Former Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday stirred yet another controversy when he asserted that the father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi, was always accompanied by two to three women. Rahul Gandhi brought up the matter of Gandhi’s ‘experiments’ with young women at his ashram to criticise RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat.
Addressing a meeting organised by the All India Mahila Congress, Rahul Gandhi said, “When you see (Mahatma) Gandhi’s picture, you’ll see 2-3 women around him. Have you seen a picture of Mohan Bhagwat with any woman? That’s because their organisation suppresses women our organisation give them a platform.”
When you see (Mahatma) Gandhi’s picture, you’ll see 2-3 women around him. Have you seen a picture of Mohan Bhagwat with any woman? That’s because their org suppresses women&our org give them a platform. Modi-RSS didn’t make any woman PM of the country, Congress made: Rahul Gandhi pic.twitter.com/F19EMLIENV— ANI (@ANI) September 15, 2021
Gandhi made the remarks in his attempt to paint the Congress party as an organisation working towards the empowerment of women while simultaneously casting the RSS as a body averse to the female gender.
But the controversial remarks made by Gandhi for the father of the nation sparked a furore on Twitter, with many users wondering what Rahul Gandhi meant when he said Mahatma Gandhi was always in the company of two to three women.
Social media users wonder what Rahul meant by saying Gandhi was always chaperoned by women
One of the Twitter users questioned if Rahul Gandhi was praising Mahatma Gandhi or Mohan Bhagwat by insinuating that the father of the nation enjoyed the companionship of women.
@RahulGandhi said:-— Manoranjan Sahoo (@mano_soham) September 15, 2021
“When you see (Mahatma) Gandhi’s picture, you’ll see 2-3 women around him. Have you seen a picture of Mohan Bhagwat with any woman?”
Is he actually praising Mahatma or Mohan Bhagwat?
Another Twitter user asked if Rahul Gandhi insinuated that Gandhi ji was a womaniser as he always had women around him.
Does @RahulGandhi mean that Mahatma Gandhi is a womaniser and always he had women around him? That is what one can infer from his statement. Ufffdd https://t.co/HoeqWjlxy3— V Ramesh🇮🇳 (@VRameshV_) September 15, 2021
Popular RSS ideologue Ratan Sharda also reacted to Rahul Gandhi’s faux pas, thanking God that Mohan Bhagwat did not behave as the Gandhi scion alluded. He further added that while the Congress party swept under the rug the Gandhi experiments, Rahul Gandhi seems to love them.
Thank God that Bhagwat ji is not seen moving like what #RahulGandhi alludes. While Congress has swept these Gandhi experiments under carpet, this Nehru scion loves them. 😂— Ratan Sharda 🇮🇳 रतन शारदा (@RatanSharda55) September 15, 2021
Please leave Gandhi ji alone.😷🙏 https://t.co/ACKNHbHEuE
Rahul Gandhi’s comment brings under spotlight Gandhi’s experiments with celibacy
Intriguingly, Rahul Gandhi’s comment about Mahatma Gandhi being always chaperoned by women has brought under the spotlight the well known but little-discussed aspect of Gandhi’s life: his experiments with celibacy. Though widely known, this unflattering aspect of Gandhi’s life, which involves shocking experiments undertaken to test his sexual resolve, has meticulously been swept under the rug by his supporters and the Congress party.
But Rahul’s remarks have inevitably brought to light the controversial practices followed by Gandhiji.
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi had strong views on sex, and he often gave detailed instructions to his followers on this subject. His views on sex were not very popular, which was described as “abnormal and unnatural” by India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.
Gandhi was married with Kasturba at the age of 13, not unusual for his time. They led a normal married life, who had four sons. Later in life, Gandhi had written how he had lustful feelings for his wife. “Even at school I used to think of her, and the thought of nightfall and our subsequent meeting was ever haunting me,” he wrote in his autobiography. He had written that he always wanted to teach his illiterate wife, but he could not find time due to his lustful love. His thoughts on sex had completely changed later in his life, and he felt ashamed of his life with his wife before he started his public life.
Gandhi presided over a series of experiments that would not be acceptable in today’s era. He had set up ashrams where he conducted his experiments, where boys and girls were to bath together, sleep together. But they were to maintain chastity, they would be punished if there were any sexual talks. The rules of ashram had forbidden married couples living in the ashram to sleep together, and Gandhi had advised that the husbands should not be alone with their wives. When they felt passion, they should take a cold bath, he had further advised.
Rules were different for Gandhi himself, who had started to surround himself with women to challenge his sexual abstinence. In the 1920s, Gandhi had started resting his hand on the shoulders of young women during his morning and evening walks, whom he had jokingly referred to as his walking sticks. His grandnieces Abha and Manu were his regular ‘walking sticks’. After this, he had started elaborate daily massage performed by young women in the ashram. The massage was followed by taking bath, helped and accompanied by his female attendants.
As time progressed, Gandhi’s experiments also had progressed, which now involved young women sleeping with Gandhi, naked. Initially, it was merely a sleeping arrangement, but soon became a part of his experiments. This was his method of attaining the nirvana state of perfect Brahamacharya, to maintain abstinence while sleeping next to attractive young women without clothes. Apart from Sushila, his grandnieces Abha and Manu were his regular sleeping companion, along with other women in his Ashram.
Considering the experiments Gandhi ji undertook with his women companion, one cannot help but wonder if Rahul Gandhi wanted RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat to imitate Mahatma Gandhi and treat women the way he did.
Rahul Gandhi makes sexist remarks against women in his bid to attack the RSS
As such, Rahul has displayed time and again he has little regard for the sensitivities of women. In 2017, in his bid to attack the RSS, Gandhi scion made a sexist jibe at women.
Gandhi, while addressing a rally in poll-bound Gujarat, said that BJP is oppressing women who raise their voices.
He then asked the audience if they have ever seen women in Shakhas (of RSS) wearing shorts. “I have never seen them wear shorts,” Gandhi said.