Father of the Nation !
Like all humans , Gandhi had his strengths and weaknesses.
Let’s have a look today at some of his glaring flaws.
1) . Any leader of stature at that time , who did not agree with Gandhi , was sidelined.
A. In 1927 , Gandhi said this about C Rajagopalachari , who was his favorite ,
” I do say he is the only possible successor”.
But because of a disagreement between both men in 1942 over the Cripps commission , Rajaji was kicked out of Congress
Gandhi then said ,
” Not Rajaji , but Nehru will be my successor “.
A great statesman like Rajagopalachari went on to become a mere Governor General while Nehru occupied the top post due to Gandhi’s insistence.
The process of electing Nehru was not democratic but authoritarian.
That Nehru was deserving or not is besides the point.
B. Netaji was forced to resign from INC by Gandhi as their views differed.
This drove Netaji to Germans and Japanese in his fight for freedom.
A great statesman was again wasted.
C. Preferring and insisting on Nehru over Sardar Patel ( who enjoyed the support of majority ) was another example of Gandhi’s dictatorial tendencies.
2 ). Gandhi opposed Science and Technology deeming it to be ” Satanic”.
He stuck to his ideology so blindly that he let his wife die instead of giving her an injection because he argued that injections are violent.
3). He in most instances destroyed whimsically the movements he had painfully created.
A). Non Cooperation.
The British for the first time felt loosing India seeing the success this movement generated.
Due to Chauri Chaura incident , he called of the largest independence movement in history because of his idealism.
If he wanted , he could have persuaded his followers to revert back to peaceful methods , similar to what he did to alleviate communal violence after 1947.
B). Quit India .
Though this started with good intentions , it eventually helped fuel the partition.
Many people did not support it.
The Communists did not support it.
Muslim leaders opposed it completely due to which Muslim League made a deal with British , ” That they would support British in the war if they get support for their bid for partition “.
Most Congress leader’s at Gandhi’s insistence voted for Partition , thinking it to be inevitable.
But why did they?.
Yes , Gandhi and his ahimsa.
When the Southern States seceeded from the United States , Abraham Lincoln did not say , ” Well it is inevitable”.
Instead he launched a full fledged war and preserved the Union.
3 ). Gandhi’s Hypocrisy
He contradicted himself so often that once his follower asked him , ” Why do you say one thing this week , and another the next !”.
A ). In World war 1 , agreed to recruit Indian soldiers for combat.
Killing for British was okay , but killing for Independence was wrong.
B). He opposed Imperialism in India but in South Africa he said , ” that the White Race of South Africa should be the predominating race”.
C). He opposed untouchability but supported the Caste system.
Yes , Gandhi was a person of Intellect and morality , who was instrumental in establishing secularism , a great social worker ,
An average politician blinded by his idealism , a hypocrite , dictatorial , which prevented him to be a great Statesman.
Really , Father of the Nation !.