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28 August 2012



Here you will see Gandhi’s racist views towards the blacks.

SUMMARY: To understand Gandhi’s role towards the blacks, one requires a knowledge of Hinduism. Within the constraints, a few words on Hinduism will suffice: The caste is the bedrock of Hinduism. The Hindu term for caste isvarna; which means arranging the society on a four-level hierarchy based on the skin color: The darker-skinned relegated to the lowest level, the lighter-skinned to the top three levels of the apartheid scale called the Caste System. The race factor underlies the intricate workings of Hinduism, not to mention the countless evil practices embedded within. Have no doubt, Gandhi loved the Caste system.

Gandhi lived in South Africa for roughly twenty one years from 1893 to 1914. In 1906, he joined the military with a rank of Sergeant-Major and actively participated in the war against the blacks. Gandhi’s racist ideas are also evident in his writings of these periods. One should ask a question : Were our American Black leaders including Dr. King aware of Gandhi’s anti-black activities? Painfully, we have researched the literature and the answer is, no. For this lapse, the blame lies on the Afro-American newspapers which portrayed Gandhi in ever glowing terms, setting the stage for African-American leaders Howard Thurman, Sue Baily Thurman, Reverend Edward Carroll, Benjamin E. Mays, Channing H. Tobias, and William Stuart Nelson to visit India at different time periods to meet Gandhi in person. None of these leaders had any deeper understanding of Hinduism, British India, or the complexities of Gandhi’s convoluted multi-layered Hindu mind. Frankly speaking, these leaders were no match to Gandhi’s deceit; Gandhi hoodwinked them all, and that too, with great ease. Understanding of Hindu India with our black leaders never really improved even considering years later in March 1959, much after Gandhi’s death, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., his wife, and Professor Lawrence D. Reddick visited India and to our way of analysis, they fared no better than their predecessors. We are certain, had Dr. King known Gandhi’s anti-black and other criminal activities, he would have distanced his civil-rights movement away from the name of Gandhi. We recommend the following:

1. Grenier, Richard. The Gandhi Nobody Knows published in Commentary March 1983; pages 59 to 72. This is the best article on Gandhi briefly outlining his war activities against the blacks.

2. Kapur, Sudarshan. Raising up a Prophet: The African-American Encounter with Gandhi; Boston: Beacon Press, 1992

Excellent research book into the perspective of distant American blacks with respect to their new hero, Gandhi. However, this book has one major flaw: The author seems to be unaware of Gandhi’s anti-black activities in South Africa.

3. Huq, Fazlul. Gandhi: Saint or Sinner? Bangalore: Dalit Sahitya Akademy, 1992.

Superb book. Really gets into the Gandhi’s anti-black ideology with a sense of history setting intact. This book can be purchased from the International Dalit Support Group, P.O Box 842066, Houston, Tx 77284-2066.

This book’s second chapter “Gandhi’s Anti-African Racism” is a superb 
analysis of Gandhi’s anti-black thinking. We bring to you the whole chapter for your review:

Gandhi was not a whit less racist than the white racists of South Africa. When Gandhi formed the Natal Indian Congress on August 22, 1894, the no. 1 objective he declared was: “To promote concord and harmony among the Indians and Europeans in the Colony.” [Collected Works (CW)1 pp. 132-33]
He launched his Indian Opinion on June 4 1904: “The object of Indian Opinionwas to bring the European and the Indian subjects of the King Edward closer together.” (CW. IV P. 320)

What was the harm in making an effort to bring understanding among all people, irrespective of colour, creed or religion? Did not Gandhi know that a huge population of blacks and coloured lived there? Perhaps to Gandhi they were less than human beings.

Addressing a public meeting in Bombay on Sept. 26 1896 (CW II p. 74), Gandhi said:

Ours is one continued struggle against degradation sought to be inflicted upon us by the European, who desire to degrade us to the level of the raw Kaffir, whose occupation is hunting and whose sole ambition is to collect a certain number of cattle to buy a wife with, and then pass his life in indolence and nakedness.

In 1904, he wrote (CW. IV p. 193):

It is one thing to register natives who would not work, and whom it is very difficult to find out if they absent themselves, but it is another thing -and most insulting -to expect decent, hard-working, and respectable Indians, whose only fault is that they work too much, to have themselves registered and carry with them registration badges.

In its editorial on the Natal Municipal Corporation Bill, the Indian Opinion of March 18 1905 wrote:

Clause 200 makes provision for registration of persons belonging to uncivilized races (meaning the local Africans), resident and employed within the Borough. One can understand the necessity of registration of Kaffirs who will not work, but why should registration be required for indentured Indians who have become free, and for their descendants about whom the general complaint is that they work too much? (Italic portion is added)

The Indian Opinion published an editorial on September 9 1905 under the heading, “The relative Value of the Natives and the Indians in Natal”. In it Gandhi referred to a speech made by Rev. Dube, a most accomplished African, who said that an African had the capacity for improvement, if only the Colonials would look upon him as better than dirt, and give him a chance to develop self-respect. Gandhi suggested that “A little judicious extra taxation would do no harm; in the majority of cases it compels the native to work for at least a few days a year.” Then he added:

Now let us turn our attention to another and entirely unrepresented community-the Indian. He is in striking contrast with the native. While the native has been of little benefit to the State, it owes its prosperity largely to the Indians. While native loafers abound on every side, that species of humanity is almost unknown among Indians here. Nothing could be further from the truth, that Gandhi fought against Apartheid, which many propagandists in later years wanted people to believe. He was all in favour of continuation of white domination and oppression of the blacks in South Africa.
In the Government Gazette of Natal for Feb. 28 1905, a Bill was published regulating the use of fire-arms by the natives and Asiatics. Commenting on the Bill, the Indian Opinion of March 25 1905 stated:

In this instance of the fire-arms, the Asiatic has been most improperly bracketed with the natives. The British Indian does not need any such restrictions as are imposed by the Bill on the natives regarding the carrying of fire-arms. The prominent race can remain so by preventing the native from arming himself. Is there a slightest vestige of justification for so preventing the British Indian? Here is the budding Mahatma telling the white racists how they can perpetuate their Nazi domination over the vast majority of Africans.

In the British imperialist scheme, one important strategy was to divide and rule. Gandhi advised Indians not to align with other political groups in either coloured or African communities. In 1906 the coloured people in the colonies of Good Hope, the Transvaal and the Orange River colony, addressed a petition to the King Emperor demanding franchise rights. The petitioners showed clearly that, in one part of South Africa, namely the Cape of Good Hope, they had enjoyed the franchise ever since the introduction of representative institutions.

