2.Does anyone have any info. about India's policy of permintting
private airlines? For this one, I don't know much so any info.
will be on help. For example, what is its signifance? Was it
expected? Under what conditions was it madse,etc?
3.Does anyone know about India's policies regarding tourisms?
I would really apprecaite any help.
Thank you in advance,
I would say not much, look at what happened to Enron.
> 2.Does anyone have any info. about India's policy of permintting
> private airlines? For this one, I don't know much so any info.
> will be on help. For example, what is its signifance? Was it
> expected? Under what conditions was it madse,etc?
Private airlines ??, whats that ? I thought it was a socialist country
> 3.Does anyone know about India's policies regarding tourisms?
Yes, refer to my last message about Bombay airport !
>I would really apprecaite any help.
>Thank you in advance,
Hope that helped.
"To my mind, the life of a lamb is no less precious than that of a
human being. I should be unwilling to take the life of a lamb for
the sake of the human body."
- Mahatma Gandhi
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: "To my mind, the life of a lamb is no less precious than that of a
: human being. I should be unwilling to take the life of a lamb for
: the sake of the human body."
: - Mahatma Gandhi
To my mind, the life of Mahatma Gandhi was no more precious than the
life of the various goats that I have eaten to preserve my own human
I guess to some extent I do agree with Gandhi, no? ;-)
> To my mind, the life of Mahatma Gandhi was no more precious than the
> life of the various goats that I have eaten to preserve my own human
Actually, you have almost hit on the moral revelation that was sent to
Cannabilism is justified by vegetarianism. Since vegetarians value animals
as much as people they are asking to be eaten by any normap person who takes
their values seriously - and feels like eating one of the scrawny creatures.
Peter H. M. Brooks
Ah, Peter, you really do write some shit at times. It's
hard to find a fact in anything you've written above. Your definition
of a Vegetarian is skewed, your description of a Vegetarian Physique
is absurdly polar, and you've missed at least one important premise
in your logic.
If you really want to write polemic articles then at least
try to base them on something solid, puh-lease.
I was gratified to be able to answer promptly, and I did. I said I didn't know.
"The greatness of a nation and its moral
progress can be judged by the way
its animals are treated."
- Mahatma Gandhi
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> >as much as people they are asking to be eaten by any normal person who takes
> >their values seriously - and feels like eating one of the scrawny creatures.
> Ah, Peter, you really do write some shit at times. It's
> hard to find a fact in anything you've written above. Your definition
> of a Vegetarian is skewed, your description of a Vegetarian Physique
> is absurdly polar, and you've missed at least one important premise
> in your logic.
So, you say that vegetarians do not value animals as much as people? How then
justify the actions of the animal liberation looneys who put human life
at risk for animals? The usual rationale put forward for not eating animals
is that they have some kind of 'right to life' analogous to that in people. So,
what is 'skewed' about the brief indication I made of a vegetarian 'value'?
Polar bears are large cubby things, my description as scrawny does not
mesh with this. Do you know any fat, juicy vegetarians?
Don't leave people in suspense, what is this 'important premise' in
my logic? How can you know that there is 'at least one' unless you can
easily state what the one that you claim to have spotted is?
I think that you just like the cadence of 'important premise in logic' it
sounds like a knock down argument, so why not use it.
Of course, I wouldn't expect vegetarians to find the argument amusing, as
I have pointed out elsewhere, they lack a sense of humour. I would like
to see some research funded to see if this is a factor in their becoming
vegetarians, or a result of their nutritional deficiencies.
Well, I certainly don't and I'm a vegan. Neither do any of the
vegetarians that I know personally.
In fact, you could try a bit of research by yourself. Ask the
vegetarians you know if, when presented with the dilemma of saving
a human or an animal but not both from (say) a house fire, they would
save the human, the animal, or none (by not knowing which to save!).
>justify the actions of the animal liberation looneys who put human life
>at risk for animals?
Your seem to have lost it again. Vegetarians are people who
do not eat meat (for whatever reason). People who support "animal
liberation" have a definite position regarding animal experimentation
or perhaps exploitation. The loony bit appears to be a value judgement
If this is not clear, perhaps the following helps:
Premise: (granny smith) apples are green
Premise: (pre-drought) grass is green
Conclusion: apples are grass
Hopefully, even you can see that the conclusion does not follow from
>The usual rationale put forward for not eating animals
>is that they have some kind of 'right to life' analogous to that in people. So,
>what is 'skewed' about the brief indication I made of a vegetarian 'value'?
So, you accept that there are other reasons for being vegetarian
than a "right to life" stance? On what basis have you readily accepted
that this stance is being usual?
>Polar bears are large cubby things, my description as scrawny does not
>mesh with this. Do you know any fat, juicy vegetarians?
Of the nine in my workplace (of 40 people), three are *not*
overweight to some extent. Of those three, one doesn't drink beer
and the other is ectomorphic.
All things being equal, to be overweight one needs to consume
more calories than one uses. In a desk job (as it is here), the average
calorific requirement of a male is probably 2000-3000 depending on
build. A bag of crisps or a pint of beer supplies about 180 cals, an
apple 70, a mars bar 250, a gram of fat 9, a slice of bread 90, [...]
It doesn't that much to arrive at more than the calorific requirement
especially if one eats "normally" but replaces meat for dairy produce.
Hence, being "scrawny" is not actually a consequence of being
vegetarian but of not consuming enough calories for one's workload.
Are you claiming that vegetarians under-eat? If so, on what basis do
you make this claim? Clearly, from any calorie guide, it is obvious that
vegetarian meals can have a similar calorie count to that of a meat
>Don't leave people in suspense, what is this 'important premise' in
>my logic? How can you know that there is 'at least one' unless you can
>easily state what the one that you claim to have spotted is?
