Home > Current Affairs, Musings, Reason, Secular Religions, Skepticism > Who Cares If Gandhi Was a Bisexual Racist?

Who Cares If Gandhi Was a Bisexual Racist?

Some of you might have heard about a recent book on the life of Gandhi by Joseph Lelyveld. While he does not say that Gandhi was racist or bisexual, some of the material presented in the book suggests that Gandhi was no stranger to either behavior.

Many “newspapers” and aging CONservative britons have suggested that those and a few other moral failings are somehow noteworthy. While a briton laying any sort of claim to moral or intellectual superiority is laughable at best, it brings up a bigger question-

Does the personal morality of a person matter if it not alter his public persona to any significant degree?

Sure the guy had man crushes, liked enemas, sleeping naked/bathing with 14-17 something girls and a host of other things which are peculiar, if not outright weird. I personally think Gandhi would have made a good catholic priest as teen girls are a step up from pubescent boys.

He also saw black africans are lazy subhumans, but at least he was not involved in killing them. That fact in itself makes him better than over 99% of whites who ever lived in Africa.

While his other failings, prejudices, cowardice etc did hurt the Indian freedom struggle- those were distinct from his sexual practices and racial beliefs. Just as MLKs ‘love’ for white women does not make him any less of icon, neither does Gandhi’s weird sexuality lessen his impact on history.

Face it, both Gandhi and MLK were far less fucked up than the white men they stood up against.

Comments?

  1. Will S.
    March 28, 2011 at 6:18 pm

    How were the British fucked up? They were colonialists just like the rest of Europeans, no less and no more, and the only reason Gandhi succeeded was because the British were growing tired of their Empire – and were moral enough that they could become unconvinced of the rightness of their actions.

    ww1 and ww2 DESTROYED the ability of UK to be an international power of any consequence.

    (BTW, just for fun, imagine if instead, it had been Germany controlling India, and that Gandhi had had to deal with them, in the 1930s/40s. How well do you suppose satyagraha and ahimsa would have worked for Gandhi in that scenario, hmmm? Answer: the Germans would have been ruthless, and utterly crushed Gandhi and his movement. He’d have been just a footnote in history.)

    In that case, the freedom struggle in India would have resembled Algeria or Vietnam.

    And how was Gandhi, with all his eccentricities, less fucked up than, say, Lord Mountbatten? Mountbatten’s partitioning of India saved lives, which would not have happened had Pakistan been forced to stay within India.

    Partitioning of India did get rid of many Muslims.. which was a positive change for India.

    As for MLK, he was an adulterous commie bastard who pretended to be a man of the cloth. Just as Jesse Jackson was, later on. Less fucked up than all those who supported Jim Crow legislation? Right…

    Name the white losers who opposed MLK? Who remembers them? He won and they lost!

  2. PT Barnum
    March 28, 2011 at 8:05 pm

    Authentic, not-totally-whitewashed, English “civilizing” behavior:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denshawai_Incident

  3. Ted
    March 28, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    One of India’s founding father’s was a peculiar fellow with odd sexual habits who also advocated the drinking of urine as a health tonic.

    Many of America’s founding fathers were slaveowners who horse-whipped their slaves, and for good measure, would occasionally rape the women.

    bingo!

  4. March 28, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    What annoys people about Gandhi and MLK is that they’re depicted as flawless, saintlike figures (in the American educational system at least), a byproduct of white LIEbral guilt.

    I don’t care much about these things anymore. Frankly, Gandhi being a pervert and MLK being a womanize make them more interesting people, to me anyway. Saints and goody-goods are boring and one-dimensional – it’s flaws and weaknesses that make people worth paying attention to.
    —-

    Agree! They were just human, like everybody else.

    Benjamin Franklin was a remarkable man, with a strong preference for whores. We prefer to concentrate on his achievements, rather than concentrate on his sexual behavior.

  5. March 29, 2011 at 4:02 am

    Enemas, like bloodletting, were common ‘medical’ practices back then. It seems that many people used to do it. So what’s peculiar about it?

  6. MikkoAP
    March 29, 2011 at 5:36 am

    Both Gandhi’s saintly image and the desire to tear it down stem from a curiously european perspective. European nation’s practiced colonialism with the pretext that they were bringing civilisation to the poor backward natives in exchange for the minor cost of handing over all their natural resources to europeans. When the reality was finally exposed, it shocked a lot of europeans which in turn made them take the opposite view: colonialism was now the source of ALL the problems.

    Of course both views were bullshit.

    European colonialism was ruthless exploitation, the pretext for which was the advancement of western civilisation outside of Europe.

    On the other hand, areas colonised and exploited by europeans had been pretty fucked up long before their arrival and for the most part would remain so after.

    And also, in India the brits could not have exploited the native peasantry without the help of the native elite, which previously had happily exploited the same peasants in the servece of the Mughals.

    Also colonialism was run by european elites FOR european elites, while the masses in both Europe and the colonies mostly lived in shit conditions. That’s a valid argument for both: why the average european need not feel guilty about colonialism and why he/she’d be a fucking idiot to be proud of it.

  7. MikkoAP
    March 29, 2011 at 5:42 am

    “European nation’s -> European nations “, “would remain so after. -> would remain so after their departure.” , “servece -> service” 😛

  1. April 3, 2011 at 11:20 am

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