Thursday, August 1, 2013

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869-1948)

               The great apostle of Hindu-Muslim unity had to comment
 (i) “In so far as the charge is correct, the Mussalmans take less interest (in India's freedom movement against the British Rule) because they do not yet regard India as their home of which they must feel proud. Many (Muslims) regard themselves, quite wrongly, I think, as belonging to race of conquerors”. (Young India, April 2, 1925)

       (ii) “The Mussalman being generally in a minority has, as a class, developed into a bully.” (Young India, June 19, 1924)
        (iii) “Mussalmans have an ordeal to pass through. There can be no doubt that they are too free with the knife and the pistol.” (Young India, December 30, 1942) 
         (iv) "But I do regard Islam to be a religion of peace in the same sense as Christianity, Buddhism and Hinduism are. No doubt there are differences in degree, but the object of these religions is peace. I know the passages that can be quoted from the Koran to the contrary. But so is it possible to quote passages from the Vedas to the contrary. What is the meaning of imprecations pronounced against the Anaryas (non-Aryans)?  Of course these passages bear today a different meaning but at one time they did wear a dreadful aspect. What is the meaning of the treatment of untouchables by us Hindus? Let not the pot call the kettle black. The fact is that we are all growing. I have given my opinion that the followers of Islam are too free with the sword. But that is not due to the teaching of the Koran. That is due in my opinion to the environment in which Islam was born. Christianity has a bloody record against it, not because Jesus was found wanting, but because the environment in which it spread was not responsive to his lofty teaching.
   These two, Christianity and Islam, are after all religions of but yesterday. They are yet in the course of being interpreted. I reject the claim of maulvis to give a final interpretation to the message of Mahomed as I reject that of the Christian clergy to give a final interpretation to the message of Jesus. Both are being interpreted in the lives of those who are living these messages in silence and in perfect self-dedication. Bluster is no religion nor is vast learning stored in capacious brains. The seat of religion is in the heart. We Hindus, Christians, Mussalmans and others have to write the interpretation of our respective faiths with our own crimson blood and not otherwise." (Young India, 20-January-1927).
   Gandhi was thus aware of the Quranic passages which preach violence and fanaticism, and convert-or-kill. He said Vedas too may contain some passages which are not peaceful. But Hindus do not regard the Vedas as 'Word of God' to be obeyed without question, but follow modern laws and the Indian Constitution, which was written by a Hindu apostate, Dr Ambedkar. Hindus regard the Vedas to be composed by humans some thousand years ago. But Muslims follow the Quran as the 'Word of God' to be obeyed by all.  Gandhi also knew of Christianity's violent record.

    This can also be found in Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi, Volume 38, pages 87-88. 
 (v)  "My own experience but confirms the opinon that the Mussalman as a rule, is a bully and the Hindu, as a rule is a coward. "(The Biography of Gandhiji, written by Dhananjay Keer, published by Popular Prakashan, Mumbai, 1973; page 402) 

   "There is no doubt in my mind that in the majority of quarrels the Hindus come out second best. But my own experience confirms the opinion that the Mussalman as a rule is a bully and the Hindu as a rule is a coward. I have noticed this in railway trains, on public roads, and in the quarrels which I had the privilege of settling. Need the Hindu blame the Mussalman for his cowardice? Where there are cowards, there will always be bullies…But I, as a Hindu, am more ashamed of Hindu cowardice than I am angry at the Mussalman bullying… "

   The source quoted is "Hindu-Muslim Tension: Its Cause and Cure", Young India, 29/5/1924; reproduced in M.K. Gandhi: The Hindu-Muslim Unity, p.35-36.

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