As far as justification of Gandhi’s philosophies is concerned, I really don’t find them of any value. On the other hand, the kind of results we got due to his contribution in freeing India from Britishers, they are remarkable. Sometimes rather than asking for recipe of cake, we should go ahead with having that cake. Same goes with me as far as Gandhi is concerned. I don’t agree with him but his efforts got results, so it is fine. Fine, but not really justified for me to take up and apply in my life.
He was a man of peace. On his birthday we observe dry day. How that is related to his personal values, I have no idea and I don’t care about that. Maybe he was a teetotaler himself, or maybe he didn’t know the benefits of red wine. He was against non vegetarian stuff although. He is known as a great leader but I find Hitler’s beliefs more connecting and supportive. Anyways, he is known as a man of peace and ahinsa aka non violence. I find his methods to be very submissive and psychologically weakening. If you have to gain power over your enemy or fight your opponent, it makes no sense to fast for days and weeks. According to him, victimization of oneself was a way to show how superior you are compared to the one you are fighting with. One of the worst things that we can ever do to us is fast in the name of making other person weak. It is like swimming in lava expecting the other person to burn. Whatever Gandhi believed in, I don’t find appealing.
Having spent two years of my life hanging around with the officers in the armed forces and practicing a lot of my SSB skills, I believe in one thing. Warfare. Not war like war but at least not even chickening out and sitting for fast. That is to me wusses way out. I believe in attacking your enemy in such a way that their weaknesses are exploited to the maximum while magnifying our own strengths. Gandhi always led with nonviolence and it doesn’t make any sense in today’s time so as to speak of. If Pakistan attacks our parliament now (which is not really happening because of our strong defense forces), it makes sense to attack back rather than sit on a month long fast waiting for our rival to ceasefire. Whatever Gandhi was trying to convey with his nonviolence policy, it seems weakening enough to not follow in today’s time of nuclear weapons.
Sure, peace is the ultimate goal, but the cost at which you receive freedom, it also matters. Being kind, gentle and polite is fine but being weak, submissive, self hurting and victimizing is not. Being Gandhi is fine, but if you strip yourself of your self esteem and act like you have no balls and integrity, I don’t think you and your philosophies deserve any respect. Even though that bald man who walked wearing a dhoti and holding a stick helped our nation a lot, it would have been really great if we had stood up for ourselves with some assertiveness and not as beggars.
There are many philosophical accounts of Gandhi that have been articulated in his auto biography, My Experiments With Truth. I really haven’t read it. Not because it is pathetic, bad and psychologically hurtful but I’m not really interested in brutal honesty which is also one of his core philosophies. He was a man who told everybody to speak truth. It might have worked for him but if I speak truth all the time, I don’t think I will have people around me as friends and companions. Speaking truth is fine when you know the stakes are favorable. But being honest all the time is a sure shot way to put yourself into a rabbit hole of loneliness. It seems better to me to tell the other person what they will appreciate about themselves rather than tell them the truth and stir resentment and hatred for myself.
And despite all this crap, we have made him the father of our nation. I don’t want a father who is weak and victimizing and has given up ownership over his balls. I want a father who is bold and takes aggressive steps rather than allow other people to push him over and walk away. I will never respect anybody who turns their cheek after they are slapped for another slap on the other side. This is disgusting and deeply masochistic. I have self esteem, I’m doubtful about Gandhi. The question should not be whether his philosophies are valid in today’s time or not, but what can we do to make our lives better without being an obsequious doormat.
He is not my father, you decide for yourself.