Commenting on the petition, the Indian Opinion of March 24 1906, declaring that “British Indians have, in order that they may never be misunderstood, made it clear that they do not aspire to any political power,” added:
It seems that the petition is being widely circulated, and signatures are being taken of all coloured people in the three colonies named. The petition is non-Indian in character, although British Indians, being coloured people, are very largely affected by it. We consider that it was a wise policy on the part of the British Indians throughout South Africa, to have kept themselves apart and distinct from the other coloured communities in this country.

In a statement made in 1906 to the Constitution Committee, the British Indian Association led by Gandhi (CW. V p.335) said:

The British Indian Association has always admitted the principle of white domination and has, therefore, no desire, on behalf of the community it represents, for any political rights just for the sake of them. Commenting on a court case, the Indian Opinion of June 2 1906, in its Gujrati section, stated:

You say that the magistrate’s decision is unsatisfactory because it would enable a person, however unclean, to travel by a tram, and that even the Kaffirs would be able to do so. But the magistrate’s decision is quite different. The Court declared that the Kaffirs have no legal right to travel by tram. And according to tram regulations, those in an unclean dress or in a drunken state are prohibited from boarding a tram. Thanks to the Court’s decision, only clean Indians (meaning upper caste Hindu Indians) or coloured people other than Kaffirs, can now travel in the trams. (Italic portion is added)

Apartheid defended: Gandhi accepted racial segregation, not only because it was politically expedient as his Imperial masters had already drawn such a blueprint, it also conformed with his own attitude to the caste system. In his own mind he fitted Apartheid into the caste system: whites in the position of Brahmins, Indian merchants and professionals as Sudras, and all other non-whites as Untouchables. Though Gandhi was strongly opposed to the comingling of races, the working-class Indians did not share his distaste. There were many areas where Indians, Chinese, Coloured, Africans and poor whites lived together. On February 15 1905, Gandhi wrote to Dr. Porter, the Medical Officer of Health, Johannesburg (CW. IV p.244, and “Indian Opinion” 9 April 1904):

Why, of all places in Johannesburg, the Indian location should be chosen for dumping down all kaffirs of the town, passes my comprehension. .
Of course, under my suggestion, the Town Council must withdraw the Kaffirs from the Location. About this mixing of the Kaffirs with the Indians I must confess I feel most strongly. I think it is very unfair to the Indian population, and it is an undue tax on even the proverbial patience of my countrymen
Dr. Porter replied that it was the Indians who sub-let to Africans.
Commenting on the White League’s agitation, Gandhi wrote in his Indian Opinion of September 24 1903:

We believe as much in the purity of race as we think they do, only we believe that they would best serve these interests, which are as dear to us as to them, by advocating the purity of all races, and not one alone. We believe also that the white race of South Africa should be the predominating race.

Again, on December 24 1903, Indian Opinion stated:

The petition dwells upon `the comingling of the coloured and white races’. May we inform the members of the Conference that so far as British Indians are concerned, such a thing is particularly unknown. If there is one thing which the Indian cherishes more than any other, it is the purity of type.

In his farewell speech at a meeting held in the house of Dr. Gool in Capetown, which was reported in the Indian Opinion of July 1 1914, Gandhi said:
The Indians knew perfectly well which was the dominant and governing race. They aspired to no social equality with Europeans. They felt that the path of their development was separate. They did not even aspire to the franchise, or, if the aspiration exists, it was with no idea of its having a present effect.

Gandhi joined in the orgy of Zulu slaughter when the Bambata Rebellion broke out. It is essential to discuss the background of the Bambata Rebellion, to place Gandhi’s Nazi war crime in its proper perspective.

The Bambatta Rebellion—Background The spiritual foundation of Nazism was the superiority of the Aryan race or its modern version, the Anglo-Saxon race. When Disraeli was Prime Minister, Britain enunciated a doctrine, like the Monroe Doctrine, warning other European powers that Africa would be a British preserve, and that from the Cape to the Limpopo, if not to Cairo, only white people would have local political power. Successive British Governments pursued this policy.

In the 1870s, the Zulu Kingdom was by far the most powerful African State of the Limpopo. Cetewayo, who succeeded his father in 1872, was an able and popular ruler. He united the kingdom and built up a most efficient army. He followed a policy of alliance with the British Colony of Natal. The Zulu Kingdom and the Boer Republic of the Transvaal had been feuding for a long time. The Zulus were defeated twice by the Boers, in 1838 and 1840. By 1877 Cetewayo was ready to invade the Transvaal. But the British stepped in and annexed the Transvaal in 1877, only to prevent Cetewayo from doing it first and becoming powerful and a challenge to white supremacy.

Some contemporary reports throw light on the relative strength of the Zulus and their Boer enemies. Colonel A.W. Durnford wrote in a memorandum on July 5 (“The Secret History of South Africa” by Abercrombe. The Central News Agency Ltd., Johannesburg South Africa. 1951 p.6):

About this time (April 10th) Cetewayo had massed his forces in three corps on the borders, and would undoubtedly have swept the Transvaal, at least up to the Vaal River if not to Pretoria itself, had the country not been taken over by the English. In my opinion he would have cleared the country to Pretoria.

Shepstone, the British Administrator, himself wrote concerning the reality of the danger on Dec. 25 1877:

The Boers are still flying, and I think by this time there must be a belt of more than a hundred miles long and thirty broad in which, with three insignificant exceptions, there is nothing but absolute desolation. This will give some idea of the mischief which Cetewayo’s conduct has caused.(Ibid p.7).

The above facts explode the myth that the British protected the Zulus from the Boers.

British barbarity on Blacks: After annexing the Transvaal, Shepstone turned his attention to destroying all the independent African states in that region, particularly the Zulu Kingdom. Before annexation of the Transvaal, Shepstone sided with the Zulus in their border disputes with the Transvaal. After annexation he made a volte-face and used those disputes as excuses to invade Zululand. The British public was told that the Zulu War was to liberate the Zulu people from a tyrannical ruler, and South Africa from a menace to “christianity and civilisation”.

In 1879, the British invaded the Zulu Kingdom and defeated Cetawayo. Then they started their complete subjugation. First the army was broken, thus destroying their ability to defend themselves. The country was then split into thirteen separate units under the nominal control of the chiefs, salaried by the Government. The white magistrates supplanted the chiefs as the most powerful men in their districts. Most important of all, the land was partitioned. Before the war, Shepstone had expressed the hope that Cetewayo’s warriors would be “changed to labourers working for wages”. It makes a sad story, how this was accomplished. In 1902-4, the Land Commission delineated a number of locations for the Zulus, and threw open the rest of the country to white settlement. Out of a total acreage of more than 12 million acres, the Africans held some 2 million acres. They numbered, at the lowest reckoning, over three hundred thousand. The Europeans, who were less than 20,000, owned most of the best land. A large proportion of the African population was forced to live upon land to which it had no legal claim. Where the Africans lived upon private or crown lands, they lived there entirely upon sufferance and without legal title. By this time, other independent African states in that region were also destroyed by the British army. Wheresoever, they marched, in Basutoland, Zululand or Bechuanaland, the Queen’s horses and the Queen’s men were like unto a “Salvation Army” ministering to the welfare of the colonists. The sufferers were the Africans.

