Rajmohan Gandhi Perpetuates Propaganda in Grandfather’s Footsteps

Bhajan Singh Bhinder, Founding Director of Sikh Information Centre, issued the following statement about Punjab: A History from Aurangzeb to Mountbatten (2013), a new book by Rajmohan Gandhi: 

In his purported history of the Punjab, Mohandas Gandhi’s grandson, Rajmohan Gandhi, has invented history in much the same way as his grandfather used to imaginatively retell facts. In the book, Rajmohan libels an Indian cultural treasure, Guru Gobind Singh Ji, by describing him as a mansabdar (a mercenary, essentially) for Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah during his occupation of India, a fabricated detail which has never before been included in any biographical sketch of the guru.

 

At a time when an iron-fisted conqueror ruled India from Delhi, Guru Gobind Singh empowered the common man to be a sovereign individual. When he founded the order of “Khalsa,” meaning “Pure” or “Sovereign,” he launched a life philosophy which intends each man as a king who alone rules himself and who rules himself alone.

 

When he founded the Khalsa in 1699, Guru Gobind initiated the first five people who voluntarily offered their lives in service of truth. He christened them each a “Singh” so they would share the same name of nobility to erase social divisions. After this baptism, Guru Gobind bowed before the five and asked them to initiate him also as a Singh.

 

Then Guru Gobind Singh taught a doctrine of universal human equality in the eyes of one true God. Man, he taught, is subservient to God, and to God alone belongs the victory — “Waheguru ji ka Khalsa, Waheguru ji Ki Fateh” (Khalsa belongs to God; victory belongs to God). He condemned rituals as hollow; instead, he taught a life of self-sacrifice and respect for other human creatures as the best way to worship God. He particularly emphasized honorable treatment of women as of equal value to men, remarking:

 

From now on, you have become casteless. No ritual, either Hindu or Muslim, will you perform nor will you believe in superstition of any kind, but only in one God who is the master and protector of all, the only creator and destroyer. In your new order, the lowest will rank with the highest and each will be to the other a brother. No pilgrimages for you any more, nor austerities but the pure life of the household, which you should be ready to sacrifice at the call of Dharma. Women shall be equal of men in every way. No veil for them anymore, nor the burning alive of a widow on the pyre of her spouse. He who kills his daughter, the Khalsa shall not deal with him.

 

After he founded the Khalsa in 1699, he faced down the heaviest of odds to preserve the spark of liberty in South Asia by resisting the oppression of invading Muslim hordes. For years, he defended against the control of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb before finally making peace with his son, Bahadur Shah, who then betrayed the peace agreement by sending assassins against Guru Gobind Singh. Perverting history by interpreting the Guru’s dissent against oppression as hiring his sword to a tyrant is outlandish and insults a man who gave his life to liberate others.

 

Rajmohan Gandhi’s baseless assertions are best understood in context of the ancient historical conflict between the two dominant ideologies of India — of the Moolnivasi, or indigenous people, and of the Aryans, who invaded India from the northwest.

 

Aryanism crafted the caste system and its foundational texts like Manusmriti (The Laws of Manu) to institutionalize the rule of a few over the many. This self-perpetuating system of social tyranny is kept in place by the ignorant cooperation with their subjugation of the approximately 85% of India’s population who constitute Moolnivasi, many of whom have never been educated about the evils of the caste system or of their right not to cooperate with it. Gandhism’s chief contribution to this system has been to further manipulate people into seeing evil as good.

 

Gandhi hid himself in broad daylight by painting his public image as messianic. Meanwhile, the devilish truth behind the smoke and mirrors was Gandhi’s life, from his early days as an attorney in South Africa to his death in his 70s, involved promoting racial segregation and social division, enthusiastic participating in aggressive colonial warfare, sexually molesting his teenage relatives, and playing political games that resulted in India’s partition and the deaths of millions.

 

As a scholar and even a biographer of his grandfather, Rajmohan has failed to bring these facts to light, which is hardly surprising considering the Gandhi family’s denigration of Guru Gobind Singh, as well as of Sikh traditions, is an old habit. In 1925, Mohandas called the guru a “misguided patriot.” [1] On another occasion, he declared: “So far as the Sikh kitchen is concerned, it is a menace.” [2]

 

It is decades past time the Gandhi family ended its tired tirade against the Moolnivasi people of India and their emancipatory heroes. India remains a land of oppression in need of defenders. For instance, we now see Narendra Modi, CM of Gandhi’s home-state of Gujarat and orchestrator of the 2002 Gujarat Genocide in which thousands of Muslims were massacred, poised to become Prime Minister.

 

While the world still sees Mohandas Gandhi as a virtual deity, he is worshipped in India, his picture is on the wall of every government office in India and even in the U.S. President’s office, and his philosophy is being taught even to primary school children, the sad reality is the fruits of his legacy are visible in an India where architects of genocide presently reign.

 

Although Gandhi boasted about spending his life “experimenting with truth” instead of simply searching for it, at least one statement of his was true: “An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it.” Indeed, no matter how frequently or for how long the Gandhi family propagates errors, their lies will never become the truth. The truth is that the Gandhi family has served as chief apologists for the Indian State since before its founding in 1947.

