War Of Freedom (WAF hereafter) to liberate 33 crore human beings in Bharata from an exceedingly oppressive and exploitative British yoke during 18th and 19th centuries is purported to have succeeded by the dint of Ahimsa i.e. non-violence perpetrated upon us by MK Gandhi. Let us examine what precisely and how much MK Gandhi understood the piety of Ahimsa, how he practised it and whether it was decisively instrumental in liberating Bharata from vice like grip of British occupiers.
Ahimsa is an ascetic strive probably best defined by Maharsi Patanjali in his legendary enunciation of Yoga Sutra-s, also known as Astangayoga. It is enaction of non-violence on several planes in various forms. Cause of violence is hidden in the perception of oneself confined to limits imposed by the gross physical existence. Indeed, virtue of Isvarapranidhana is the foundation as well as highest order ofAhimsa. Violence is committed through several ways i.e. through body, speech or mind associated with Vrtti-s of Kama, Krodha, Lobha, Moha or Bhaya. Causing violence to someone directly or indirectly or granting permission for the same too, constitute violence. Ahimsa is a manifest of Param Brahma and its pursuit amounts to practising ultimate goal of Universalism. Retribution of any kind associated with any one of Vrtti-s amounts to violence albeit if performed with the sole intent of rescue or remedy, it is indeed Ahimsa. Abstaining from violence even in the realm of Citta is Ahimsa of the highest order. Virtue of Ahimsa is the foundation of entire Yama and Niyama, pursuit of which is the first declaration of acceptance of principle of Universality.
A compulsively violent one defeating all efforts of transformation, must be slayed as a measure of pursuit of Ahimsa so as to prevent perpetration of violence against several others. However, if it is performed while being imbued with a sense of vengeance, it falls under the ambit of violence. Yama of Ahimsa is always associated with Sattva, Jnana and Vairagya otherwise it cannot be counted as Ahimsa. To re-establish Dharma, if war is inevitable, then it is absolutely imperative to battle it out in the spirit of Yajna. Again, it is Ahimsa of the highest order. To cower down before tormentors and unrighteous ones, amounts to perpetrating violence upon Self and several others. Turning away nonchalantly when nation, society or family is being disrobed, is violence of the felonious order as expounded by Vasudeva Sri Krsna in His legendary Srimadbhagvadgita (SBG hereafter) –
Kutastva Kasmalamidam Visame Samupasthitam I
Anaryajustamasvargyamakirtikarmarjuna II 2/2 II
Why this dejection at the most inopportune moment ? O Arjuna ! It is un-Arya like, disgraceful and contrary to the heavenly benediction.
Being consistently traumatised by a habitual tormentor willingly and meekly, is no virtue at all, so explicitly expounded in SBG –
Klaibyam Ma Sma Gamaha Partha Naitattvayyupapadyate I
Ksudram Hrdayadaurbalyam Tyaktvottistha Parantapa II 2/3 II
Yield not to this unmanliness, O Partha ! It does not behoove of you. O Parantapa ! Discard this petty faint-heartedness and rise for the battle.
No virtue or piety whatsoever can mellow down a habitual offender. It has been categorically established in Mahabharata wherein Duryodhana as Adharma-Incarnate, scorned every move from everyone who ventured so, to avoid war through reconciliation. When battle between Dharma and Adharma turns inevitable due to intransigence of Adharma, war is then transformed into Dharma to be pursued mandatorily, very well established in SBG –
Atha Cettvamimam Dharmyam Sangramam Na Karisyasi I
Tatah Svadharmam Kirtim Ca Hitva Papamavapsyasi II 2/33 II
But if you retreat from this battle to uphold righteousness, you shall incur sin while forfeiting your Svadharma and honour.
MK Gandhi had high regards for Manusmriti. Here is what Manusmriti has to expound about Ahimsa –
Gurum Va Balavrddhau Va Brahmanam Va Bahusrutam I
Atatayinamayantam Hanyadevavicarayan II VIII / 211 II
One must spontaneously and unhesitatingly slay anyone approaching with intention to torment whether he be Guru, Brahmana, erudite scholar, young or old.