Gandhi wrote in his Satyagraha in South Africa (p.15):

The Boers are simple, frank and religious. They settle in the midst of extensive farms. We can have no idea of the extent of these farms. A farm with us means generally an acre or two, and sometimes even less. In South Africa, a single farmer has hundreds or thousands of acres of land in his possession. He is not anxious to put all this under cultivation at once, and if any one argues with him he will say, `Let it lie fallow; lands which are now fallow will be cultivated by our children’.

Also in his Indian Opinion (March 15 1913), he wrote:

General Botha has thousands of acres of land … (there is) a big company in Natal which has hundreds of thousands of acres of land.

Thou shalt not steal but rob.

It did not seem to occur to Gandhi how these people came into possession of thousands of acres of land, whereas Africans were cooped in locations like chicken in pens.

Grabbing the land was not enough: it needed manpower to cultivate that land. The cry of the farmers was for labour. Naturally it found a favourite response from Shepstone, whose dream it was to convert Cetewayo’s warriors into labourers for white men. His native policy was to meet the demands of the European farmers. He agreed that Europeans could not expand or grow in wealth unless they could draw more fully upon the reservoirs of labour in the African reserves.

In the process of European colonisation, the swiftly expanding land-hungry Europeans turned the bulk of the African population into a proletariat. Due to the congestion and landlessness in the reserves, created deliberately by the white rulers, their agricultural return was not sufficient for bare existence. Then there were the taxes on huts, cattle and what not. On the other hand, working for white men did not provide them with adequate sustenance. In Natal, the sugar farmers of the coast relied upon the Indian indentured labour, whereas the stock farmers of the interior relied exclusively on Africans, and regarded the failure of Africans to work for them as a criminal offence. In a report to the Chief Commissioner of Police in 1903, the Police Inspector W.F. Fairley wrote: “With regard to crime, the principal complaints made by Dutch farmers to patrols was of the refusal to work on the part of the natives.” (Department Reports 1903 p.67 cited “Reluctant Rebellion” by Marks p.17. Clarendon Press, Oxford 1970). Complaints about the shortage of African labour were voiced in all parts of the country. The farmers were later joined by the mining industries. The most obvious change was the broadening of the economic base from being entirely agricultural to one in which mining played a more and more important part. Diamond, gold, coal became major industries, and with this development, the deeper involvement of the big finance houses, particularly Rothschilds. So the fate of the Africans as the source of cheap labour, and the fat dividends derived from mining by the British ruling class, became interlinked. This still continues in a modified form. Now it is Anglo-American corporations.

Cheap labour from India: Europeans assumed that Africans lived only to meet their requirements of cheap labour, and as such they had no right to establish themselves as self-sufficient and independent farmers because this conflicted with European interests. Famines in India facilitates the recruitment of indentured Indian labourers for white employers in the Colonies. It was no different in relation to Africans. In a Report of the Native Affairs Commission, (Native Affairs Commission Report 1939-40 cited “Oxford History of South Africa” p.182. Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1969) it was admitted that “African reserves were regarded by whites as reservoirs of labour, and congestion, landlessness and crop failure were welcomed as stimulants to the labour supply”. Similar situations among whites were viewed as national calamities. The Government lent millions of pounds to white farmers, gave them tax relief in times of famine, paid subsidies, facilitated the export of their produce, and wrote off their debts. But what about Africans? Famine would be rampant, crops ruined, food exhausted, thousands of Africans and their cattle would starve to death, but the government would not raise a finger.

The whites not only stole the land from the Africans, and used them as cheap labour, but also looked to them for revenue. They drew a relatively large and growing income from the Africans. “The Native population of Natal”, Shepstone admitted (“Imperial Factor” by De Kieweit p.193. Clarendon Press, Oxford 1970), “contribute to the revenue annually a sum equal, at least, to that necessary to maintain the whole fixed establishment of the Colony for the government of the whites as well as themselves.” Taxation is a financial measure to gather revenue to meet the expenditure of the state. But in South Africa it was used to reduce Africans to slavery. The sole motive behind the extra taxation imposed on Africans was to force the Africans to work on terms dictated by the whites.

Always there was resentment against any measure which would allow the Africans to settle in locations instead of keeping them as labourers. It was not only the farmers’ conferences, the press owned by the mining magnates joined the outcry of the farmers to enact special laws to compel the Africans to come out of their locations and work for the whites. The press was in the forefront to arouse the sentiments that Africans not in European service were necessarily living in idleness. Gandhi’s Indian Opinion played second fiddle to the white press in this respect. To Gandhi, the imposition of taxes upon the Africans to compel them to work for the white employers was “gentle persuasion”.

