Gandhi racist and bisexual? (was Rajiv Malhotra and the Infinity Foundation)

Veeranarayana Pandurangi veerankp at GMAIL.COM
Mon Apr 4 09:07:55 UTC 2011

I do not understand the title of message which clubbed gandhi and malhotra.
is it a mistake or some message is hidden?

On Tue, Mar 29, 2011 at 9:13 PM, Ashok Aklujkar <ashok.aklujkar at>wrote:

> On 2011-03-29, at 1:25 AM, franco at RZ.UNI-LEIPZIG.DE wrote:
> > A new biography of Gandhi (extracts in the Wall Street Journal) describes
> him as a racist and bisexual.
> Compare:
> NEW DELHI: Thousands of books have been written on Mahatma Gandhi with each
> new one claiming to have discovered an unknown facet of his eventful life.
> When reviews of Pulitzer prizewinner Joseph Lelyveld's "Great Soul: Mahatma
> Gandhi and His Struggle with India" hit the newspapers in England and US
> claiming that the book says Gandhi was a bisexual and had a German-Jewish
> bodybuilder lover in Hermann Kallenbach it created immediate sensation.
> But as the Daily Mail's review of the book created a storm in cyberspace,
> there was a barrage of protests not just from Gandhians who said this was
> "blasphemy", but from the book's author himself who denied having suggested
> anything of the sort.
> Lelyveld told TOI, "I do not allege that Gandhi is a racist or bisexual in
> 'Great Soul'. The word 'bisexual' nowhere appears in the book." He also
> denied having called Gandhi a racist. "The word 'racist' is used once to
> characterise comments by Gandhi early in his stay in South Africa, part of a
> chapter summarising his statements about Africans and his relations with
> them. The chapter in no way concludes that he was a racist or offers any
> suggestion of it."
> Psychoanalyst Sudhir Kakar, one of the first to write on Gandhi's sexuality
> in 'Intimate Relations: Exploring Indian Sexuality' and later in 'Mira and
> Mahatma', is yet to read the book but has gone through an ocean of archives
> on Gandhi and says he never discovered anything that the reviewers claim the
> book consists of.
> Kakar remembers finding references to Kallenbach during his research but
> not the way the reviewers have portrayed it. He says if the book has what
> reviewers claim then it is plain "stupid." "Gandhi always talked of complete
> love but it was of platonic kind," he says. Another eminent modern India
> historian who has read the book said, "The reviews are by Churchill fans and
> rightwingers." The Mahatma's grandson Gopal Gandhi said, "I will not comment
> till I read the book."
> But Gandhian scholar Tridip Suhrud, author of books like 'The Autobiography
> of The Story of My Experiments With Truth' not only interacted with Lelyveld
> when he was researching the book but has also read it. He is aghast with the
> reviews and swears by Lelyveld. Suhrud says the section on Kallenbach begins
> with a quote from him.
> "Lelyveld asks me what I think of Gandhi's relationship with Kallenbach and
> I say, 'It is almost like a couple'. The two had a deep bond that borders on
> attraction of platonic kind. Joseph is not talking about what the reviewers
> are claiming," Suhrud says. He explains that in the late 19th century and
> early 20th century men addressed each other in a way that can be construed
> now as lovers.
> He gives the instance of letters between Rabindranath Tagore and CF
> Andrews. "Andrews wrote to Tagore in a manner that might raise eyebrows
> today. But the context was different then as also the usage of words. Tagore
> addressed him as Charlie," Suhrud says. He also says reviewers claim that
> the book portrays Gandhi as a racist is factually incorrect. In fact, he
> says, the book chronicles his work with Zulus as well during the Boer War
> where he took up the cause of the blacks.
> Suhrud goes on to give full marks to Lelyveld and the book. He says it is
> the first political biography of Gandhi by an expert on apartheid. "It is a
> fascinating work. Lelyveld shows there is continuity in Gandhi as well as
> major points of departure. Gandhi of South Africa was not the same as Gandhi
> of Sabarmati ashram. And Gandhi of Sabarmati was not the same after Dandi
> March." Lelyveld agrees: "The aim of 'Great Soul' is to sift the evidence
> and facts of Gandhi's life and discuss them in a careful, responsible and
> balanced way."

Veeranarayana N.K. Pandurangi
Head, Dept of Darshanas,
Yoganandacharya Bhavan,
Jagadguru Ramanandacharya Rajasthan Samskrita University, Madau, post
Bhankrota, Jaipur, 302026.

अथ चेत्त्वमिमं धर्म्यं संग्रामं न करिष्यसि।
ततः स्वधर्मं कीर्तिं च हित्वा पापमवाप्स्यसि।।
तस्मादुत्तिष्ठ कौन्तेय युद्धाय कृतनिश्चयः।
निराशीर्निर्ममो भूत्वा युध्यस्व विगतज्वरः।। (भ.गी.)

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