>I think that you just like the cadence of 'important premise in logic' it
>sounds like a knock down argument, so why not use it.
That vegetarians consider any meat to be acceptable food to
any humans, that "normal people" who take their [vegetarians] values
seriously would not be vegetarians, [...] but all this is irrelevant
anyway as the rest does not stand proper scrutiny. Perhaps you don't
want to defend you other erroneous statements and home in on this
part instead as an escape?
And I do like the cadence, too. I might use it again.
>Of course, I wouldn't expect vegetarians to find the argument amusing, as
>I have pointed out elsewhere, they lack a sense of humour.
If I find some of your other stuff amusing (e.g. the spacer bar =
ejector seat button thing) then does this mean that your argument here is
not amusing to me because it is not, in fact, amusing at all or do you
have another explanation to support your theory? Has it occurred to you
that (say) making jokes about death to the recently bereaved or (say)
making jokes about blacks being stupid to a black man might not mean that
your audience has no sense of humour but that it does not find jokes about
a particular subject funny especially if the joker has malicious intent?
: Well, I certainly don't and I'm a vegan. Neither do any of the
: vegetarians that I know personally.
But I still think it applies to Gandhi's statement. :-)
: Well, I certainly don't and I'm a vegan. Neither do any of the
: vegetarians that I know personally.
Deleted stuff from David's original post.
: I was gratified to be able to answer promptly, and I did. I said I didn't know.
: Mark Twain.
David a question for you ....
Why do you persist in elevating the status of someone who is obviously lacking
in some faculties, to the level of a person whose opinion you care to respond to?
Apply the old principle of "adequatio rei et intellectus".
> >So, you say that vegetarians do not value animals as much as people?
> Well, I certainly don't and I'm a vegan. Neither do any of the
> vegetarians that I know personally.
So, you agree.
> Your seem to have lost it again. Vegetarians are people who
> do not eat meat (for whatever reason). People who support "animal
> liberation" have a definite position regarding animal experimentation
> or perhaps exploitation. The loony bit appears to be a value judgement
> from you.
No, a value judgement from being human. Homo Sapiens eats meat, members
of the species who arrogate to themselves some sort of moral virtue from
not eating meat are loonies.
> Hopefully, even you can see that the conclusion does not follow from
By 'Hopefully' you appear to mean 'I hope', this is not what the
word means, look it up.
> Of the nine in my workplace (of 40 people), three are *not*
> overweight to some extent. Of those three, one doesn't drink beer
> and the other is ectomorphic.
Oh, yes? What brings you to believing the theory that claims 'ectomorphic'
is genetic? The idea that it is hey-wow, perchance?
> That vegetarians consider any meat to be acceptable food to
> any humans, that "normal people" who take their [vegetarians] values
> seriously would not be vegetarians, [...] but all this is irrelevant
> anyway as the rest does not stand proper scrutiny. Perhaps you don't
> want to defend you other erroneous statements and home in on this
> part instead as an escape?
There are no erroneous statements. Vegetarians are unfortunate freaks.
Normal people do not take vegetarians seriously, because they are a joke.
> If I find some of your other stuff amusing (e.g. the spacer bar =
> ejector seat button thing) then does this mean that your argument here is
You are just trying to pretend to a sense of humour, because you suffer
from vegetarianism, good try, no cigar.
........ slander of Mahatma Gandhi deleted...............
Nobody said the Mahatma was infallible. "Gandhi" the movie, is exactly that - a
movie. Learn to separate movies from real life. Movies as a form of art tend to
take artistic license.
If you don't believe the teachings of Gandhi, that's fine. But do you really have
to slander a dead man? How does that make you feel?
As for Richard Grenier, never heard of him before this and wanna bet that 100
years from now he won't even be remembered by his progeny (if he has any).
The Mahatma's name will live on because of what he taught us. If all of us lived
lives half as pious as his, this world would be paradise............
PS: Couldn't help but notice that your name is Harpreet Singh, are you one of
those whacky Punjabi terrorists who is trying to spread lies about India and its
Most of post was just garbage. Like Govt of India open admits
blah blah .. I think it makes me proud! And the rest of the garbage
like FDR and this ---->
If Pandit Nehru is portrayed flatteringly in the film,
one must remember that Nehru himself took part in the initial story
conferences (he originally wanted Gandhi to be played by Alec
Some one is sure having fun....as for the rest.....not worth
wasting one's breath....
> At a dinner party shortly afterward, a friend of mine, who had
>visited India many times and even gone to the trouble of learning
>Hindi, objected strenuously that the picture of Gandhi that emerges
>in the movie is grossly inaccurate, omitting, as one of many
This sets the tone for the rest of the article. Condescending,
derogatory. Reminds me of Lord McCauly who said that all the wisdom and
learning of the east can barely fill one shelf of the Oxford University
> I cannot honestly say I had any reasonable expectation that the
>film would show scenes of Gandhi's pretty teenage girl followers
>fighting "hysterically" (the word was used) for the honor of sleeping
>naked with the Mahatma and cuddling the nude septuagenarian in
>their arms. (Gandhi was "testing" his vow of chastity in order to gain
>moral strength for his mighty struggle with Jinnah.) When told there
I doubt that Gandhi was a pervert. He had a catholic's guilt about his
body, which was a result of his having made love to his wife while his
father lay dying next door. He was deeply influenced by the bible, and
yearned to be the Lamb of God. On his own account, he broke the pledge
of brahmacharaya, and it was not until he was 36, that he could stay the
course. You must understand, that abstinence to him, was the purest of
the pure, and also a form of non-violence.