By a stroke of the pen, the major part of the available land was taken away from the Zulus and given to Europeans. Some of the dispossessed Zulus were allotted locations and others remained on the land of European landlords on sufferance. Bambata was one of these unfortunate chiefs. He became Chief in 1890 and he and his people were placed in private locations on very high rents. The land was useless for any agricultural purpose. To make things worse, the Boer farmers suspected Bambata of informing the British about their pro-Boer activities, and naturally they tried to victimise him and his people. But after the war, the British rulers leaned backwards and went out of their way to kiss and hug the Boers. So Bambata was caught in a cleft stick. By 1905 the tension between Bambata and his white landlords reached crisis point. The Assistant Magistrate of Greytown, H. Von Gerard, wrote to the Under Secretary of Native Affairs recommending the allocation of a location for his people. Gerard described how people were being oppressed and squeezed by the landlords, what useless land it was for agricultural purposes, and how summons after summons was being issued against people who were unable to pay high rents. Finally he remarked (“Reluctant Rebellion” by Marks. P.201):
A most desperate state of affairs, the more so as there seems no remedy for it….My sympathies with Bambata’s people…but I see no way out of the difficulty. The military and civilian leaders of Natal were consciously developing a picture as if an uprising was imminent. Not that they could foresee one, but they wanted to foresee one because that would give them a golden opportunity to inflict severe punishments on Zulus who, according to the colonists, were growing insolent. They drew up a plan to deal with this imaginary uprising swiftly, and all agreed that was the way they could save not only Natal but North Africa from the “barbarities which only the savage mind can conceive.” (Ibid p. Xvii)
Zulu Revolt: But outside Natal, people were not so sure. Styne, President of the Orange Free State, called it “hysteria”. Smuts, Botha and Merriman expressed concern as to whether the whites of Natal would spur a rebellion. Some churchmen and many radical humanitarians in Natal, as well as England, produced volumes of irrefutable evidence proving that it was a conspiracy to goad the Zulus into rebellion and then massacre them. In this, Hariette Colenso, the famous daughter of a famous father, Bishop Colenso, made the most outstanding contribution. There was a cry of imminent native revolt in the press long before active rebellion broke out.
As far back as 1902, Lieu. G.A. Mills in his report (GH18/02. Cited “Reluctant Rebellion” p.158) to the Chief of Staff, Natal, on July 1 informed him:
Every Boer expresses the most bitter hatred of the Zulus. They all express a wish that the Zulus would rise now while the British troops are in the country so that they may be practically wiped out. The Boers all say that in the event of the rising, every one of them would join the British troops in order to have a chance of paying off old scores against the Zulus. When I first came here, I visited farms and asked the Boers what they thought of the advisability of keeping troops here. They all said it was most necessary, as they were afraid of the Kaffirs and it would not be safe to stay on their farms if the troops withdrew…. Taking everything into consideration, I cannot help being forced to the opinion that many Boers intend to provoke a Zulu rising if they can do so. It was Colonel Mackenzie, the military supremo before the rebellion, who was prophesying a native uprising and cleaning the barrels of his guns to use the “golden opportunity” to inflict “the most drastic punishment” on leading natives he found guilty of treason, and to “instill a proper respect for the white man”. (C.O. 179/233/12460. Dispatch 9.3.06 cited “Reluctant Rebellion” p. 188).
On June 14, Charles Saunders, Chief Magistrate and Civil Commissioner in Zululand (1899-1909) wrote to C.J. Hignet, the magistrate of Nqutu (“Reluctant Rebellion” p.241):
I quite agree with your conclusions as to our men trying to goad the whole population into rebellion, and you have no idea of the difficulties we had in Nkandha in trying to protect people one knew perfectly well were faithful to us. In his communication of July 10 1906 to the Prime Minister, (PM 61/15/66 Governor to PM 10.7.06) the Governor described the “sweeping actions and the mopping-up operations as continued slaughter. Fred Graham, a permanent civil servant in the Colonial Office, in his Minute of July 10, described it as “massacre”.
Nazism & racism: The most revealing was the long letter of July 24 1906 (CO 179/236/24787 minute 10-7-06) sent by the Anglican Archdeacon, Charles Johnson, from St. Augustine’s in Nqutu division, to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospels in London. He was a man of the British establishment and not known to have excessive zeal for standing up for the rights of the Africans. He wrote (cited “Reluctant Rebellion” p. 241):
Many thinking people have been asking themselves, what are we going to do with his teeming population? Some strong-handed men have thought the time was ripe for solving the great question. They knew that there was a general widespread spirit of disaffection among the natives of Natal, the Free State and the Transvaal, but specially in Natal, and they commenced the suppression of the rebellion in the fierce hope that the rebellion might so spread throughout the land and engender a war of practical extermination. I fully believe that they were imbued with the conviction that this was the only safe way of dealing with the native question, and they are greatly disappointed that the spirit of rebellion was not strong enough to bring more than a moiety of the native peoples under the influence of the rifle. Over and over again it was said, `They are only sitting on the fence, it shall be our endeavour to bring them over’; and again, speaking of the big chiefs, `We must endeavour to bring them in if possible! Yes, they have been honest and outspoken enough-the wish being father to the thought-they prophesied the rebellion would spread throughout South Africa; had they been true prophets, no doubt the necessity of solving the native question would have been solved for this generation at least. John Merriman was a veteran Cape politician. He was one of those so-called liberals who accepted Nazism as a doctrine, or in other words Anglo-Saxon superiority, but regretted its consequent atrocities and thus fumigated their consciences. He wrote to Goldwin Smith (Merriman papers NHo. 202, 16.9.06 cited “Reluctant Rebellion” p.246) in September 1906:
We have had a horrible business in Natal with the natives. I suppose the whole truth will never be known, but enough comes out to make us see how thin the crust is that keeps our christian civilisation from the old-fashioned savagery machine-guns and modern rifles against knobsticks and assagais are heavy odds and do not add much to the glory of the superior race.
In the letter of the Archdeacon the expression “practical extermination”, and in a letter of Lieutenant Mills “practically wiped out”, have been used. This was what the German Nazis wanted to do to the Jews: to exterminate them. Does it make any difference whether the victims of racial slaughter are Jews or blacks? Conspiracy to massacre Blacks: Gandhi was well aware of the conspiracy to massacre the Africans. When there was war hysteria in the colonial press, this prophet of non-violence did not apply his mind as to how to stop such a conflict. On the contrary, he did not want Indians to be left behind, but wanted them to take a full part in this genocide.
In his editorial in the Indian Opinion of Nov. 18 1905, long before the actual rebellion broke out, Gandhi complained that the Government simply did not wish to give Indians an opportunity of showing that they were as capable as any other community of taking their share in the defence of the colony. He suggested that a volunteer corps should be formed from colonial-born Indians, which would be useful in actual service.
Indentured Indians lived in conditions worse than slavery. Gandhi during his 20 years’ stay in South Africa, did not raise a finger to ease their sufferings. But he was quick to suggest using them as cannon fodder for racists against Africans. In his Indian Opinion in Dec. 2 1905 he referred to Law 25 of 1875 which was specially passed to increase “the maximum strength of the volunteer force in the colony adding thereto a force of Indian immigrant volunteer infantry”. To assure the Europeans that such Indians would only kill Africans, he pointed out that “section 83 of the Militia Act states that no ordinary member of the coloured contingent shall be armed with weapons of precision, unless such contingent is called to operate against other than Europeans”.
Gandhi defends massacre: Many years later, he wrote (p.233) in his autobiography:
The Boer War had not brought home to me the horrors of war with anything like the vividness that the `rebellion’ did. This was no war but a man-hunt, not only in my opinion but also in that of many Englishmen with whom I had occasion to talk. To hear every morning reports of the soldiers’ rifles exploding like crackers in innocent hamlets, and to live in the midst of them, was a trial. Then to justify his participation in this massacre, he went on (Autobiography p. 231):
I bore no grudge against the Zulus, they had harmed no Indian. I had doubts about the `rebellion’ itself, but I then believed that the British Empire existed for the welfare of the world. A genuine sense of loyalty prevented me from even wishing ill to the Empire. The righteness or otherwise of the `rebellion’ was therefore not likely to affect my decision. What about the Nazi war criminals? Did they not have a genuine sense of loyalty to Hitler and Nazism?
In Great Britain another storm of protest was raised against the atrocities perpetrated in Natal. The only time Gandhi mentioned the Zulu suppression was on August 4 1906, when he wrote in his Indian Opinion: A controversy is going on in England about what the Natal Army did during the Kaffir rebellion. The people here believe that the whites of Natal perpetrated great atrocities on the Kaffirs. In reply to such critics, the Star has pointed to the doings of the Imperial Army in Egypt. Those among the Egyptian rebels who had been captured were ordered to be flogged. The flogging was continued to the limits of the victim’s endurance; it took place in public and was watched by thousands of people. Those sentenced to death were also hanged at the same time. While those sentenced to death were hanging, the flogging of others was taken up. While the sentences were being executed, the relatives of the victims cried and wept until many of them swooned. If this is true, there is no reason why there should be such an outcry in England against Natal outrages. One may notice that the article was very cleverly written. First Gandhi stated that people in England believed that the whites of Natal perpetrated great atrocities on Africans, as if he himself did not know what happened, and also gave the impression that it was the local Natal Army and not the Imperial Army which was involved in the atrocities, which is not true. Even at this stage, he was not willing to tell the simple truth, that atrocities were committed. Then he borrowed the description of hanging and flogging in Egypt from the Star as if he did not know about that either. Did or did not Gandhi know that those Egyptians were not common criminals to be flogged and hanged that they were the patriots, the flowers of the Egyptian nation?
If Gandhi unequivocally accepted or found out that the Imperial Army committed those atrocities, then he could not claim that he believed the British Empire existed for the welfare of mankind. The last and the vilest of all was the subtle suggestion that if the Imperial Army did what they were accused of doing, then there was no reason why there should be such an outcry in England against the Natal outrage. Why could this Imperialist-manufactured Mahatma not say clearly that both were crimes against humanity?