 

Propagandists like Gandhi, often cloaked as religious icons, are invaluable to tyrannies, as explained by political theorist Murray Rothbard:

 

Throughout history, as we shall see further below, despots and ruling elites of States have had far more need of the services of intellectuals than have peaceful citizens in a free society. For States have always needed opinion-moulding intellectuals to con the public into believing that its rule is wise, good, and inevitable; into believing that the “emperor has clothes. Until the modern world, such intellectuals were inevitably churchmen (or witch doctors), the guardians of religion. It was a cozy alliance, this age-old partnership between Church and State; the Church informed its deluded charges that the king ruled by divine command and therefore must be obeyed; in return, the king funneled numerous tax revenues into the coffers of the Church. [3]

 

Instead of speaking out to demand justice for the innocent and prevent oppressors from terrorizing the land, Rajmohan Gandhi is publishing a book with false facts which injure the sterling reputation of one of India’s greatest defenders, Guru Gobind Singh Ji.  Like his grandfather before him, Rajmohan appears to be demonizing a pioneer of liberty to cloak his own support for the social division of caste. Rather than addressing real and pressing social issues which daily result in discrimination and even death, the Gandhi family has spent the past century spreading an ambiguous philosophy which openly enshrines the caste system as a supposed social good.

 

This was obvious in 1933, when Mohandas Gandhi declared: “The caste system, in my opinion, has a scientific basis. Reason does not revolt against it. It has disadvantages. Caste creates a social and moral restraint — I can find no reason for their abolition. To abolish caste is to demolish Hinduism. There is nothing to fight against the Varnasharma. I don’t believe the caste system to be an odious and vicious dogma.” [4]

 

This was preceded in 1920 by Gandhi’s attempt to turn logic on its head in arguing that caste (a system which is by its very definition founded on inequality because it breaks society into four increasingly-degraded categories) does not create inequality. He stated: “I am certainly against any attempt at destroying the fundamental divisions. The caste system is not based on inequality.” [5]

 

Logically, of course, as well as morally, social division is irreconcilable with social equality. As a contrast in philosophies, Guru Gobind Singh Ji declared centuries before Gandhi: “All human beings are the reflection of one and the same Lord. Recognise ye the whole human race as one.” The absence of this attitude in Gandhism, as illustrated both in Gandhi’s philosophizing and his personal relations, is leading to its intense critical analysis.

 

George Orwell said: “He who controls the present, controls the past.” Reclaiming the truth of history and preserving it for perpetuity is the most important task an intellectual may undertake. Theirs is a greater responsibility, though, for they are tasked with telling truth.

 

Anything less than the truth is a lie, and lies are useful only for propaganda. Experimenting with the truth produces the results we see in India today, which is why the Hollywood Gandhi remains so useful to the Indian State as propaganda.

 

The truth is that the Indian State spots the globe with Gandhi statues as a deliberate propaganda strategy. On November 10, 2010, Indian MP Magunta Sreenivasulu Reddy placed a formal question to India’s Ministry of External Affairs: “Does the Indian state assist in placing statues of Gandhi around the world?” Their response: “Yes.”The state bureaucracy in charge of this is the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, which placed 65 state-funded statues and busts of Gandhi around the world between 2001 and 2010.

 

As Rajmohan Gandhi continues to spread the myth of his grandfather while fabricating lies about Guru Gobind Singh Ji, intellectuals like women’s rights activist Nannette Ricaforte are awakening to the truth of Gandhi’s history and recognizing just how many people were harmed by his legacy. In October 2013, Ricaforte wrote:

 

Spiritual leaders like Gandhi procure a mass following whose reverence for him blinded them to the truth. He was a sexual predator while he espoused non-violence in fighting for the independence of India. Yet his ideology was enough for the majority of his supporters to disregard his immoral acts.

 

In my work as an abolitionist, fighting for the rights of sexually exploited victims, I can’t minimize the facts I’ve learned about Gandhi. It’s unsettling, to say the least.

 

I’ve met young victims of human trafficking, child labor, and the sex trade, stripped of their dignity by men in positions of power. Their degradation meant nothing, marginalized because the community revered the perpetrators. There are no words to express the depth of rage and helplessness I’ve felt when confronted with these reactions. [6]

 

South Asian women’s rights activist Rita Banerji, founder of the 50 Million Missing Campaign to expose female foeticide and infanticide, drew similar conclusions in another October 2013 article about Gandhi’s “dark side,” where she wrote:

 

Compared to our reactions and responses today, the people in Gandhi’s time seemed to be far more progressive! They not only recognized that he was abusing his position and power in a way that was unethical and depraved, but they outright condemned it, confronted it, and eventually forced him to stop!

