to extent of saying that his contribution to winning freedom for Indian was nil.
He was more concerned with appeasing the British or Muslims than fighting them. He undermined democracy causing Nehru to become PM. His way of thinking was weak. Only Gandhian ideals could have led to India's idiotic "no first use" nuclear policy that allowed Pakistan to operate in Kashmir without fear of retaliation.His version of ahimsa is an idioctic philosophy and can only culminate in self starvation leading to death. The British benefited from him because they did not want a repeat of 1857. There were actually a couple of large scale army mutinies after WW1 and WW2. These were probably more persuasive to the British to pack their bags than a starving, self righteous bald vegan who was more of an amusement to his foes than anything else. In addition, he was a racist and a sexual pervert.

Nothing great about him really. It is unfortunate that he was and still is a figurehead in our nation building process.
 
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kandal

Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
2,781
USA
He was more concerned with appeasing the British or Muslims than fighting them. He undermined democracy causing Nehru to become PM. His way of thinking was weak. Only Gandhian ideals could have led to India's idiotic "no first use" nuclear policy that allowed Pakistan to operate in Kashmir without fear of retaliation.His version of ahimsa is an idioctic philosophy and can only culminate in self starvation leading to death. The British benefited from him because they did not want a repeat of 1857. There were actually a couple of large scale army mutinies after WW1 and WW2. These were probably more persuasive to the British to pack their bags than a starving, self righteous bald vegan who was more of an amusement to his foes than anything else. In addition, he was a racist and a sexual pervert.

Nothing great about him really. It is unfortunate that he was and still is a figurehead in our nation building process.
What you have is a collection of all the negatives that could possibly be attributed to Gandhi. All great men in history have controversial personalities and some negatives. Gandhi is no exception. Gandhi's positives way outweigh his negatives. That is why Gandhi is revered not just in India, but all across the globe, and serve as a beacon of hope for all those who suffer from injustice. If one wishes to denigrate Gandhi one would focus on the negatives. Normally people balance the pluses and minuses of a person like Gandhi and come to a totally different conclusion. The biggest plus with Gandhi is that he outsmarted and humbled the most powerful empire on the world with his doctrine of non-violence.

Hindu extremists hate Gandhi. Not a surprise. They hate anyone who doesn't agree with their violent ideology. They killed him. Seeking solutions through violence is the way of the ordinary or shallow minded. Gandhi showed that there is another way to win the same battle - a battle where there are no losers in the end.
 
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Sep 2019
13
'Merica
What you have is a collection of all the negatives that could possibly be attributed to Gandhi. All great men in history have controversial personalities and some negatives. Gandhi is no exception. Gandhi's positives way outweigh his negatives. That is why Gandhi is revered not just in India, but all across the globe, and serve as a beacon of hope for all those who suffer from injustice. If one wishes to denigrate Gandhi one would focus on the negatives. Normally people balance the pluses and minuses of a person like Gandhi and come to a totally different conclusion. The biggest plus with Gandhi is that he outsmarted and humbled the most powerful empire on the world with his doctrine of non-violence.

Hindu extremists hate Gandhi. Not a surprise. They hate anyone who doesn't agree with their violent ideology. They killed him. Seeking solutions through violence is the way of the ordinary minded. Gandhi showed that there is another way to win the same battle - a battle where there are no losers in the end.
He did nothing of the sort. He outsmarted and humbled no one. He was ridiculed in Britian and had no place in geo politics of any sort , really. By contrast, if Indians had been successful in 1857, then things may have been very different for India (in a good way).
 

kandal

Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
2,781
USA
He did nothing of the sort. He outsmarted and humbled no one. He was ridiculed in Britian and had no place in geo politics of any sort , really. By contrast, if Indians had been successful in 1857, then things may have been very different for India (in a good way).
You are wrong. Here is a Gandhi statue in the Parliament square in London, unveiled by the British PM David Cameron:



You are also wrong regarding the Sepoy mutiny of 1857. If the Mutiny were successful, there would be no India today as a united nation. British hadn't even fully finished conquering the subcontinent by then. They also had not put in place unifying institutions either by then. Please read history and learn the basics.
 
Sep 2019
13
'Merica
You are wrong. Here is a Gandhi statue in the Parliament square in London, unveiled by the British PM David Cameron:

You are also wrong regarding the Sepoy mutiny of 1857. If the Mutiny were successful, there would be no India today as a united nation. British hadn't even fully finished conquering the subcontinent by then. They also had not put in place unifying institutions either by then. Please read history and learn the basics.

Haha. There is a thing called lip service. Britain after economically subjugating India and ensuring it never industrializes whilst leeching off its manpower and food supply to fight world wars decides that the most pacifist Indian who ever lived is the greatest one. How convenient for everyone involved!
 

kandal

Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
2,781
USA
Haha. There is a thing called lip service. Britain after economically subjugating India and ensuring it never industrializes whilst leeching off its manpower and food supply to fight world wars decides that the most pacifist Indian who ever lived is the greatest one. How convenient for everyone involved!
You are wrong again. India was not a nation then. India as a unified nation was created by the British. Tata Iron and Steel Company was founded by and established in 1907, and began producing steel in 1912. By 1939, it operated the largest steel plant in the British Empire. It was the Indians who selected Gandhi as their leader, and not the British.
 
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Nov 2014
1,653
Birmingham, UK
Negative Assessments:

All the same, there was a small number of people who had a dislike towards Gandhi. One of the first to admit his dislike and/or frustration was Churchill. At later stage BR Ambedkar also had a few comments which can't be considered as positive.

Many disagreed with the methods Gandhi adopted for working towards freedom of India. Among them was Subhash Chandra Bose. Disapproving comments of BR Ambedkar, Jinnah, and Nathuram Godse are available in public domain.
what did Dr Amerdkar have to say that wasn't positive, Rajeev?