Gandhi & the Black Untouchables
As opposed to the popular perceptions, here you will see Gandhi's image from the eyes of a very famous untouchable leader, named, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar (1893-1956). Born and raised as an untouchable, Dr. Ambedkar received his masters and Ph.D. from Columbia University, which later on also conferred upon him the Doctor of Law. Dr. Ambedkar also received a D.Sc. degree from London School of Economics, and the Bar-at-Law from the Grays Inn, London. Suffice to say, Dr. Ambedkar's sharp intellect has provided us an insight into Gandhi, some of which we will like to share with you all. We recommend the following:

1. Nichols, Beverley. Verdict on India. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1944.

A book we highly recommend. Beverley Nichols, a famous novelist, musician, playwright, essayist, reporter, and a journalist visited British India. During this visit, he met Dr. Ambedkar, who told him:

"Gandhi is the greatest enemy the untouchables have ever had in India."

So what did Ambedkar mean? Mr. Nichols explained it as follows:

[We can best explain it by a parallel. Take Ambedkar's remark, and for the word "untouchable" substitute the word "peace." Now imagine that a great champion of peace, like Lord Cecil, said, "Gandhi is the greatest enemy of peace the world has ever had." What would he mean, using these words of the most spectacular pacifist of modern times? He would mean that passive resistance--which is Gandhi's form of pacifism--could only lead to chaos and the eventual triumph of brute force; that to lie down and let people trample on you (which was Gandhi's recipe for dealing with the Japanese) is a temptation to the aggressor rather than an example to the aggressed; and that in order to have peace you must organize, you must be strong, and that you must be prepared to use force. Mutatis mutandis, that is precisely what Ambedkar meant about the untouchables. He wanted them to be recognized and he wanted them to be strong. He rightly considered that the best way of gaining his object was by granting them separate electorates; a solid block of 60 million would be in a position to dictate terms to its oppressors. Gandhi fiercely opposed this scheme. "Give the untouchables separate electorates," he cried, "and you only perpetuate their status for all time." It was a queer argument, and those who were not bemused by the Mahatma's charm considered it a phoney one. They suspected that Gandhi was a little afraid that 60 million untouchables might join up with the 100 million Muslims--(as they nearly did)--and challenge the dictatorship of the 180 million orthodox Hindus. With such irreverent criticisms were made to him, Gandhi resorted to his usual tactics: he began to fast unto death. (As if that altered the situation by a comma or proved anything but his own obstinacy!) There was a frenzy of excitement, ending in a compromise on the seventh day of the fast. The untouchables still vote in the same constituencies as the caste Hindus, but a substantial number of seats are now reserved for them in the provincial legislatures. It is better than nothing, but it is not nearly so good as it would have been if Gandhi had not interfered. That is what Doctor Ambedkar meant. And I think that he was right.]

2. Ambedkar, B.R. What Congress and Gandhi Have Done to the Untouchables. Bombay: Thacker & Co., Ltd, 2nd edition, 1946. Excerpts from this book were published in: Gandhi: Maker of Modern India? Edited by Martin Deming Lewis. Boston: D.C. Heath and Co., 1965. Here is the report which you must read in its entirety:

Mr. Gandhi's views on the caste system--which constitutes the main social problem in India--were fully elaborated by him in 1921-22 in a Gujrati journal called Nava-Jivan. The article is written in Gujrati. I give below an English translation of his views as near as possible in his own words. Says Mr. Gandhi:

(1) I believe that if Hindu Society has been able to stand it is because it is founded on the caste system.

(2) The seeds of swaraj are to be found in the caste system. Different castes are like different sections of miliary division. Each division is working for the good of the whole....

(3) A community which can create the caste system must be said to possess unique power of organization.

(4) Caste has a ready made means for spreading primary education. Each caste can take the responsibility for the education of the children of the caste. Caste has a political basis. It can work as an electorate for a representative body. Caste can perform judicial functions by electing persons to act as judges to decide disputes among members of the same caste. With castes it is easy to raise a defense force by requiring each caste to raise a brigade.

(5) I believe that interdining or intermarriage are not necessary for promoting national unity. That dining together creates friendship is contrary to experience. If this was true there would have been no war in Europe.... Taking food is as dirty an act as answering the call of nature. The only difference is that after answering call of nature we get peace while after eating food we get discomfort. Just as we perform the act of answering the call of nature in seclusion so also the act of taking food must also be done in seclusion.

(6) In India children of brothers do not intermarry. Do they cease to love because they do not intermarry? Among the Vaishnavas many women are so orthodox that they will not eat with members of the family nor will they drink water from a common water pot. Have they no love? The caste system cannot be said to be bad because it does not allow interdining or intermarriage between different castes.

(7) Caste is another name for control. Caste puts a limit on enjoyment. Caste does not allow a person to transgress caste limits in pursuit of his enjoyment. That is the meaning of such caste restrictions as interdining and intermarriage.

(8) To destroy caste system and adopt Western European social system means that Hindus must give up the principle of hereditary occupation which is the soul of the caste system. Hereditary principle is an eternal principle. To change it is to create disorder. I have no use for a Brahmin if I cannot call him a Brahmin for my life. It will be a chaos if every day a Brahmin is to be changed into a Shudra and a Shudra is to be changed into a Brahmin.

(9) The caste system is a natural order of society. In India it has been given a religious coating. Other countries not having understood the utility of the caste system, it existed only in a loose condition and consequently those countries have not derived from caste system the same degree of advantage which India has derived. These being my views I am opposed to all those who are out to destroy the caste system.

