Mahatma Gandhi, was known as the Indian expert on asbestos. He lead nationalism during British rule. Trying to enforce non-violent disobedience, Gandhi led India to independence. He motivated people to spread movements against violence, and enforced freedom across the world. Even though it’s stated that Gandhi is known as one one of the largest hero’s of his time I argue that his horrification supports advancements in ideologies. For example, the nature of social change, the character of history, and the affirmation of positive and negative identities. Was Gandhi really a hero? Or is he just another human like you and I?
Historian Lowen and Kohl argue that hero’s of history are seldom actual hero’s and in reality take the fame of others who are doing justice for the masses. Since Gandhi or the great-souled one is so praised it takes away from the courage and strength of the people following in his footsteps. An example would be the Great Salt March of 1930. In which he lead thousands of Indians through a massive protest against British apprehension, which happened to result in the arrests of 60 thousand people. Even though Gandhi knew they were tag risk he still lead the March and continued to abide the fact that what they were doing was risky. These people put their lives on hold to follow him and be a part of change, despite the fact that it puts them at risk. To summarize, I argue that Gandhi created an image of himself for society that distracts the public eye from seeing the danger in following him.
For Gandhi to show solidarity amongst Indian Muslims, he sparks the protest in which demanded reinstatement of the Caliph. Not only is this showing poor politics, it also shows Gandhis true characteristics and his muddled side. Even though he was too focused on wanting freedom for Indians, he failed to take into consideration freedom for millions of Arabs who were boiling up under Ottoman rule. Also, he was indifferent against Turkeys search for modernity. Finally, he fanned flames of fundamentalism among Indian Muslim. With Gandhi being so looked upon Indians entirety could care less about Turkey. I personally believe Gandhi then knew he had this power over their thoughts. The Indian nation still pays a price. Gandhi’s caliphate games influenced the Muslim mindset. Following this extraterritorial loyalties attracted them. Gandhi directed their compass a different direction from the Himalayas to Mecca. Then Pakistan became an inevitability. Gandhi’s so called peaceful strategies had nearest demobilized the Hindus and gave up Pakistan. While India flourishes and prospers, Pakistan is still stuck in a never-ending violent scene. No doubt India’s Muslim leaders are to blame, but Gandhi is equally to blame for their fates.
Gandhis misguided approach can be vivid ill seen in his approach to the British during the Second World War. As German bombs and rockets were pouring down over them, he recommended the British use non-violent methods to fight Hitler. On December 24, 1938 Gandhi wrote, “How can non-violence combat aerial warfare, seeing that there are no personal contacts? The reply to this is that behind the death-dealing bomb there is the human hand that releases it, and behind that still is the human heart that sets the hand in motion. At the back of the policy of terrorism is the assumption that terrorism if applied in a sufficient measure will produce the desired result, namely, bend the adversary to the tyrant’s will. However, supposing people make up their minds that they will never adapt to the tyrant’s will, nor retaliate with those methods, the tyrant will not find it worth his while to go on with this terrorism. Personally I don’t see the nazis growing tried of committing genocide. You would think Ghanaian would stop after that but he didn’t, he then wrote a letter to Hitler, asking German leader not to go to war. Gandhis humanity is refreshing but also psychotic thinking that he’d have any effect on changing Hitlers rule.
To conclude Gandhi became more than human, we don’t see his flaws and misgivings, we only see and know of the hero that changed a nation. The India community was Brian washed into believing Gandhi was there last chance, so they invested everything into him. Gandhi has been sacred for many activists. However, the fact is not talking about the truth in order to protect personal attachments to his myth manifest false ideas about many corset discussions we urgently need to have between our movements. Conversations involving non-violence, anti-blackness, international solidarity, and strategies to end caste oppression or some of the many.
Gandhis questionable legacy shows different sides of what we’re blind to see. Yes he helped India, but to what extent and what lengths did people and Gandhi go through to achieve these? Did Gandhi really have people’s best interests in mind? Or was it all for his own agenda? I argue that Gandhi is less of a hero and more human like you and I. The herofication of Gandhi supports and advances ideological ideas. Gandhi is mistaken for a hero.
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