> 'Gandhi,' therefore, the film, this paid political advertisement
>government of India, is organized around three axes: (1) Anti-
>racism--all men are equal regardless of race, color, creed, etc.; (2)
>anti-colonialism, which in present terms translates as support for the
>Third World, including, most eminently, India; (3) nonviolence,
A fortuitous extrapolation, if I may say so. Great setup for later jabs
the author will take.
> I propose to demonstrate that the film grotesquely distorts both
>Gandhi's life and character to the point that it is nothing more than a
>pious fraud, and a fraud of the most egregious kind. Hackneyed
>Indian falsehoods such as that "the British keep trying to break India
>up" (as if Britain didn't give India a unity it had never enjoyed in
>history), or that the British *created* Indian poverty (a poverty
>which had not only existed since time immemorial but had been
>considered holy), almost pass unnoticed in the tide of adulation for
>our fictional saint. Gandhi, admittedly, being a devout Hindu, was far
The British never played divide and rule? Well, laa di duh ! Perhaps the
author is not aquainted with economic history. Forget the "sone ke chirhia"
that was ancient Bharat, but let us talk about the 17th century. The
standards of living of most Indians (excluding the Shudras) was above that
of the British. In fact, India was poised for an industrial revolution had
it not been systematically quashed by British Mercantile interests. ( This
I read long time ago in some issue of the Economic & Political Weekly. See
also the works of Jadunath Sarkar on that period.)
> For Gandhi was an extremely difficult man to work with. He had no
>partners, only disciples. For members of his ashrams, he dictated...
A serious flaw in a political leader. However, parliamentary politics
was a new tradition in India, and a modus operandi was being evolved,
based on Indian ethos. Saints in India, like Vishwamitra in the days
of Harish Chandra, have long exercised a primacy of power the
author cannot appreciate from his unforgiving western stance.
>of Englishmen, he had no concern for blacks whatever. In fact,
>during one of the "Kaffir Wars" he volunteered to organize a brigade
>of Indians to put down a Zulu rising, and was decorated himself for
>valor under fire.
Remember, that at this point, Gandhi rather admired the British, their
sense of fairplay and justice, and thought of them as an enlightening
force. He viewed humilations heaped on the subjects of the empire as
abberations, which could be corrected. Like the rest oof us, he lived
> It should be understood that it is unlikely Gandhi ever truly
>conceived of "becoming" an Englishman, first, because he was a Hindu
>to the marrow of his bones, and also, perhaps, because his democratic
>instincts were really quite weak. He was a man of the most extreme,
>autocratic temperament, tyrannical, unyielding even regarding things
>he knew nothing about, totally intolerant of all opinions but his own.
>He was, furthermore, in the highest degree reactionary, permitting in
>India no change in the relationship between the feudal lord and his
>peasants or servants, the rich and the poor. In his 'The Life and
Gandhi had a pretty well articulated view of the India of his dreams.
Economically, it was not unlike the Jeffersonian ideal of an agrarian
republic. Maybe he didn't want to rock the boat too much. Does anyone,
if they are not Karl Marx or Lenin? In modern day India, the so called
untouchables have made great progress, without upsetting the established
social structure, elements of which, have served us quite well, thank you.
>empire.'" And yet within two years, the time having come for swaraj
>(home rule), Gandhi's inner voice spoke again, and, the leader having
>found his cause, Gandhi proclaimed resoundingly: "The British empire
>today represents Satanism, and they who love God can afford to have
>no love for Satan."
>movement gathered momentum, it was the swaraj, the whole swaraj,
>and nothing but the swaraj, and he turned relentlessly against the
>crown. The movie to the contrary, he caused the British no end of
>trouble in their struggles during World War II.
Excahuuse meee !
>BUT it should not be thought for one second that Gandhi's finally full-
>blown desire to detach India from the British empire gave him the
>slightest sympathy with other colonial peoples pursuing similar
>objectives. Throughout his entire life Gandhi displayed the most
>spectacular inability to understand or even really take in people
>unlike himself--a trait which V.S. Naipaul considers specifically
>Hindu, and I am inclined to agree. Just as Gandhi had been totally
Most "leaders" expressing so called concern for the opressed everywhere
are greater hypocrytes. What do you want Gandhi to be? Another Che Guevera?
Let other countries come up with their solutions, let them produce
their own Gandhis, Lenins etc.
>in India itself. But this nationalism did not please everyone,
>particularly Tolstoy, who in his last years carried on a curious
>correspondence with the new Indian leader. For Tolstoy, Gandhi's
>Indian nationalism "spoils everything."
Oh, so Tolstoy, product of Western civilization, is the final arbiter
of whether a dose of nationalism was or was not good for India. Imagine
a session of the INC, pithy debates, matters of moment being discussed,
and some one says: "Yeah, but what will Tolstoy think?"
> It is something of an anomaly that Gandhi, held in popular myth to
>be a pure pacifist (a myth which governments of India have always
>been at great pains to sustain in the belief that it will reflect credit
>on India itself, and to which the present movie adheres slavishly),
>was until fifty not ill-disposed to war at all. As I have already
>in three wars, no sooner had the bugles sounded than Gandhi not
>only gave his support, but was clamoring for arms. To form new
>regiments! To fight! To destroy the enemies of the empire! Regular
>Indian army units fought in both the Boer War and World War I, but
>this was not enough for Gandhi. He wanted to raise new troops,
>even, in the case of the Boer and Kaffir Wars, from the tiny Indian
>colony in South Africa. British military authorities thought it not
>really worth the trouble to train such a small body of Indians as
>soldiers, and were even resistant to training them as an auxiliary
>medical corps ("stretcher bearers"), but finally yielded to Gandhi's
>relentless importuning. As first instructed, the Indian Volunteer
>Corps was not supposed actually to go into combat, but Gandhi,
>adamant, led his Indian volunteers into the thick of battle. When the
>British commanding officer was mortally wounded during an
>engagement in the Kaffir War, Gandhi--though his corps' deputy
>commander--carried the officer's stretcher himself from the
>battlefield and for miles over the sun-baked veldt. The British
>empire's War Medal did not have its name for nothing, and it was
Read the last sentence again. The author is implying, by hand
waving, without putting his ass on the line and saying so in that
many words, that Gandhi actually took up arms and fought in the
trenches. He did nothing of the sort. He was in the medical corps.
