28 September, 2020

When Gandhi's Magic Failed To Stop Netaji From Seeking A Second Term As Congress President

Mahatma Gandhi embraced those who differed with him as he knew it's only human to be imperfect, writes Bapu's grandson and historian Rajmohan Gandhi

People’s Man
Gandhi ­arrested; a 1932 painting
Image—Gandhi: An Illustrated Biography, Courtesy: Roli Books
When Gandhi's Magic Failed To Stop Netaji From Seeking A Second Term As Congress President
outlookindia.com
2019-09-27T15:15:56+05:30

Gandhi’s critics, dissenters and foes have not been a major focus for my research. True, Sardar Patel and Rajaji, whom I have studied in some detail, were oft-­dissenting Gandhi allies. Jinnah, whom I ­studied for my Understanding the Muslim Mind, was for a while Gandhi’s ally and an adversary for much longer, whereas Ghaffar Khan, also the subject of a biography by me, was a non-dissenting ally for life.

Nonetheless, having looked fairly closely at Gandhi, I have a picture of the thread of dissent in his story.

During his student years in London (1888-91), after two eminent leaders of the ­Vege­tarian Society he had joined, Alfred Hills and Dr Thomas Allinson, disputed over Allin­son’s Book for Married Women, which ­advocated artificial birth ­control, Gandhi opposed the bid of Hills to remove the doctor from the society. However, as Gandhi would put it, “Dr Allinson lost the day,” and “in the very first battle” of this kind, Gandhi found himself “siding with the losing...

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