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‘Gandhi’s politics is hollow and noisy, full of treachery and deceit’: Read what Dr Ambedkar said about the ‘Mahatma’

"Treachery and deceit are the weapons of the weak. Gandhi has always used these weapons," said Dr Ambedkar.

A lot of noise is being made over criticism of MK Gandhi after Kalicharan Maharaj’s recent speech at the Raipur Dharma Sansad. The Chhattisgarh government headed by Congress’ Bhupesh Baghel has now arrested Kalicharan and many people are asking an important question. Is MK Gandhi beyond criticism? Why are some political leaders so touchy and indignant about Gandhi being criticised?

Author and scientist Dr Anand Ranganathan today shared some statements written by Dr BR Ambedkar wherein he had criticised MK Gandhi and his style of politics in a not so subtle manner.

Dr Ranganathan questioned those who are demanding the arrest of those criticising Gandhi if they would go after Dr Ambedkar too. While sharing an excerpt from an article Dr Ambedkar wrote about Gandhi, he said, “What Kalicharan Maharaj has said on Gandhi is nothing compared to what Dr Ambedkar had said on Gandhi, a tiny fraction of which I attach as proof. Dear bhakts of Mahatma Gandhi, let me see if you have the guts to go after Babasaheb. Bloody hypocrites.”

The excerpt Ranganathan shared was from the article ‘Is Gandhi A Mahatma?’ Dr Ambedkar wrote for a Marathi Magazine Chittra. It was published in its Dipavali Special Number, J 938. It is also available on page 66 of ‘Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar – Writings and speeches volume 17 part II‘ available on Ministry of External Affairs website.

In the article, Dr Ambedkar talked about how the politics of Gandhi was hollow and noisy. He said, “The politics of Gandhi is hollow and noisy. It is the most dishonest politics in the history of Indian polity. Gandhi was the man responsible for eliminating morality from politics and instead introduced commercialism in Indian politics. Politics has been denuded of its virtue.”

In the 1,800+ word article, Dr Ambedkar extensively talked about why he had a problem with Gandhi being referred to as Mahatma. He said he was sick of the question ‘Is Gandhi a Mahatma’. Explaining why the question annoyed him, he said, “Firstly, I hate all the Mahatmas and firmly believe that they should be done away with. I am of the opinion that their existence is a curse to the nation in which they are born. The reason why I say so is because they try to perpetuate blind faith in place of intelligence and reason. Secondly, I do not know what exactly people understand by the word Mahatma.”

Excerpt from Is Gandhi A Mahatma?’ by Dr Ambedkar from ‘Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar – Writings and speeches volume 17 part II’ Source: mea.gov.in

Explaining how people were referred to as Mahatma in India at that time and how easy it was to become one, Dr Ambedkar said, “It is very easy for anybody to become a Mahatma in India by merely changing his dress. If you are wearing an ordinary dress and leading an ordinary life, even if you perform extraordinary noble deeds, nobody takes any notice of you. But a person who does not behave in normal manner and shows some peculiar trends and abnormalities in his character, he becomes a saint or a Mahatma.”

Excerpt from Is Gandhi A Mahatma?’ by Dr Ambedkar from ‘Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar – Writings and speeches volume 17 part II’ Source: mea.gov.in

Dr Ambedkar said he was not surprised Gandhi became Mahatma in India because people had the tendency to worship those who “discards his clothes, run about naked, grows long hair, abuses people and drinks dirty water from the gutters.” He added, “people fall at his feet and begin to worship him. In these circumstances if Gandhi becomes Mahatma in India there is nothing surprising.” Hinting India was an uncivilised country, Dr Ambedkar said, “Had these things been practised in any other civilised country, people would have laughed at him.”

Dr Ambedkar expressed his confusion why people fussed over Gandhi over the teachings like ‘Satya’ and ‘Ahimsa’ that originally came from Lord Buddha. “Nobody except an ignorant fool or congenital idiot would give credit to Gandhi for originality in this matter. There is nothing new in the pronouncement that ‘Truth and Non-violence’ are necessary for the preservation of human civilisation. There is nothing new that Gandhi has added to the maxim,” he said.

He added Gandhi did not provide answers to many questions regarding in what circumstances the world should uphold the noble principle of ‘truth’ and consider violence a ‘right action’. He said Gandhi’s character leaned more towards cunningness than seriousness or sincerity. “He has managed to keep himself in the forefront by means of cunning and inherent shrewdness. A person who has faith in his capacity and character faces the realities of life in a bold and manly manner,” Dr Ambedkar added.

“Treachery and deceit are the weapons of the weak. Gandhi has always used these weapons,” said Dr Ambedkar. He mentioned how during the Round Table Conference, he promised not to raise any objection against the demands to be tabled by the Depressed Classes. However, as soon as they tabled their demands, he objected to the same. “I call it a betrayal of the people belonging to the Depressed Classes,” Dr Ambedkar said. He added, “He went to the Moslems and told them that he would support their 14 demands if they in turn opposed the demands placed by the representatives of the Depressed Classes. Even a scoundrel would not have done this. This is only one instance of Gandhi’s treachery.”

Excerpt from Is Gandhi A Mahatma?’ by Dr Ambedkar from ‘Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar – Writings and speeches volume 17 part II’ Source: mea.gov.in

He further added how Gandhi, in order to humiliate Nehru, opposed the proposals made to amend the Nehru Committee’s Report during an open session of Congress. He said, “The corrections which were proposed to be made in the Nehru Committee Report were suggested by Mr Jinnah for the benefit of his community. But, when Gandhi came to know about it, he thought a great deal more had been given to the Moslems by Pandit Motilal Nehru than what he wanted In order to humiliate Pt. Motilal Nehru he vehemently opposed these proposals.”

Dr Ambedkar also blamed Gandhi for the hostile relation between Hindus and Muslims. He said, “Hindu-Moslem hostility is the result of the deceitful action on the part of Gandhiji. This immensely pained me. There is an old saying which benefits the occasion (Bagal mein chhurri Munh mein Ram) : ‘God’s name on the lips and dagger under the armpit.’ If such a person can be called a Mahatma, by all means call Gandhi a Mahatma.”

Excerpt from Is Gandhi A Mahatma?’ by Dr Ambedkar from ‘Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar – Writings and speeches volume 17 part II’ Source: mea.gov.in

He added, “The politics of Agarkar and Tilak was based on honesty and truth. It was not hollow and noisy. But the politics of Gandhi is hollow and noisy. It is the most dishonest politics in the history of Indian polity. Gandhi was the man responsible for eliminating morality from politics and instead introduced commercialism in Indian politics. Politics has been denuded of its virtue.”

Dr Ambedkar urged Hindus to find a way to get rid of the pernicious saintly idiosyncracies of Gandhiji in Indian public life. He said, “If the Hindu India does not realise it today, it will take a long time to retrace its steps. Majority of the Indian population is illiterate, ignorant and uncivilised. This may not be the fault of the people. The privileged few of the society have deliberately kept the masses ignorant and illiterate. As a matter of fact it is impossible to fight against the Mahatma on the strength purely of logic and rationalism.”

Dr Ambedkar questioned the saints and mahatmas of that time and equated Gandhi to them. He said they had learned the ways to befool people. He questioned if Hindu would try to change the minds of ‘mahatmas’ so that they try to serve India rather than themselves. 

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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