A nurse. Get it?
>BUT it is not widely realized (nor will this film tell you) how much
>violence was associated with Gandhi's so-called "nonviolent"
>movement from the very beginning....
> For every satyagraha true believer, moreover, sworn not to harm
>the adversary or even to lift a finger in his own defense, there were
>sometimes thousands of incensed freebooters and skirmishers bound
>by no such vow. Gandhi, to be fair, was aware of this, and nominally
Wrong! In fact he is accused quite to the contrary. Of pulling back, when
victory could have been secured, or a temporary battle could have been won.
Remember Chari Chaura? The Marxists give him no end of grief for pulling
back on that one. The fact is, as the author correctly says, Gandhi
listened only to his "inner voice". Political expediency was not his
> A comparison is in order. At the famous Amritsar massacre of
>1919, shot in elaborate and loving detail in the present movie and
>treated by post-independence Indian historians as if it were
>Auschwitz, Ghurka troops under the command of a British officer,
>General Dyer, fired into an unarmed crowd of Indians defying a ban
>and demonstrating for Indian independence. The crowd contained
>women and children; 379 persons died; it was all quite horrible.
>Dyer was court-martialed and cashiered, but the incident lay heavily
>on British consciences for the next three decades, producing a severe
>inhibiting effect. Never again would the British empire commit
>another Amritsar, anywhere.
Not to mention the terrible reaction of civil strife it unleashed in
the entire country, and the brave acts of Shaheed Udham Singh, Madan
Lal and others. He gives the British too much credit. The author goes
on to say that the 400 or so people killed in Jalianwala Bagh pales
into insignificance compared to the Indian on Indian violence in the
aftermath of partition. In essence, the author equates the execution of
an unarmed, peaceful assembly by militarty cannon and mortar, to civil
strife. To his mind, the two are equivalent, in all other respects,
and can be compared on just numbers. He wonders why Amritsar continues
to live in infamy (heck only *400* died there), while the civil carnage
is glossed over in the movie (another falsehood, because it was _not_
From here the author shifts from Gandhi, to a broad attack on Hinduism,
condemning it as "repugnant to the western mind". Allegedly, the idea
of forgiveness is 'alien' to Hinduism, because of their belief in Karma.
I am utterly crushed by his logic! He pokes fun at the Hindu view of
divinity, since it does not meet the criteria of the Semitic religions.
This indeed is the Gandhi no one knows since one did not exist. It is a
barely concealed work of hatred, condescension, distortion and lies.
He judges everything from an uncompromisingly western stance, and refuses
to acknowledge other points of view.
Vijay S. Bajwa
"If a listener nods his head when you're explaining your program, wake him up"
As far as terrorism goes, Hitler considered every Jew to be a terrorist. The
world knows the truth, as to who was the true terrorist. Is it the governemnt
that destroyed the Barbari Masjid or is it the Government that attacked the
Golden Temple? Or is the people who are retaliating to obtain thier rights?
Open your eyes and use your brain once in a while!!! This was definately a
>Nobody said the Mahatma was infallible. "Gandhi" the movie, is exactly that - a
>movie. Learn to separate movies from real life. Movies as a form of art tend to
>take artistic license.
>If you don't believe the teachings of Gandhi, that's fine. But do you really have
>to slander a dead man? How does that make you feel?
>As for Richard Grenier, never heard of him before this and wanna bet that 100
>years from now he won't even be remembered by his progeny (if he has any).
>The Mahatma's name will live on because of what he taught us. If all of us lived
>lives half as pious as his, this world would be paradise............
>When you make an argument, you must support it with evidence; so that your
>rejoinder may be considered logical. Don't make blatant statements, which make
>you look no less a hypocrite than Gandhi, as illustrated by our article.
>As far as terrorism goes, Hitler considered every Jew to be a terrorist. The
>world knows the truth, as to who was the true terrorist. Is it the governemnt
>that destroyed the Barbari Masjid or is it the Government that attacked the
>Golden Temple? Or is the people who are retaliating to obtain thier rights?
>Open your eyes and use your brain once in a while!!! This was definately a
Did you know that you have posted seven times! Use your brain
once a while!
I feel sorry for the people who consider Mahatma Gandhi a hipocrite,
especially if he is from Indian subcontinent. For your information Mahatma
Gandhi is much more known that any of the Sikh Gurus or any other famous
personalities from the subcontinent. That is perhaps a coincidence, but he
nevertheless represent an expression of non-violence and tolerance which
ancient sages, including Sikh gurus have taught.
As Swami Vivekananda has said, "The greatest men in the world have
passed away unknown. Silently they live, and silently they pass away; and in
time their thoughts find an expression in Buddhas and Christs, and it is
these latter that become known to us"
I would like to add Mahatama Gandhi to that name. I feel sorry that
you cannot see the philosophy of your Gurus in him.