It is only the valourous ones who are capable of pursuing Ahimsa in its true sense. Weak, coward or terrified ones in reality, promote derogation of the virtue of Ahimsa. If someone is afflicted by an incurable disease with no sign of revival, it is essential to facilitate comfortable demise through external means as a measure of pursuit of true Ahimsa. If it is performed with the sole purpose of abstaining from complex responsibilities, it is the vice of violence in its worst manifest. There are various other levels of Ahimsa too. Destroying mosquitoes or bedbugs may be no evil at all albeit killing moth or beetle is certainly a violence. Slaying a tiger turned man-eater is a lesser violence than slaughtering those living naturally in jungles. Before concluding over the nature of an action, one must examine it in totality including all its implications.
Did MK Gandhi observe and practise any of those norms of Ahimsa while espousing the cause of Ahimsa ? Ostensibly not. Ahimsa as expounded and practised by MK Gandhi, was not merely an anti-thesis of Ahimsa but also cowardice of the worst order. Gandhian Ahimsa merely persuades you to resolutely cling to non-violence come what may, irrespective of consequences notwithstanding the terrible reality of your standing face to face before certain death unarmed and defenceless if not utter humiliation and devastation. Here is how he achieved such a grand and magnificent feat –
Ahimsa Paramo Dharmaha I Dharma Himsa Tathaiva Ca II
Non-violence is the ultimate Dharma. So too is violence for the sake of Dharma.
Quite smartly MK Gandhi emphasized on first component of the virtue and completely ignored the second one. It is not that I have so concluded heavily influenced by my own biases and prejudices. These are banal confessions of MK Gandhi himself, in his own words !! So did he pontificate Hindu-s languishing in an abject state of existence after a century or so of Abrahamic brutalities, “Hindus should not harbour anger in their hearts against Muslims even if the latter wanted to destroy them. Even if the Muslims want to kill us all we should face death bravely. If they established their rule after killing Hindus we would be ushering in a new world by sacrificing our lives. None should fear death. Birth and death are inevitable for every human being. Why should we then rejoice or grieve? If we die with a smile we shall enter into a new life, we shall be ushering in a new India.” Dying and entering into a new world like an abject caitiff !! And not as a warrior Karmayogi as ordained in his favourite book of Srimadbhagvadgita which he always carried with him ? Yet another shot with no Confession Box before him, so blatant, “Today a Hindu from Rawalpindi narrated the tragic events that had taken place there. The villages around Rawalpindi have been reduced to ashes. The Hindus of the Punjab are seething with anger. The Sikhs say they are followers of Guru Govind Singh who has taught them how to wield the sword. But I would exhort the Hindus and Sikhs again and again not to retaliate. I make bold to say that if Hindus and Sikhs sacrifice their lives at hands of Muslims without rancor or retaliation they will become saviors not only of their own religions but also of Islam and the whole world.” Gandhi’s definition of Ahimsa happened to be in reality, “To tell you that you are wrong, I torture myself.” !! He stunned too many Souls by declaring so audaciously, “The willing sacrifice of the innocent is the most powerful answer to insolent tyranny that has yet been conceived by God or man. Disobedience to be ‘civil’ must be sincere, respectful, restrained, never defiant, and it must have no ill-will or hatred behind it. Neither should there be excitement in civil disobedience, which is a preparation for mute suffering.” On Dec. 23, 1926, Swami Sraddhanada of Arya Samaja was killed by a Muslim assassin Abdul Rashid and MK Gandhi responded by moving a resolution before annual session of Congress at Gauhati, “If you hold dear the memory of Swami Shraddhananda, you would help in purging the atmosphere of mutual hatred and calumny. Now you will perhaps understand why I have called Abdul Rashid a brother and I repeat it. I do not even regard him as guilty of Swamiji’s murder. Guilty indeed are all those who excited feelings of hatred against one another.” Funds were mobilised at his behest to defend the murderer in courts. With that, Gandhi explicitly bared his preferences much to the shock and dismay of all.
