GANDHI’S RECIPE FOR SELF-DEFENSE – THE PROOF OF PUDDING IS IN THE EATING :
Gandhi had categorically pronounced his views about self-defense and his words need no further clarification. It would be very interesting to observe that Gandhi makes distinction between violence imposed by Muslims and the violence that should be endured by Hindus.In Gandhi’s opinion, Muslims have entitlement to their concept of ‘JIHAD’ and can use violence, force, or warfare as a religious duty. Hindus are not required to offer any kind of resistance if they happen to come under a violent attack. Gandhi had no problem if an Afghan warlord would attack India to defeat the British Raj and had stated that Indians would not oppose that kind of military attack. But, Gandhi had vigorously opposed people like Subhash Chandra Bose and their quest for Freedom by using force. Gandhi had discovered good reasons to condone violence perpetrated by Muslims and had consistently counselled Hindus to accept violence with a sense of cheer and rejoice and to adhere to their spiritual belief in Rebirth.
I had received Gandhi’s pronouncements from Shri. Hari Kak. I give my thanks to him for sharing this information about Gandhi and his role as a leader.
To remember Gandhi on his birth anniversary (born. October 02, 1869, died. January 30, 1948 ), the followers of his views and way of life, may like to read the extent to which he tried to take the Muslims along with him to formulate his leadership role in India’s Independence Movement.
THE KHILAFAT MOVEMENT :
Gandhi returned to India during 1914 with a determination to fight for India’s Independence. With his experience in South Africa, and as a shrewd observer of the ongoing independence movement, he realised that it was Hindu dominated and to make it a success the full participation of the Muslims was essential. To achieve this aim he bent over backwards to appease Muslims and during the last days of his life his efforts went to inexplicable lengths. The Ottoman Caliphate in Turkey was tottering under the French-British attacks and ended with Mustafa Kamal abolishing the institution. But, strangely in India, the Muslims under the leadership of brothers Maulana Mohammed Ali, a cleric and journalist and Maulana Shaukat Ali started the Khilafat Movement. Around 1920, Gandhi joined it along with Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad, an eminent Congressman.
Dr. B R Ambedkar in his voluminous tome ” Pakistan or The Partition of India” has referred to an invitation extended by the Ali brothers,to the Amir of Afghanistan to invade India to wage “jihad” against the British – a horrendous proposition which was supported by Khilafat-besotted Gandhi. C.Y. Chintamani (Editor of ‘The Leader’ of Allahabad) and Rev. C.F. Andrews tried to dissuade Gandhi from supporting the “mad” venture of Ali brothers in seeking Afghan invasion of India. Gandhi’s reaction was “I cannot understand why the Ali Brothers are going to be arrested as the rumours go, and why I am to remain free. They have done nothing which I would not do. If they had sent a message to Amir, I also would send one to inform the Amir that if he came, no Indian so long as I can help it would help the Government to drive him back.”
There was some non-cooperation and protests but by the end of 1924, the Khilafat Movement, as expected, had totally collapsed. Ali brothers blamed Gandhi for the failure of the Khilafat Movement. Maulana Mohammed Ali to whom Gandhi had shown great affection said, : “However pure Mr. Gandhi’s character may be, he must appear to me, from the point of religion, inferior to any Mussalman even though he be without character.” He further emphasised: “Yes, according to my religion and creed, I do hold an adulterous and a fallen Mussalman to be better than Mr Gandhi.” Showing their true colours,the Ali brothers later joined the Muslim League.
THE MOPLAH REBELLION OF 1921 :
Taking a clue from the Khalifat movement the Moplahs ( Mopillas) in Kerala revolted in 1921, against their Hindu landlords and turned it into a killing spree of Hindus of all vocations. Annie Besant stated: “They (Moplahs) murdered and plundered abundantly, and killed or drove away all Hindus who would not apostatise. Somewhere about a lakh (100,000) of people were driven from their homes with nothing but their clothes they had on, stripped of everything. Malabar has taught us what Islamic rule still means, and we do not want to see another specimen of the Khilafat Raj in India.”
As pointed out by Dr. Ambedkar , after the brutal killings of “Kaffirs” during ‘Moplah rebellion’, there was hardly any reaction by Khalifat-oriented Gandhi, or for that matter even Congress Party. They were all praise for Moplahs whom Gandhi even described as “brave people” and condoned their savagery by saying that “they did what was right according to their religion.” These were the early years of Gandhi’s leadership role in India’s Freedom Movement.
GANDHI’S VIEWS ON PARTITION RELATED VIOLENCE OF INDIA : HINDUS MUST DIE WITH A SMILE ON THEIR FACES :
Some of his views on partition are listed below. They defy comprehension:
Prarthana-Pravachan Part I PP 54-8; CWOMG vol 87 pg 394-5
Speech at Prayer Meeting. New Delhi, May 1, 1947
….Jinnah Saheb presides over a great organisation. Once he has Affixed his signature to the appeal, how can even one Hindu be killed at the hands of the Muslims? I would tell the Hindus to face death Cheerfully if the Muslims are out to kill them. I would be a real Sinner if after being stabbed I wished in my last moment that my son Should seek revenge. I must die without rancour. But why in the First place would a Muslim kill at all when he has been asked not to do it?…..
You may turn round and ask whether all Hindus and all Sikhs should die. Yes, I would say. Such martyrdom will not be in vain…..
Muslim slaughter of Hindus was defended by the Mahatma as being that by a “brave and god-fearing people who were fighting for what they consider as religion, and in a manner which they consider as religion” (BR Ambedkar, quoted by Arvind Lavakare). Indeed, the Mahatma said, “Hindus should never be angry against the Muslims even if the latter might make up their minds to undo even their existence” and Hindus “should not be afraid of death. After all, the killers will be none other than our Muslim brothers.” Kindly read the news story at rediff.com, April 16, 2002 (Arvind Lavakare, “Of Sabarmati secularism & non-violence”)