Regards Mahesh Yadav
If you had read even a little about Mahatma Gandhi, you would know what he
thought about the Sikh Gurus. He certainly didn't hold the same views as you
do. If you need some references, a good book that discusses Gandhi's comments
on the Gurus in detail is "Guru Gobind Singh and Khalsa Discipline," by Dalip
Singh. He gives further references by Non-Sikh writers, to prove he in not
After considereing the aforesaid, it is clear that you have also made blatant
statements like others, and such acts are not considered intelligent. If you
can not make constructive comments, then you should not meddle in the affairs
If you have any intellecual curiosity, please read:
"The Gandhi Nobody Knows"
By: Richard Grenier
[From the magazine, "Commentary," March 1983, published monthly
by the American Jewish Committee, New York, NY.]
PS: It is not your fault that you have little knowlegde of the subjects being
discussed; afterall you are affiliated with Rutgers, whose students are those
who have failed miserably in academic life.
But to slander a man who has died is a not only a waste of time, but a
cowardly act. Think!
WHY GANDHI DRIVES THE NEOCONSERVATIVES CRAZY
by Jason DeParle
(From the Washington Monthly, September 1983)
A year ago the story of Mahatma Gandhi was fast fading from memory.
Those who were old enough might remember him from the newsreel foot-
age that flashed in 1940s movie theaters -- but recall little beyond
the fact that he somehow brought the British empire to its knees. For
the most part, Gandhi's fame had faded with the passing of time. He
was just a foreign name connected with a distant land and a pre- vious
Of course, Richard Attenborough's film changed all that. Suddenly
Gandhi was once again splashed across the pages of the world press. He
has appeared in the film sections, in the style sections, on the op-ed
pages, and in the Sunday magazines.
Biographies have been re-released, and foreign correspondents of an
earlier day have gone digging for their notes. As an advocate of
small-scale economics, Gandhi presumably would approve; a cottage
industry has been spun out of Gandhiana.
As the reappraisals stack higher and higher, one would hope we'd all
find ourselves getting closer to the elusive truth about one of the few
indisputably great men of this century. Instead, however, we seem to
be getting closer to something more mundane: the preoccupations and
illusions of the left and the right.
A review of the discussions and debates that Richard Attenborough's
film biography has inspired provides a useful Rorschach of these ideo-
logies, and some insights into where both camps go wrong in their view
of contemporary America -- to say nothing of colonial India.
The commentary ranges across a wide terrain. The liberal
`Progressive', for example, concluding that "Gandhiism ... is
relevant," argued that among the film's many messages is "the knowledge
that diet is crucial to well-being." Given Gandhi's affection for such
delicacies as groundnut butter and lemon juice -- and his many nearly
suicidal fasts -- the `Progressive''s conclusions seem questionable.
Ralph Nader, meanwhile, appropriated Gandhi on behalf of the consumer
movement: never mind that Gandhi's asceticism had distinctly non-
Of course, most of the Gandhi discussion has focussed on "peace". "In
these days of raised conciousness about the nuclear threat", says
`McCall's', the film "speaks to the power of peace."
`The Christian Century' had a similar thought: "It is good to be re-
minded of Gandhi's beliefs when the possibility of nonviolent conflict
resolution as a substitute for war requires our serious consideration."
So did the `Newsweek': " At a time of deep political unrest, economic
dislocation, and nuclear anxiety, seeing "Gandhi" is an experience that
will change many hearts and minds."
Now `McCall's' doesn't reveal what it thinks the film says when it
"speaks to the power of peace". Nor does the `Newsweek' say what
changes will come to our hearts and minds.
But Colman McCarthy, a Catholic liberal, gets more specific. Writing in
`The Washington Post', he claims, " The relevance of "Gandhi" is that
the moral force of nonviolence is always stronger than its opposite,
the physical force of violence."
"Gandhi" provided music to the liberals' ear. The weak triumph over the
strong, good over evil, righteousness over injustice. Anti-racism,
anti-colonialism and nonviolence prevail.
On the other hand, a chorus of conservative voices, has attacked the
movie and attacked the man. Columnists like Patrick Buchanan and Emmett
Tyrrell have joined the fray.
The strongest words, however, have come from Richard Grenier, film
critic for `Commentary'. Not satisfied with simply attacking the movie
and the man, Grenier in a March article for the magazine went on to
vilify all of India, all of Hinduism, and then to flail at a target
closer to home, and close to the hearts of his fellow neoconservatives:
American liberals. Grenier's 13,000-word tirade was widely reprinted
and subsequently released as a book dedicated to Norman Podhoretz and
If most debates about Gandhi tend to be passionate, this one has been
particularly so. This is because the film touches upon issues prominent
now in American politics. The release of the film comes at a time when
the United States is engaged in a rancorous debate with itself about
various issues involving questions of force.
The legitimacy and the effectiveness of American military power
underlay the debate about the United State's involvement in Vietnam and
now underlie the debate about what to do in Central America.
The fear that America has too much force fuels the passions of nuclear
freeze supporters, while the fear that America has too little guides
their opponents. The debate about "Gandhi" -- and Gandhi the man --
thus quickly becomes a debate about American politics.
PUFF JOB FOR PACIFISM
I have watched these salvos fly back and forth with special interest
because (I should confess) I am a Gandhi admirer. Remembering my own
excitement in college while studying non-violence -- and when I had a
chance to visit the Gandhi national museum while spending a summer in
India -- I can understand why the film has provoked such enthusiasm.
Who can doubt it ? The story of the world's greatest non- violent
revolution is a magnificent one. Einstein got it right when he said,
`generations to come ... will scarce believe that such a one as this,
ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth'.