Ahimsa of any order whatsoever does not possess requisite strength to liberate any country under determined colonial forces having no qualms in brutalising masses under occupation by any means whatsoever. Also, no country in the world has ever attained freedom from colonial forces with means as modest as Ahimsa. Reams have been accurately documented as to how exactly Bharata attained liberation from British-occupation after two rounds of fierce violence and resistance mounted by freedom-fighters in 1857 as well as 1945. British-occupiers had deviously peddled the virtue of Ahimsa through a willing MK Gandhi as an instrument to fool masses who trusted him as their leader, to prevent further loss of British lives and continue with their grand plans of ravaging the nation. It is now a well established fact that independence was finally precipitated in our favour by revolting British-Indian Navy and advancing Indian National Army of Netaji SC Bose. By his own admission of the then British Prime Minister Clement Attlee, Gandhi’s presence or his Ahimsa didn’t matter to them at all !! Doesn’t it amount to muttering imprecations on sanctity of scores of freedom-fighters who sacrificed themselves like oblations into the Agni-Kunda of freedom ? Had Gandhian Ahimsa been really so effective and powerful, there would have been no Partition-1947 riots, Islamic / Christian Jehadis would not have been on prowl to destroy Sanatana Dharma, thousands of Mandira-s would not have been demolished to raise Masjids, thousands of Hindu women would not have been brutalised at all, Balochistan would have been liberated long ago etc. It is a paradox today that nations holding and growing exponentially huge stockpiles of Planet threatening nuclear arms admire Gandhian Ahimsa, confer international awards in his name and organise disarmament talks at regular intervals !! MK Gandhi’s Ahimsa is now reduced to organising seminars, webinars, Youtube clips, national holiday on his Christian calendar B’day, visits to his mausoleum known as Rajghat on Aug. 15 and Jan. 26 by Prime Minister Modi sporting a colourful turban before joining national celebrations etc.
However quite enigmatically, MK Gandhi was not opposed to violence in support of British-occupiers during World War-I !!! ‘Lord’ Chelmsford as Viceroy of British-occupied India, invited Congress leaders like Gandhi on April 29, 1918 to urge them arrange soldiers for Allies. Gandhi promptly assured JL Maffey, Secretary to the Viceroy on April 30, 1918 to organise large number of soldiers to be slaughtered on behalf of British-occupiers.
MK Gandhi allowed himself to be used by Muslim League as well as British-occupiers for decades probably as the most remarkable ‘Useful-Idiot’ in nation’s history. Conviction that one sided magnanimity mellows down even brutal hearts is precisely like expecting an Anakonda not to swallow you as you have been extremely polite to the beast !! Quite interestingly, quite a few ‘replicas’ of MK Gandhi like Dr. Martin Luthar King Jr. of USA, Rigoberta Menchu of Guatemala, Adolfo Perez Esquivel of Argentina earned Nobel Peace Prizes in the name of Gandhian Ahimsa albeit Gandhi himself could not grab it in spite of being a legendary ‘Useful-Idiot’ for Mughals and Brit-Goras. As if to rub salt into injuries of his supine adulators, fawners and flatterers, another Nobel Peace Laureate South African Nelson Mandela dubbed Gandhian Ahimsa ‘utterly inconsequential’ and rejected it outright while declaring MK Gandhi a ‘great source of inspiration’ for him !!
Ahimsa as peddled by MK Gandhi is an unmitigated disaster upon the nation. His knowledge of Srimadbhagvadgita was confined to Chapter One only as he did not appear to venture into Chapters Two and beyond. Mortification of Arjuna as mentioned in Chapter One of the text causing his cowardice and rejection of that Dharma-Yuddha appears to be a testimony of Ahimsa of the highest order for MK Gandhi. And the Gandhian cowardice in the name of Gandhian Ahimsa continues even now, even seven decades after his assassination.