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Gandhi: Under Cross Examination


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Gandhi: Under Cross Examination

- G. B. Singh & Tim Watson

The MP3 of Col. G.B. Singh’s interview with Chris Arnzen of WNYG 1440AM is available on his website Iron Sharpens Iron.

Reviewed by Baldev Singh

It is ironic that Gandhi’s own “confession and suggestion†put him on the witness stand under oath to expose his “experiments with the truth.â€

Who can say how much I must give and how much omit in the interests of truth? And what would be the value in a court of law of the inadequate ex parte evidence being tendered by me of certain events in my life? If some busybody were to cross-examine me on the chapters already written, he would probably shed more light on them, and if it were a hostile critic’s cross-examination, he might even flatter himself for having shown up “the hollowness of many of my pretensions.â€

- Mahatma Gandhi

An Autobiography

Gandhi’s biographies, autobiographies and other writings about him are laced with false information, imaginary stories, inconsistencies and contradictions. It is a pity that for almost a century none of the authors, not even academicians, ever bothered to check the veracity of various accounts in Gandhi’s autobiography. It is only in 2004 when G. B. Singh pulled the mask off Mahatma to expose the real Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869-1948) to the world in Gandhi: Behind the Mask of Divinity. Now G. B. Singh has joined hands with Tim Watson to put the apostle of peace, a modern Hindu Avatar, on the witness stand by publishing Gandhi: Under Cross Examination [sovereign Star Publishing, Inc., 2008 (www.sovstar.com)].

Gandhi, his biographers, and Gandhiites of various shades and colors are in full agreement that the humiliating racial incidents that Gandhi experienced in the month of June 1893, after arriving in South Africa, while traveling from Durban to Pretoria transformed him from a typical attorney of mundane variety to a fighter against racial discrimination. We are told that this transformation in Gandhi made him the “soul of Congress Party,†the foremost leader of India’s struggle for independence through non-violence, a champion of untouchables, the apostle of peace, and a modern Hindu Avatar embodying the “trinity†of Vishnu, Jesus, and Buddha (A photo circulated in the early 1920s placed messianic Gandhi higher to Krishna, Buddha, Jesus, Tolstoy, Lenin and Prof. McSweenie).

But it is difficult to comprehend that Gandhi, a man fond of and adept in writing letters to newspapers and government officials, did not write about these incidents to newspapers or complain to government officials in South Africa, India, and England. Moreover, it is strange that Gandhi does not mention these incidents in his own newspaper and diary.

These incidents that are considered as a turning point in Gandhi’s life came to light for the first time sixteen years later in his first biography, M. K. Gandhi: An Indian Patriot in South Africa (1909). This book was authored by Reverend J. J. Doke. Doke’s account is inconsistent with the subsequent three contradictory versions given by Gandhi himself in Satyagraha in South Africa, An Autobiography and The story of My Experiments with the Truth, and the interview he gave to Reverend Mott in 1938. Of the four times that Gandhi mentioned these incidents, there is no question that the account as enumerated in his autobiography had far-reaching impact on readers and commentators. It is an inescapable fact that some apologists and scholars have used Gandhi’s autobiography to twist the narrative somewhat to provide more credence and validity to the racial sufferings of Gandhi in South Africa.

The contradictions in the life and experiences of Gandhi, a sensitive man with acute race and caste consciousness, educated in Law in England, who regarded himself as an “English gentleman,†a man of distinction and status in India and whose father was the Dewan of the Raja of Porbandar, raised red flags in the minds of G.B. Singh and Tim Watson. One would expect that details of these humiliating racial incidents would be etched in the memory of a person like Gandhi, like diamond point markings on stainless steel. But that was not the case. Gandhi kept changing the story as he went along!

After many years of painstaking research and on examining a plethora of well-known, not so well-known, and unknown documents pertaining to Gandhi, with solid evidences in their hands, the authors have argued forcefully and logically with great precision to expose the fraud which the “experimenter with truth,†his apologists, and the “Gandhi propaganda machine†have perpetrated over the last one hundred years relentlessly.

These racial incidents are fictitious episodes contrived by Gandhi and Reverend Doke to make Gandhi a living martyr using the “politics of victimization†argument. Later, other fellow preachers and myth promoters used Reverend Doke’s account to create a “new Christ†in the person of M. K. Gandhi. According to Bishop James K. Mathews’s dissertation at Columbia University the idea of making Gandhi into a living martyr was put into his head by Reverenced Doke (1861-1913), a Baptist minister in Johannesburg, South Africa, during a conversation between the two in 1908:

He was really “tricked†into allowing this to be done. Mr. Doke came to the office in about 1908, asking Gandhi if he were ready to be a martyr. The ready reply was, “I am nothing. I am willing to die at any time or to do anything for the cause.†The “martyrdom†consisted in allowing the biography to be written, for the minister felt that it would help the cause of the Indians for their leader to be known in England.

