2007-12-31

Mahatma Gandhi: Racist, Good. Vs. Evil?

Gandhi is a highly revered person. Known for his love of peace and equality. He is like a Saint, I remember no one in America knew who Gandhi was until Ben Kingsley played him in a movie, and now we are supposed to love him. I decided years ago to read up on Gandhi and one thing I found was that Gandhi initially wasn't all about equality exactly. He was about equality for Indians living in South Africa, not about black people living in South Africa.

"Ours is one continued struggle against degradation sought to be inflicted upon us by the European, who desire to degrade us to the level of the raw Kaffir, whose occupation is hunting and whose sole ambition is to collect a certain number of cattle to buy a wife with, and then pass his life in indolence and nakedness."

"It is one thing to register natives who would not work, and whom it is very difficult to find out if they absent themselves, but it is another thing -and most insulting - to expect decent, hard-working, and respectable Indians, whose only fault is that they work too much, to have themselves registered and carry with them registration badges."

"Now let us turn our attention to another and entirely unrepresented community - the Indian. He is in striking contrast with the native. While the native has been of little benefit to the State, it owes its prosperity largely to the Indians. While native loafers abound on every side, that species of humanity is almost unknown among Indians here."

"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."


Now reading this article, it is a bashing of liberal ideology. I do want to know though, why do we forget Gandhi's racism, but are always quick to remember his fight for equality for his OWN people?

I cannot understand how we treat this man as a hero. In today's modern age Sharpton would have attacked him with a vengeance. CNN would have blasted his comments all over the place and he would have been dismissed as a racist for the most part.

Why do we as people tend to have only two categories of people. Good and Bad? Obviously a lot of people love Gandhi think he is wonderful, but if they actually read the writings of Gandhi, would they be so quick to think of him as a martyr for equality? Obviously he did do good for Indians, in particular Indians of a higher caste. He apparently wasn't into low caste Indians receiving equal treatment either. So was Gandhi an overall good person or an overall bad person?