Gandhi is idolized worldwide as a prophet, a visionary, even a messiah. Earl Mountatten, the last Viceroy of India, said, “Mahatma Gandhi will go down in history on a par with Buddha and Jesus Christ.” The accuracy of his statement can be seen in modern Hindu temples, such as the “Gandhi Temple” of Bhatra village, Sambalpur District, where Gandhi is worshiped as a deity.
Gandhi is to India what George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison were to the United States. He was a primary leader in Indian political movements in both South African and India and his political philosophy prevails in India. All politicians there acknowledge him as their political, philosophical, and spiritual for bearer, even worshiping at his tomb, Raj Ghat. He is even worshiped as a god by many Hindus. Even the United Nations honored him, choosing his birthday as an “International Day of Non-Violence.”
Gandhi was a first-class racist.
Many years ago, the lack of efficient methods of communication and documentation allowed Gandhi to effortlessly create a convincing but false image of himself. People had no way to adequately investigate his past or properly track his present activities, so the truth remained hidden for decades.
The popular image of Gandhi is a myth. Gandhi was deeply prejudiced against all minorities, from black Africans to low-caste Hindus. He also demonstrated a shocking lack of morality, from sleeping naked with young girls to employing nonviolence merely as a tool of political expedience.
Gandhi’s writing, compiled in an uncensored series of volumes by the Government of India, is liberally sprinkled with verbal violence against the black South African natives, who he termed “Kaffirs.” His animosity towards black people is almost tangible and his racism is undeniable. A brief but shocking example illustrates Gandhi’s racism.
Gandhi was hired to work as an attorney for wealthy Indian traders in South Africa. He moved there in 1893 and soon helped establish the Natal Indian Congress. The Natal Indian Congress was founded in 1894 by Mohandas Gandhi to further the causes of caste Hindus and campaign against equal treatment for Indians and black South African natives. The major achievement of the Congress was the successful attempt, spear-headed by Gandhi, to fix the Durban post office “problem.”
The Durban Post office
This achievement is shocking but very well-documented in Gandhi’s writings. In his Collected Works (CWMG), Vol. I, pp. 367-368, Gandhi wrote: “For the present our efforts are concentrated towards preventing and getting repealed fresh legislation. Before referring to that, I may further illustrate the proposition that the Indian is put on the same level with the native in many other ways also. Lavatories are marked ‘natives and Asiatics’ at the railway stations. In the Durban Post and telegraph offices there were separate entrances for natives and Asiatics and Europeans. We felt the indignity too much and many respectable Indians were insulted and called all sorts of names by the clerks at the counter. We petitioned the authorities to do away with the invidious distinction and they have now provided three separate entrances for natives, Asiatics, and Europeans.”
Gandhi Refuses to Share Door With Blacks
Gandhi first referenced this issue in an August, 1895 letter titled “Report of the Natal Indian Congress.” He wrote: “A correspondence was carried on by the late President with the Government in connection with the separate entrances for the Europeans and Natives and Asiatics at the Post Office.”
Gandhi Achieves Post Office Segregation
In his 1895 “Report,” Gandhi boasted about the government response to his petition for segregation from the blacks. He wrote: “The result has not been altogether unsatisfactory. Separate entrances will now be provided for the three communities.” Again, in his 1896 “Grievances,” he bragged about this victory, writing: “We petitioned the authorities to do away with the invidious distinction and they have now provided three separate entrances for natives, Asiatics and Europeans.”
A year later, after the issue had already been resolved, Gandhi chose to expound upon his reasons for raising it in the first place. In his August 14, 1896 letter, “The Grievances of the British Indians in South Africa: An Appeal to the Indian Public,” he called being “put on the same level with the native” a “disability.” He did not complain that Indians were refused the same rights as whites, but rather that Indians were not treated as legally superior to the black natives.
Gandhi’s “Grievances” letter continues: “Lavatories are marked ‘natives and Asiatics’ at the railway stations. In the Durban Post and Telegraph Offices, there were separate entrances for natives and Asiatics and Europeans. We felt the indignity too much and many respectable Indians were insulted and called all sorts of names by the clerks at the counter.”
Obviously, Gandhi was infuriated by the idea of integration with the black natives. He didn’t mind that Indians were segregated from whites as long as the Indian was not “dragged down to the position of a raw Kaffir.”
Gandhi Seeks Further Segregation
He was not satisfied, however, and in 1896 raised the “problem” of other integrated locations. The integrated railway station lavatories displeased him, for instance, and in “Grievances” he wrote that “our efforts are concentrated towards preventing and getting repealed fresh legislation.” His efforts to increase racial segregation continued for many years. In an 1894 Indian Opinion article, for instance, he again protested integration with the blacks, writing: “Why, of all places in Johannesburg, the Indian location should be chosen for dumping down all Kaffirs of the town, passes my comprehension. Of course, under my suggestion, the Town Council must withdraw the Kaffirs from the Location. About this mixing of the Kaffirs with the Indians I must confess I feel most strongly. I think it is very unfair to the Indian population, and it is an undue tax on even the proverbial patience of my countrymen.”
Indeed, Gandhi felt Indian segregation was something worth boasting about. In a March, 1903 Indian Opinion article, he wrote: “The petition dwells upon `the co-mingling of the colored and white races.’ May we inform the members of the Conference that so far as British Indians are concerned, such a thing is particularly unknown. If there is one thing which the Indian cherishes more than any other, it is the purity of type.”
Read More : Gandhi was a Racist Part 2