Perhaps its Gandhi's greatness that makes him such a polarizing topic
of discussion. For the greatness tempts his admirers (myself included)
to make him even greater, purer, less ambi- valent, and less complex
than he was, and to extend his solutions to situations where they may
The good about Gandhi was so sublime, and he embodies so many of our
idealistic hopes, that we want to tolerate no ambiguities and recognize
The temptation to reduce (and that's the correct verb) Gandhi to
parable is often irresistable. But surrendering Gandhi to the
realm of myth inevitably invites a concentrated counterattack,
against not only the sanctified Gandhi, but the historical Gandhi
Too often, then, Gandhi becomes an all-or-nothing proposition,
pitting those who would deify him against those who would destroy
The debate about "Gandhi" starts with an argument about the film
as a film. The film's strength lies in its excitement and its
ability to convey emotion; it wrenches a response from even the
most coarsened viewer.
Take, for example, the scene depicting Gandhi, the young barrister,
being thrown from a segregated South African train. This specific
story is well known, and expulsion from segregated quarters has
become almost a cliche about racism. Yet when Gandhi land with a
thud upon the station platform, the viewer feels the sting, almost
like discovering racism anew. "Gandhi" has that ability to summon
outrage and empathy.
Attenborough's depiction of the famous 1930 march on the Dharasana
Salt Works provides one of the films most powerful moments. United
Press correspondent Webb Miller's often-quoted account of the scene
is worth recalling:
"In complete silence the Gandhi men drew up and
halted a hundred yards from the stockade. A picket column advanced
from the crowd, waded the ditches, and approached the barbed-wire
fence .... Suddenly, at a word of command, scores of native police-
men rushed upon the advancing marchers and rained blows upon their
heads with their steel-shod lathis. Not one of the marchers even
raised an arm to fend off the blows. They went down like ten-pins.
From where I stood I heard the sickening whack of the clubs on
unprotected skulls. The waiting crowd sucked in their breath in
sympathetic pain at every blow ..."
I had read and reread Miller's strong prose, and I knew the scene
was coming. But I didn't cringe any less when it flashed on the
screen, and others around me cringed too.
Attenborough's re-creation of the scene turned theaters full of
people into crowds who "sucked in their breath in sympathetic
pain." "Gandhi" has many such powerful moments and they make the
SKIPPING THE GITA
But in many ways "Gandhi" is what journalists call a puff job.
The film puts forth a "saintly" Gandhi without ever questioning
whether that saintliness was real, or even desirable.
George Orwell's appreciative but critical depiction of Gandhi,
written in 1949, is worth recalling : "Of late years it has been
the fashion to talk about Gandhi as though he were not only
sympathetic to the left-wing movement but were even part of it ...
But one should, I think, realize that Gandhi's teachings cannot
be squared with the belief that man is the measure of all things...
Gandhi's basic aims were anti-human and reactionary ... it is not
necessary here to argue whether the other-worldly or the humanistic
ideal is `higher'. The point is that they are incompatible."
The film does not seek a portrayal of Gandhi as a person with the
contradictions, ambivalences, and failures that all people share;
it projects a candidate for canonization.
In Gandhi's case, the "flaws" (as we in the West might see them) and
the "saintliness" both stemmed from the same source: Gandhi's fierce
The fervor behind his desire for moral perfection had its darker side.
Gandhi harbored an authoritarian streak which demanded that others
adhere to his own code of morality and treated them harshly when they
failed to measure up to that code or rejected it altogether.
Members of his ashrams, for example, were subjected to strict discipline
on matters of sex, diet, prayer, work, education, clothing, and other
matters. He distrusted close human relationships, viewing them as a
source of temptation, and an impediment to his spiritual aspirations.
The burdens of Gandhi's moral fervor often fell most heavily on his own
family. He imposed celibacy on his wife and children, opposed his
children's education and marriage, and insisted that they join his
campaigns, landing them in jail.
Mahatmaship had the harshest effect on Harilal, Gandhi's eldest son,
who became estranged from his father, converted to Islaml, took to
embezzlement and died in drunken poverty.
The film leaves the consequences of Gandhi's spiritual imperatives
for the lives of his friends and families unquestioned. It also leaves
unquestioned the consequences of those imperatives for public life.
Gandhi's hunger fasts, for example, always carried with them the hint
The failure of the film to question the desirability of Gandhi's ascetic
ideals is a minor fault. Its failure to question the limitations of
nonviolence is a major one.
"Gandhi" is a puff job for pacifism, even more credulous about nonviolence
than was Gandhi himself. The film ignores Gandhi's own very real vacill-
ations and contradictions with regard to nonviolence as an absolute.
It makes no mention, for example, of the fact that Gandhi endorsed three
British wars and himself attempted to enlist (he led an ambulance corps
to support the war when the British refused to have Indians as soldiers
in South Africa).
The most troubling issue raised by "Gandhi", of course, is the effectiveness
of nonviolence in confronting a Hitler, to which the film devotes a single
line. Asked how nonviolence could stop the armies of Nazi Germany, the film
Gandhi responds simply that evil must be opposed wherever it is found, and
disappears from the screen.
The historical Gandhi remained unable to come to grips with the Hitler
question, and at various times advised the British to surrender and the
Jews to commit collective suicide. (In 1941, Gandhi insisted to the
British that "Hitler is not a bad man".)
The film concludes with the moral of the story spelled out, in case anyone
should miss it. "Tyrants and murderers can seem invincible at the time,
but in the end they always fall. Think of it. Always."
The message is repeated twice. These are the last words of the film, and
they are never questioned. It is an uplifting thought, but poor history
-- very much like Colman McCarthy's "the moral force of nonviolence is
always stronger that its opposite, the physical force of violence,"
another noble sentiment, but ignoring the reality of places like Indochina,
Afghanistan, and Central America.
Given these weaknesses in the film and even the man, it's
hardly surprising to see a neoconservative critique appear
that takes exception to the liberal reaction to "Gandhi".
