I can’t imagine doing more to pique interest than Joe.M.S. has done in this brief essay. Hats off to him. As an Occidental, this is new to me. In the West we don’t often here Gandhi or his work criticized as it is here, let alone so irreverently.
I suspect that like any great figure, particularly one as engaged as Gandhi was, there is a grand breadth of positions taken over the course of a long lifetime. It is fitting that he should be challenged, as Roy does, on his failures, but we shouldn’t forget his enormous contributions when we do. When I was young I had the opportunity to read some of his essays from his newspaper (Harijan, if I remember correctly) and there is much in them to be lauded. If it is true that he didn’t escape all the prejudices of his time and place (and nobody does), he did lead a great many people around the world through and beyond some of the most iniquitous. Gandhi wasn’t perfect nor did he make the world so, but he did make it better. And only a very few can make that claim.
This article links through to Roy’s essay.