 

On 16th March, 1947, Nirmal Kumar Bose, one of Gandhi’s closest associates wrote a letter to Kishorlal G. Mashruwala, another of Gandhi’s close colleagues, saying, “When I first learnt about Gandhi’s experiment in which a girl took off her clothes and lay under the same cover with him and he tried to find out if any sexual feeling was evoked in him or his companion, I felt genuinely surprised. Personally, I would not tempt myself like that and more than that, my respect for [women] would prevent me from treating her as an instrument in my experiment…” [7]

 

Rajmohan Gandhi, who has made his career on the coattails of his grandfather’s fame, seems blinded to the truth. His 2007 biography, Mohandas: A True Story of a Man, His People and an Empire, is nothing but a stale, melodramatic retread of the typical Gandhi myth — Mohandas as a messianic figure who not only led the country to independence but the people to enlightenment. Objective modern biographers are telling a completely different story, as I mentioned earlier: Gandhi was racist, sexist, and casteist.

 

Unlike what history has shown us in the Sikh tradition, where individuals are liberated and mass emancipation is taught as the key to social progress, Gandhism preaches evil cloaked as good — war as peace, hate as love, segregation as unity, subjugation as equality, and tyranny as liberty. Guru Gobind Singh sacrificed his family, his wealth, and eventually his life to free India, and Rajmohan Gandhi’s decision to build on the false legacy of his grandfather by besmirching one who sacrificed himself for others is truly disgraceful.

 

Real heroes of human unity like Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar, who began studies at Columba University in the United States of America in 1913, worked to erase caste barriers through the simple act of encouraging people from separate castes to eat together, drink together, marry one another, and in spirit to recognize the same universal human equality and casteless society taught by Guru Gobind Singh Ji.

 

It has been said the victors write the history books. Brahmins, the ruling elite of India, never stopped being the victors because the system of social division established by caste has placed them at the top of the ivory tower for eons. Brahmanism has no interest in transmitting true history detailing the heroics of Guru Gobind Singh Ji or those, like Dr. Ambedkar, who worked peacefully for real social uplift.

 

No doubt Dr. Ambedkar receives no hearing from the ruling elite because he took the risk of warning the world that Gandhism was just a cynical political ploy for control:

 

I am sure many have felt that if there was any class which deserved to be given special political rights in order to protect itself against the tyranny of the majority under the Swaraj constitution it was the depressed classes. Here is a class which is undoubtedly not in a position to sustain itself in the struggle for existence. The religion to which they are tied, instead of providing for them an honourable place, brands them as lepers, not fit for ordinary intercourse. Economically, it is a class entirely dependent upon the high-caste Hindus for earning its daily bread with no independent way of living open to it….

 

There have been many Mahatmas in India whose sole object was to remove Untouchability and to elevate and absorb the depressed classes, but everyone has failed in their mission. Mahatmas have come, Mahatmas have gone but the Untouchables have remained as Untouchables. [8]

 

As for Gandhi’s use of untouchability as a political issue, Dr. Ambedkar stated in 1955:

 

All this talk about Untouchability was just for the purpose of making the Untouchables drawn into the Congress. That was one thing. Secondly, he wanted to make sure that Untouchables would not oppose his movement of Swaraj. I don’t think beyond that he had any real motive of uplift. He wasn’t like Garrison in the United States, who fought for the Negroes. [9]

 

We must be cautious. Whatever history we have is being systematically chipped away, stripped away, and twisted into lies accepted as truth. Rajmohan Gandhi is but the latest member of his family to play a part in this assault on truth. India’s history, therefore, proves the tragic tale of the sufferings of many minorities at the hands of powerful proponents of falsehood.

 

Rajmohan’s work continues to spread lies. If he is to find redemption, we insist he begin by penning a letter of apology to the world regarding his grandfather’s behavior towards women, blacks, Sikhs, Dalits, and the many others he victimized and subjugated. Rajmohan ought to surrender himself in servitude to the downtrodden of India to atone for the damages caused by his family to the people of South Asia.

 

Finally, we appeal to universities and booksellers to ignore Rajmohan Gandhi’s book, Punjab, especially as long as he refuses to speak the truth about his family deliberately hidden dark secrets. The world no longer has any excuse to remain gullible about Gandhi’s past in the face of so much information exposing his exploitation of the vulnerable. The myth is Gandhi as savior but the truth is Gandhi as predator and so, it seems, Gandhism must be rejected completely.
NOTES:

1 Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi (CWMG). Vol. 31, p. 142.

2 CWMG. Vol. 28, p. 11.

3 Rothbard, Murray. For A New Liberty. Ludwig Von Mises Institute (2006). pp. 12-13.

4 Harijan, 1933.

5 CWMG. Volume 22, p. 67.

6 Ricaforte, Nannette. “Shattered Heroes: Gandhi’s Dark Side?” GoodMenProject.com. October 18, 2013.

7 Banerji, Rita. “Gandhi Used His Position To Sexually Exploit Young Women: The Way WE React To This Matters Even Today.” Youth Ki Awaaz. October 15, 2013.

8 Statement by Dr. B. R. Ambedkar on Gandhi’s “Fast Unto Death” at the London Round Table Conference to oppose separate electorates for Untouchables, September 19, 1932.

9 Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar, an interview on BBC Radio, Dec. 31, 1955.