But Grenier's review wasn't a critique so much as it was
an epileptic seizure. The virulence of Richard Grenier's
attack on the film and even the people of India seemed to
know no bounds.
What's all this stuff about non-violence ?
"Hindus, " says Grenier, "are among the most bestially violent
people on the globe."
What's all this stuff about Gandhi as a saint ?
He "was a man of the most extreme autocratic temperament,
tyrannical, unyielding, even regarding things he knew nothing
about, totally intolerant of all opinions but his own."
He "retained an obvious obsession with excreta." He dwelled
in a "permanent state of semen anxiety."
"Gandhi", says Grenier, "believed in a religion whose ideas I
find somewhat repugnant." Grenier continues at this moderate
pitch for his entire review.
It is tempting to perform a point-by-point exegesis of the
distortions, digresssions, and deletions that characterize this
review, but a few examples will have to suffice.
For instance, Grenier first attacks India for its lack of sanitation.
Then he attacks Gandhi's sanitory efforts for constituting a "morbid
fascination with filth".
He criticizes "swaraj" (home rule) as an idea "originated by others".
Then he attacks Gandhi's doctrine of "satyagraha" (truth force) for
being something "he made up himself".
Grenier even hints that the spokesman of nonviolence murdered his wife.
"When Gandhi's wife lay dying of pneumonia and British doctors insisted
that a shot of pencillin would save her", he writes, "Gandhi refused
to have this alien medicine injected into her body and simply let her
Grenier fails to mention that Kasturbai Gandhi already lay on her death-
bed, that oxygen and several doctors had been summoned by had failed to
Grenier's treatment of Hinduism is just as shoddy. "With the reader's
permission," he writes, " I will skip over the Upanishads, Vedanta, Yoga,
the Puranas, Bhakti, the Bhagavad Gita..." and so forth. Grenier goes on
to devote much space to the practice of "suttee" (widow burning) a
practice officially abolished 40 years before Gandhi's birth -- and one
which Gandhi specifically deplored.
Perhaps ("with the reader's permission") Grenier would discuss Christianity
by skipping over Genesis and Exodus, the Psalms, Mathew, Mark, Luke and
John, and focus instead on the Crusades and the Inquisition -- or the
practice of, say, witch-hunting in Salem, Massachusetts.
What is it that sends Grenier into such a rage ?
To understand Grenier's reaction, it's necessary to understand neo-
conservatism. In the words of Irving Kristol, neo-conservatism was
"provoked by the disillusionment with contemporary liberalism", and
in many cases, with good reason.
Neoconservatives were right to argue that liberal reform often carried
unintended, and undesirable, consequences. They were right to argue
that the American left too often was given to knee-jerk condemnations
of America. They were right to argue that some on the left had roman-
ticized communism, revolution and the Third World. They were right to
argue that some on the left had unfairly disparaged the American values
of family and the institutions of traditional religion. They were right
to argue that America had enemies and that it needed to be defended.
But the enemy isn't Gandhi -- man or movie -- and the topic isn't one
that calls for a loyalty test, as Grenier would have it. I don't recall
a single reference in the film to America. Gandhi never visited America.
Perhaps when Grenier watched the British hit 1,516 Indians with 1,650
bullets at Amritsar it reminded him somehow of Bull Connor and My Lai
and he saw anti-American overtones. I didn't, as Grenier fears, sniff
out "the intimation .. that we are a society with poorer spiritual values,
than, let's say, India."
Whatever his reasoning, Grenier saw a need to devote the introduction
to his book to telling us, " I appear to have been born (primitive and
vulgar as this has been made to seem in subsequent decades) extremely
patriotic ... both my paternal and maternal grandparents ... framed
their Certificates of Naturalization on the wall.... they pledged their
allegiance to the Stars and Stripes with all their hearts. They were
And so it goes: " I at no time, for even a blink of an eye, have admired
Moscow, Havana, or Hanoi .... I have found all the societies I have
visited frankly inferior to our own." To Grenier, Gandhi can be admired
only at America's expense.
This reveals a contradiction in the neoconservative vision of the world.
While neoconservatives are quick to celebrate American values as the best
the world has to offer, they are distrustful of the consequences those
values may bring.
Gandhi understood that the British (and by extension all Western const-
itutional democracies ) are vulnerable to being held up to their own
standards. Countries less "good" than Britain (those that lack a free
press, constitutional values, respect for human rights) are more readily
equipped to handle the "challenge" of men like Gandhi; they might be
content with simply putting a Gandhi to death.
Gandhi knew that the "goodness" of the British (their willingness to
be held to their own professed values ) was their weak spot.
Neoconservatives seem to fear that America -- by braving the perils of
dissent and democracy -- will be similarly weakened. Part of what makes
America "great" is, theoretically at least, its reluctance to use force
against other nations. Yet, fearful that standards such as this place us
at a disadvantage in the real world, some neoconservatives advocate that
America needs to win a war somewhere, to use violence successfully.
Their insecurity would have us violate American values -- to mirror the
hideous brutality of less open societies -- in order to preserve them.
[AKG's note: I feel compelled to insert this here - consider the events
since 1983: the above paragraph is extremely prescient, i think all
It becomes doubly ironic that - of all Third World leaders, of all
"revolutionaries" -- Gandhi would be the target of a neoconservative
attack, because, in many ways, he embodies the very values they promote.
Neoconservatives value patriotism; Gandhi was a patriot. Neoconservatives
believe in community -- as did Gandhi. Neoconservatives believe in strict
codes of personal morality, restraints on sexuality -- as did Gandhi.
Neoconservatives believe in respect for the traditional institutions of
social and political authority, the church and the state -- as, in his
own way, did Gandhi.