In 1922, Mr. Gandhi was a defender of the caste system. Pursuing the inquiry, one comes across a somewhat critical view of the caste system by Mr. Gandhi in the year 1925. This is what Mr. Gandhi said on 3rd February 1925:

I gave support to caste because it stands for restraint. But at present caste does not mean restraint, it means limitations. Restraint is glorious and helps to achieve freedom. But limitation is like chain. It binds. There is nothing commendable in castes as they exist to-day. They are contrary to the tenets of the Shastras. The number of castes is infinite and there is a bar against intermarriage. This is not a condition of elevation. It is a state of fall.
In reply to the question: What is the way out? Mr. Gandhi said:
The best remedy is that small castes should fuse themselves into one big caste. There should be four big castes so that we may reproduce the old system of four Varnas.
In short, in 1925 Mr. Gandhi became an upholder of the Varna system.
The old Varna system prevalent in ancient India had the society divided into four orders: (1) Brahmins,whose occupation was learning; (2) Kshatriyas, whose occupation was warfare; (3) Vaishyas, whose occupation was trade and (4) Shudras,whose occupation was service of the other classes. Is Mr. Gandhi's Varna system the same as this old Varna system of the orthodox Hindus? Mr. Gandhi explained his Varna system in the following terms:

(1) I believe that the divisions into Varna is based on birth.

(2) There is nothing in the Varna system which stands in the way of the Shudra acquiring learning or studying military art of offense or defense. Contra it is open to a Kshatriya to serve. The Varna system is no bar to him. What the Varna system enjoins is that a Shudra will not make learning a way of earning a living. Nor will a Kshatriya adopt service as a way of learning a living. [Similarly a Brahmin may learn the art of war or trade. But he must not make them a way of earning his living. Contra a Vaishya may acquire learning or may cultivate the art of war. But he must not make them a way of learning his living.]

(3) The Varna system is connected with the way of earning a living. There is no harm if a person belonging to one Varna acquires the knowledge or science and art specialized in by persons belonging to other Varnas. But as far as the way of earning his living is concerned he must follow the occupation of the Varna to which he belongs which means he must follow the hereditary profession of his forefathers.

(4) The object of the Varna is to prevent competition and class struggle and class war. I believe in the Varna system because it fixes the duties and occupations of persons.

(5) Varna means the determination of a man's occupation before he is born.

(6) In the Varna system no man has any liberty to choose his occupation. His occupation is determined for him by heredity.

* * *

The social life of Gandhism is either caste or Varna.Though it may be difficult to say which, there can be no doubt that the social ideal of Gandhism is not democracy. For, whether one takes for comparison caste or Varnaboth are fundamentally opposed to democracy....

That Mr. Gandhi changed over from the caste system to the Varna system does not make the slightest difference to the charge that Gandhism is opposed to democracy. In the first place, the idea of Varna is the parent of the idea of caste. If the idea of caste is a pernicious idea it is entirely because of the viciousness of the idea of Varna. Both are evil ideas and it matters very little whether one believes in Varna or in caste.

* *

* Turning to the field of economic life, Mr. Gandhi stands for two ideals. One of these is the opposition to machinery... evidenced by his idolization of charkha (the spinning wheel) and by insistence upon hand-spinning and hand-weaving. His opposition to machinery and his love for charkha are not matter of accident. They are a matter of his philosophy of life....

The second ideal of Mr. Gandhi is the elimination of class war and even class struggle in the relationship between employers and employees and between landlords and tenants....Mr. Gandhi does not wish to hurt the propertied class. He is even opposed to a campaign against them. He has no passion for economic equality. Referring to the propertied class Mr. Gandhi said quite recently that he does not wish to destroy the hen that lays the golden egg. His solution for the economic conflict between the owners and the workers, between the rich and the poor, between the landlords and the tenants and between the employers and the employees is very simple. The owners need not deprive themselves of their property. All they need do is to declare themselves trustees for the poor. Of course, the trust is to be a voluntary one carrying only a spiritual obligation.

Is there anything new in the Gandhian analysis of economic ills? Are the economics of Gandhism sound? What hope does Gandhism hold out to the common man, to the down and out? Does it promise him a better life, a life of joy and culture, a life of freedom, not merely freedom from want but freedom to rise, to grow to the full stature which his capacities can reach?

There is nothing new in the Gandhian analysis of economic ills, insofar as it attributes them to machinery and the civilization that is built upon it. That machinery and modern civilization help to concentrate management and control into relatively few hands, and with the aid of banking and credit facilitate the transfer into still fewer hands of all materials and factories and mills in which millions are bled white in order to support huge industries thousands of miles away from their cottages, maimings and cripplings far in excess of the corresponding injuries by war, and are responsible for disease and physical deterioration due directly and indirectly to the development of large cities with their smoke, dirt, noise, foul air, lack of sunshine and outdoor life, slums, prostitution and unnatural living which they bring about, are all old and worn-out arguments. There is nothing new in them. Gandhism is merely repeating the views of Rousseau, Ruskin, Tolstoy and their school.

The ideas which go to make up Gandhism are just primitive. It is a return to nature, to animal life. The only merit is their simplicity. As there is always a large corps of simple people who are attracted by them, such simple ideas do not die, and there is always some simpleton to preach them. There is, however, no doubt that the practical instincts of men--which seldom go wrong--have found them unfruitful and which society in search of progress has thought it best to reject.

The economics of Gandhism are hopelessly fallacious. The fact that machinery and modern civilization have produced many evils may be admitted. But these evils are no argument against them. For the evils are not due to machinery and modern civilization. They are due to wrong social organization, which has made private property and pursuit of personal gain, matters of absolute sanctity. If machinery and civilization have not benefited everybody, the remedy is not to condemn machinery and civilization but to alter the organization of society so that the benefits will not be usurped by the few but will accrue to all.

In Gandhism, the common man has no hope. It treats man as an animal and no more. It is true that man shares the constitution and functions of animals, nutritive, reproductive, etc. But these are not distinctively human functions. The distinctively human function is reason, the purpose of which is to enable man to observe, meditate, cogitate, study and discover the beauties of the Universe and enrich his life and control the animal elements in his life. Man thus occupies the highest place in the scheme of animate existence. If this is true what is the conclusion that follows: The conclusion that follows is that while the ultimate goal of a brute's life is reached once his physical appetites are satisfied, the ultimate goal of man's existence is not reached unless and until he has fully cultivated his mind. In short, what divides the brute from man is culture. Culture is not possible for the brute, but it is essential for man. That being so, the aim of human society must be to enable every person to lead a life of culture, which means the cultivation of mind as distinguished from the satisfaction of mere physical wants. How can this happen?