Was Gandhi a member or a close associate of the Freemasonry? This book addresses that question, and it is quite likely Gandhi had benefited from such a relationship. Interestingly the current website hosted by “Grand Lodge of India†lists the names of prominent Indians of the 20th century like Motilal Nehru, Rajendra Prasad, S. Radhakrishnan and C. Rajagopalachari as noteworthy members of Freemasonry.

In addition to the contradictions and inconsistencies in the four accounts given by Gandhi relating to the humiliating experience and brutal beating he suffered in June 1893 while traveling from Durban to Pretoria, there are other evidences and arguments that refute the validity of the alleged incidents such as:

a. Within days after his arrival in South Africa, Gandhi started writing letters to South African newspapers regarding racial incidents experienced by Indians, but there is no evidence that he wrote any letter about his racial humiliation and beatings. He wrote two letters in September and October 1893 to the Natal Advertiser about racial discrimination faced by Indians, but he made no mention of any incident related to him.

b. Gandhi went back to India on June 5, 1896, and there is not a single shred of evidence that he had commiserated with anyone over the racial incidents he experienced. He stayed in India for six months and traveled extensively in his home state of Gujarat and traveled to Bombay, Calcutta, Madras, Poona and so forth telling Indians the terrible things to which Indians were subjected in South Africa, but nowhere did he talk about his own experiences. He even authored a booklet of about 33 pages called “The Grievances of British Indians in South Africa: An Appeal to the Indian Public†and fails to mention what happened to him in June 1893.

c. Gandhi’s very close disciple, Henry S. L. Polak (1882-1959) who was well aware of Doke’s biography of Gandhi authored two booklets, The Indians of South Africa and M. K. Gandhi; both published in 1909 and 1910. Similarly, a close fiend of Gandhi, Dr. P. J. Mehta (1858-1932) who was a recipient of Doke’s biography also published M. K. Gandhi and the South African Indian Problem in 1912. But the three books by Gandhi’s very close friends do not mention the June 1983 racial incidents.

d. A movie, Mahatma – Life of Gandhi, released by the government of India and The Gandhi National Memorial on October 2, 1968, celebrating Gandhi’s birth centenary failed to depict the racial incidents of 1893 which are claimed to be a pivotal turning point in his life, in spite of the detailed description of his life shown in that movie.

e. In his book, The Birth and Development of National Railways (1951), Edward D. Campbell, who was the Station Master at the Pietermaritzburg station in 1893, has recorded a sensational incident that took place in June 1893 at the Pietermaritzburg station dealing with an engine and its operator. He makes no mention of the ill treatment of Gandhi at the Pietermaritzburg station in June 1893.

f. After Gandhi’s assassination in 1948, an article “Gandhiji in South Africa†published by South African attorney F. E. T. Krause who met Gandhi in 1893 in Pretoria throws startling light on Gandhi’s life style, but makes no mention the racial incidences experienced by Gandhi in in1983. F.E. T. Krause’s older brother A. E. J Krause who was at that time Attorney General of Transvaal Republic exempted Gandhi from showing papers and other requirements that were required of the people of color and not only granted him a Certificate of Exemption but also treated Gandhi as a dignitary when they were together. One night the Attorney General invited Gandhi to dinner. The natives [meaning Black Africans] serving the table protested at being called upon to attend an Indian, and it was only after it was explained to them that Gandhi was a great man, just like a native chief, that they were prepared to continue their service.

g. Interestingly, the privileged status enjoyed by Gandhi in the iron clad apartheid society is confirmed by Gandhi’s closest white disciple Henry S. L. Polak, who noted that the so-called “coolie lawyer†was a well-known passenger who went about the country on professional or public business travelling generally first-class, often having the whole compartment to himself.

I think there is nothing unusual from Gandhi’s point of view about the contradictory and inconsistent narratives pertaining to the fictitious 1893 racial incidents or his “experiments with the truthâ€. To understand why Gandhi would indulge in self-serving lies one only needs to read Bhagwan Krishna’s sermons to Pandvas in Bhagvad Gita, which Gandhi regarded as the essence of Hinduism. In Bhagvad Gita, Bhagwan Krishna urged the Pandvas to tell lies, cheat, manipulate and do whatever it took to win the battle because victory is all that matters!

I highly recommend Gandhi: Under Cross-Examination to all readers and especially for those who love truth, stand for truth, and promote the truth.

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