What Gandhi didn't share, of course, was the neoconservatives' enthusiasm
for unfettered capitalism. This points to another contradiction. On one
hand, neoconservatives claim to value service, community, and traditional
codes of morality. On the other hand, they endorse the material self-
seeking and worldly ambition that is fundamental to the laissez-faire
Gandhi's hopes for a decentralized, village economy sometimes tended to
be utopian but he sensed correctly that industrialism doesn't necessarily
promote -- and may actually erode -- community and traditional morality.
A capitalist economy and the values Gandhi held aren't necessarily mutually
exclusive; neoconservatives, however, do not even want to concede that they
are inevitably in tension.
Its almost as if the example of Gandhi -- who more fully embodied some of
the values that they often simply mouth -- reminds neoconservatives of
their own contradictions. The reminder seems to enrage them, and rather
than to assess Gandhi in a rational way, they attempt to dismiss him with
lies, half-truths, innuendos and racial slurs.
This helps explain not only the attack, but also its virulence. Gandhi poses
a particularly inconvenient complication of the neoconservative view of
the world. Neoconservatives have devoted immeasurable effort to reminding
us of foreign threats, and urging us to meet them with sufficient resolve
and military hardware.
To the liberal prejudice that truth always triumphs over force, neo-
conservatives reply the opposite: that force always triumphs over truth.
The real lesson to be learned from the historical Gandhi is that truth
may not always triumph, but it sometimes does. Tyrants and murderers may
not always fall, but they sometimes do.
A final irony to the great Gandhi debate is that neither the left nor the
right -- both busy making grand claims for nonviolence or dismissing it
altogether -- has paid much attention to where Gandhian tactics may have
left their greatest legacy, which is right here in the United States.
Speakng in a radio address in 1966, Martin Luther King Jr. paid tribute
to the gains won by the civil rights movement by the use of nonviolence:
"The Civil Rights Commission, three years before we went to Selma, had
recommended the changes we started marching for, but nothing was done,
until, in 1965, we created a crisis the nation couldn't ignore.
Without violence, we totally disrupted the system, the lifestyle of
Birmingham, and then of Selma, with their unjust and unconstitutional
laws. Our Birmingham struggle came to its dramatic climax when some
3,500 demonstrators virtually filled every jail in that city and
surrounding communities, and some 4,000 more continued to march and
The city knew then in terms that were crystal clear that Birmingham
could no longer function until the demands of the Negro community were
met. The same kind of dramatic crisis was created in Selma two years
later. The result on the national scene was the Civil Rights Bill and
the Voting Rights Act, as the president and Congress responded to the
drama and the creative tension generated by the carefully planned
The influence of Gandhi on King was direct and profound; King had studied
Gandhi and even traveled to India to meet Gandhi's followers. King's
adherence nonviolence as a standard surely saved the lives of thousands
of black and white Americans. And to the extent that racial inequality
has been lessened as a result, Gandhi remains a living legacy, one that
brought the United States closer towards realizing its professed ideals.
Fortunately, someone fell "prey to the pro-Gandhi-what-can-the-decadent-
West-learn-from-the-idealist-East propaganda" that Grenier so derides.
There's nothing un-American about that.
>But to slander a man who has died is a not only a waste of time, but a
>cowardly act. Think!
Interesting. Not that I want to compare the two, but how about
applying your ideas to Hitler?
: > But to slander a man who has died is a not only a waste of time, but a
: > cowardly act. Think!
: It is not in the least bit cowardly, it is simply impossible. Only the
: living can be slandered.
Quite correct! Secondly, just because Gandhi is dead does not mean
that we cannot examine the Gandhian philosophy for some semblance of
consistency. It is not as irrelevant as Mr. Vash Dev thinks. Before
anyone recommends the philosophy to an entire nation, I don't think it
is unreasonable for this philosophy to be critically examined.
Whether Gandhi is dead or alive has no bearing on this matter, as it
is indeed the current understanding of the Gandhian philosophy which
is being critiqued.
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::::::::::::::::: MAHATMA GANDHI ::::::::::::::::::::::
Champion of Peace and Non-violence
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>Harpreet Singh Anand <anandh> writes:
[ Stuff deleted]
>>Open your eyes and use your brain once in a while!!! This was definately a
> I feel sorry for the people who consider Mahatma Gandhi a hipocrite,
> especially if he is from Indian subcontinent. For your information Mahatma
> Gandhi is much more known that any of the Sikh Gurus or any other famous
> personalities from the subcontinent. That is perhaps a coincidence, but he
There is no comparison between the two. Gandhi was on international scene
for a long time and that too not long in the distant past. Where as the Sikh
Gurus were known locally and that was 400-500 years back. But I don't see
any relevance of this comparison here.
> nevertheless represent an expression of non-violence and tolerance which
> ancient sages, including Sikh gurus have taught.
> As Swami Vivekananda has said, "The greatest men in the world have
> passed away unknown. Silently they live, and silently they pass away; and in
> time their thoughts find an expression in Buddhas and Christs, and it is
> these latter that become known to us"
> I would like to add Mahatama Gandhi to that name. I feel sorry that
> you cannot see the philosophy of your Gurus in him.
Please don't pretend to be an expert on Gandhi's thinking. Many a times
Gandhi has written/spoken lot of rubish and hatered words about sikhs and
Sikh Gurus and is a well known fact. Once again you pretend to know about
Sikhism? I feel sorry about people, who reply without understanding the
subject in details. Please note that I am commenting on your reply, and
it doesn't imply that I support/against what Harpreet has written.
You are most welcome to reply to this post if you are interesed in
> Regards Mahesh Yadav
Harpal Singh Grover ACSnet: har...@cpsg.com.au
CP Software Export Pty Ltd,
ACN 006 640 133,
South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 3123