Both for society as well as for individual[s] there is always a gulf between merely living and living worthily. In order that one may live worthily one must first live. The time and energy spent upon mere life, upon gaining of subsistence detracts from that available for activities of a distinctively human nature and which go to make up a life of culture. How then can a life of culture be made possible? It is not possible unless there is sufficient leisure. For, it is only when there is leisure that a person is free to devote himself to a life of culture. The problem of all problems, which human society has to face, is how to provide leisure to every individual. What does leisure mean? Leisure means the lessening of the toil and effort necessary for satisfying the physical wants of life. How can leisure be made possible? Leisure is quite impossible unless some means are found whereby the toil required for producing goods necessary to satisfy human needs is lessened. What can lessen such toil? Only when machine takes the place of man. There is no other means of producing leisure. Machinery and modern civilization are thus indispensable for emancipating man from leading the life of a brute, and for providing him with leisure and for making a life of culture possible. The man who condemns machinery and modern civilization simply does not understand their purpose and the ultimate aim which human society must strive to achieve.

Gandhism may well be well suited to a society which does not accept democracy as its ideal. A society which does not believe in democracy may be indifferent to machinery and the civilization based upon it. But a democratic society cannot. The former may well content itself with a life of leisure and culture for the few and a life of toil and drudgery for the many. But a democratic society must assure a life of leisure and culture to each one of its citizens. If the above analysis is correct then the slogan of a democratic society must be machinery, and more machinery, civilization and more civilization. Under Gandhism the common man must keep on toiling ceaselessly for a pittance and remain a brute. In short, Gandhism with its call of back to nature, means back to nakedness, back to squalor, back to poverty and back to ignorance for the vast mass of the people....

Gandhism insists upon class structure. It regards the class structure of society and also the income structure as sacrosanct with the consequent distinctions of rich and poor, high and low, owners and workers, as permanent parts of social organization. From the point of view of social consequences, nothing can be more pernicious.... It is not enough to say that Gandhism believes in a class structure. Gandhism stands for more than that. A class structure which is a faded, jejune, effete thing--a mere sentimentality, a mere skeleton is not what Gandhism wants. It wants class structure to function as a living faith. In this there is nothing to be surprised at. For, class structure in Gandhism is not a mere accident. It is its official doctrine.

The idea of trusteeship, which Gandhism proposes as a panacea and by which the moneyed classes will hold their properties in trust for the poor, is the most ridiculous part of it. All that one can say about it is that if anybody else had propounded it the author would have been laughed at as a silly fool, who had not known the hard realities of life and was deceiving the servile classes by telling them that a little dose of moral rearmament to the propertied classes--those who by their insatiable cupidity and indomitable arrogance have made and will always make this world a vale of tears for the toiling millions--will recondition them to such an extent that they will be able to withstand the temptation to misuse the tremendous powers which the class structure gives them over servile classes....

Mr. Gandhi sometimes speaks on social and economic subjects as though he was a blushing Red. Those who will study Gandhism will not be deceived by the occasional aberrations of Mr. Gandhi in favor of democracy and against capitalism. For, Gandhism is in no sense a revolutionary creed. It is conservatism in excelsis. So far as India is concerned, it is a reactionary creed blazoning on its banner the call of Return to Antiquity. Gandhism aims at the resuscitation and reanimating of India's dread, dying past.

Gandhism is a paradox. It stands for freedom from foreign domination, which means the destruction of the existing political structure of the country. At the same time, it seeks to maintain intact a social structure which permits the domination of one class by another on a hereditary basis which means a perpetual domination of one class by another....

The first special feature of Gandhism is that its philosophy helps those who want to keep what they have and to prevent those who have not from getting what they have a right to get. No one who examines the Gandhian attitude to strikes, the Gandhian reverence for caste and the Gandhian doctrine of Trusteeship by the rich for the benefit of the poor can deny that this is an upshot of Gandhism. Whether this is the calculated result of a deliberate design or whether it is a matter of accident may be open to argument. But the fact remains that Gandhism is the philosophy of the well-to-do and the leisure class.

The second special feature of Gandhism is to delude people into accepting their misfortunes by presenting them as best of good fortunes. One or two illustrations will suffice to bring out the truth of this statement.

The Hindu sacred law penalized the Shudras (Hindus of the fourth class) from acquiring wealth. It is a law of enforced poverty unknown in any other part of the world. What does Gandhism do? It does not lift the ban. It blesses the Shudra for his moral courage to give up property. It is well worth quoting Mr. Gandhi's own words. Here they are:

The Shudra who only serves (the higher caste) as a matter of religious duty, and who will never own any property, who indeed has not even the ambition to own anything, is deserving of thousand obeisance...The very Gods will shower flowers on him.

Another illustration in support is the attitude of Gandhism towards the scavenger. The sacred law of the Hindus lays down that a scavenger's progeny shall live by scavenging. Under Hinduism scavenging was not a matter of choice, it was a matter of force. What does Gandhism do? It seeks to perpetuate this system by praising scavenging as the noblest service to society! Let me quote Mr. Gandhi: As a President of a Conference of the Untouchables, Mr. Gandhi said:

I do not want to attain Moksha. I do not want to be reborn. But if I have to be reborn, I should be born an untouchable, so that I may share their sorrows, sufferings and the affronts levelled at them, in order that I endeavor to free myself and them from that miserable condition. I, therefore prayed that if I should be born again, I should do so not as a Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya, or Shudra, but as an AtiShudra.... I love scavenging. In my ashram, an eighteen-years-old Brahmin lad is doing the scavenger's work in order to teach the ashram scavenger cleanliness. The lad is no reformer. He was born and bred in orthodoxy.... But he felt that his accomplishments were incomplete until he had become also a perfect sweeper, and that, if he wanted the ashram sweeper to do his work well, he must do it himself and set an example. You should realize that you are cleaning Hindu Society.

Can there be a worse example of false propaganda than this attempt of Gandhism to perpetuate evils which have been deliberately imposed by one class over another? If Gandhism preached the rule of poverty for all and not merely for the Shudra the worst that could be said about it is that it is mistaken idea. But why preach it as good for one class only?... In India a man is not a scavenger because of his work. He is a scavenger because of his birth irrespective of the question whether he does scavenging or not. If Gandhism preached that scavenging is a noble profession with the object of inducing those who refuse to engage in it, one could understand it. But why appeal to the scavenger's pride and vanity in order to induce him and him only to keep on to scavenging by telling him that scavenging is a noble profession and that he need not be ashamed of it? To preach that poverty is good for the Shudra and for none else, to preach that scavenging is good for the Untouchables and for none else and to make them accept these onerous impositions as voluntary purposes of life, by appeal to their failings is an outrage and a cruel joke on the helpless classes which none but Mr. Gandhi can perpetrate with equanimity and impunity....

Criticism apart, this is the technique of Gandhism to make wrongs done appear to the very victim as though they were his privileges. If there is an "ism" which has made full use of religion as an opium to lull the people into false beliefs and false security, it is Gandhism. Following Shakespeare, one can well say: Plausibility! Ingenuity! Thy name is Gandhism.

Such is Gandhism. Having known what is Gandhism the answer to the question, "Should Gandhism become the law of the land what would be the lot of the Untouchables under it?" cannot require much scratching of the brain.... In India even the lowest man among the caste Hindus--why even the aboriginal and the Hill Tribe man--though educationally and economically not very much above the Untouchables. The Hindu society accepts him claim to superiority over the Untouchables. The Untouchable will therefore continue to suffer the worst fate as he does now namely, in prosperity he will be the last to be employed and in depression the first to be fired.

What does Gandhism do to relieve the Untouchables from this fate? Gandhism professes to abolish Untouchability. That is hailed as the greatest virtue of Gandhism. But what does this virtue amount to in actual life? To assess the value of this anti-Untouchability which is regarded as a very big element in Gandhism, it is necessary to understand fully the scope of Mr. Gandhi's programme for the removal of Untouchability. Does it mean anything more than that the Hindus will not mind touching the Untouchables? Does it mean the removal of the ban on the right of the Untouchables to education? It would be better to take the two questions separately.

To start wit the first question. Mr. Gandhi does not say that a Hindu should not take a bath after touching the Untouchables. If Mr. Gandhi does not object to it as a purification of pollution then it is difficult to see how Untouchability can be said to vanish by touching the Untouchables. Untouchability centers round the idea of pollution by contact and purification by bath to remove the pollution. Does it mean social assimilation of the Untouchables with the Hindus? Mr. Gandhi has most categorically stated that removal of Untouchability does not mean interdining or intermarriage between the Hindus and the Untouchables. Mr. Gandhi's anti-Untouchability means that the Untouchables will be classes as Shudras instead of being classed as AtiShudras [i.e., "beyond Shudras"]. There is nothing more in it. Mr. Gandhi has not considered whether the old Shudras will accept the new Shudras into their fold. If they don't then the removal of Untouchability is a senseless proposition for it will still keep the Untouchables as a separate social category. Mr. Gandhi probably knows that the abolition of Untouchability will not bring about the assimilation of the Untouchables by the Shudras.That seems to be the reason why Mr. Gandhi himself has given a new and a different name to the Untouchables. The new name registers by anticipation what is likely to be the fact. By calling the Untouchables Harijans, Mr. Gandhi has killed two birds with one stone. He has shown that assimilation of the Untouchables by the Shudras is not possible. He has also by his new name counteracted assimilation and made it impossible.

Regarding the second question, it is true that Gandhism is prepared to remove the old ban placed by the Hindu Shastras on the right of the Untouchables to education and permit them to acquire knowledge and learning. Under Gandhism the Untouchables may study law, they may study medicine, they may study engineering or anything else they may fancy. So far so good. But will the Untouchables be free to make use of their knowledge and learning? Will they have the right to choose their profession? Can they adopt the career of lawyer, doctor or engineer? To these questions the answer which Gandhism gives is an emphatic "no." The untouchables must follow their hereditary professions. That those occupations are unclean is no excuse. That before the occupation became hereditary it was the result of force and not volition does not matter. The argument of Gandhism is that what is once settled is settled forever even it was wrongly settled. Under Gandhism the Untouchables are to be eternal scavengers. There is no doubt that the Untouchables would much prefer the orthodox system of Untouchability. A compulsory state of ignorance imposed upon the Untouchables by the Hindu Shastras made scavenging bearable. But Gandhism which compels an educated Untouchable to do scavenging is nothing short of cruelty. The grace in Gandhism is a curse in its worst form. The virtue of the anti-Untouchability plant in Gandhism is quite illusory. There is no substance in it.

What else is there in Gandhism which the Untouchables can accept as opening a way for their ultimate salvation? Barring this illusory campaign against Untouchability, Gandhism is simply another form of Sanatanism which is the ancient name for militant orthodox Hinduism. What is there in Gandhism which is not to be found in orthodox Hinduism? There is caste in Hinduism, there is caste in Gandhism. Hinduism believes in the law of hereditary profession, so does Gandhism. Hinduism enjoins cow-worship. So does Gandhism. Hinduism upholds the law of karma, predestination of man's condition in this world, so does Gandhism. Hinduism accepts the authority of the Shastras. So does Gandhism. Hinduism believes in idols. So does Gandhism. All that Gandhism has done is to find a philosophic justification for Hinduism and its dogmas. Hinduism is bald in the sense that it is just a set of rules which bear on their face the appearance of a crude and cruel system. Gandhism supplies the philosophy which smoothens its surface and gives it the appearance of decency and respectability and so alters it and embellishes it as to make it even more attractive....

What hope can Gandhism offer to the Untouchables? To the Untouchables, Hinduism is a veritable chamber of horrors. The sanctity and infallibility of the Vedas, Smritis and Shastras, the iron law of caste, the heartless law of karma and the senseless law of status by birth are to the Untouchables veritable instruments of torture which Hinduism has forged against the Untouchables. These very instruments which have mutilated, blasted and blighted the life of the Untouchables are to be found intact and untarnished in the bosom of Gandhism. How can the Untouchables say that Gandhism is a heaven and not a chamber of horrors as Hinduism has been? The only reaction and a very natural reaction of the Untouchables would be to run away from Gandhism.

Gandhists may say that what I have stated applies to the old type of Gandhism. There is a new Gandhism, Gandhism without caste. This has reference to the recent statement of Mr. Gandhi that caste is an anachronism. Reformers were naturally gladdened by this declaration of Mr. Gandhi. And who would not be glad to see that a man like Mr. Gandhi having such terrible influence over the Hindus, after having played the most mischievous part of a social reactionary, after having stood out as the protagonist of the caste system, after having beguiled and befooled the unthinking Hindus with arguments which made no distinction between what is fair and foul should have come out with this recantation? But is this really a matter for jubilation? Does it change the nature of Gandhism? Does it make Gandhism a new and a better "ism" than it was before? Those who are carried away by this recantation of Mr. Gandhi, forget two things. In the first place, all that Mr. Gandhi has said is that caste is an anachronism. He does not say it is an evil. He does not say it is anathema. Mr. Gandhi may be taken to be not in favor of caste. but Mr. Gandhi does not say that he is against the Varna system. And what is Mr. Gandhi's Varna system? It is simply a new name for the caste system and retains all the worst features of the caste system.

The declaration of Mr. Gandhi cannot be taken to mean any fundamental change in Gandhism. It cannot make Gandhism acceptable to the Untouchables. The untouchables will still have ground to say: "Good God! Is this man Gandhi our Savior?"

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