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Post re: Intellectuals: on Gandhi (Massoud Malek, US; ex-Iran)
Created by John Eipper on 01/27/09 10:38 AM - re-intellectuals-on-gandhi-massoud-malek-us-ex-iran

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re: Intellectuals: on Gandhi (Massoud Malek, US; ex-Iran) (John Eipper, USA, 01/27/09 10:38 am)

Massoud Malek writes: Mahatma Gandhi, who was not a saint, will always be remembered as the father of modern India. During a meeting with Lord Halifax in 1938, Hitler had pledged his support to the preservation of the British Empire and offered his formula for dealing with the Indian National Congress: "Kill Gandhi, if that isn't enough then kill the other leaders too, if that isn't enough then two hundred more activists, and so on until the Indian people will give up the hope of independence." Gandhi wrote two letters to Hitler; both of his letters to Hitler are addressed to "my friend." In his first letter dated 23 July 1939, and which the Government did not permit to be sent, he wrote: Dear friend, Friends have been urging me to write to you for the sake of humanity. But I have resisted their request, because of the feeling that any letter from me would be impertinence . Something tells me that I must not calculate and that I must make my appeal for whatever it may be worth. It is quite clear that you are today the one person in the world who can prevent a war which may reduce humanity to the savage state. Must you pay that price for an object however worthy it may appear to you to be? Will you listen to the appeal of one who has deliberately shunned the method of war not without considerable success? I anticipate your forgiveness, if I have erre d in writing to you. I remain, Your sincere friend, M. K Gandhi. On Jews and Palestine: Article (only the first part) written on November 20, 1938 by Mohandas K. Gandhi: http://www.kamat.com/mmgandhi/mideast.htm Several letters have been received by me asking me to declare my views about the Arab-Jew question in Palestine and the persecution of the Jews in Germany . It is not without hesitation that I venture to offer my views on this very difficult question. My sympathies are all with the Jews . I have known them intimately in South Africa. Some of them became life-long companions. Through these friends I came to learn much of their age-long persecution. They have been the untouchables of Christianity. The parallel between their treatment by Christians and the treatment of untouchables by Hindus is very close. Religious sanction has been invoked in both cases for the justification of the inhuman treatment meted out to them. Apart from the friendships, therefore, there is the more common universal reason for my sympathy for the Jews . But my sympathy does not blind me to the requirements of justice. The cry for the national home for the Jews does not make much appeal to me. The sanction for it is sought in the Bible and the tenacity with which the Jews have hankered after return to Palestine . Why should they not, like other peoples of the earth, make that country their home where they are born and where they earn their livelihood? Palestine belongs to the Arabs in the same sense that England belongs to the English or France to the French. It is wrong and inhuman to impose the Jews on the Arabs. What is going on in Palestine today cannot be justified by any moral code of conduct . The mandates have no sanction but that of the last war. Surely it would be a crime against humanity to reduce the proud Arabs so that Palestine can be restored to the Jews partly or wholly as their national home . G andhi described an African tribe as: " Only a degree removed from the animal ." Also, " Kaffirs are as a rule uncivilized--the convicts even more so. They are troublesome, very dirty and live almost like animals ."-- Mar . 7, 1908 (Reference: CWMG, Vol VIII, pp. 135-136) Mohandas Gandhi's description of black inmates. (Kaffirs are a tribe in South Africa) From Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohandas_Karamchand_Gandhi Towards the end of his life, it became public knowledge that Gandhi had been sharing his bed for a number of years with young women. He explained that he did this for bodily warmth at night and termed his actions as "nature cure." According to Gandhi, active-celibacy meant perfect self control in the presence of opposite sex. Gandhi conducted his experiments with a number of women such as Abha, the sixteen-year-old wife of his grandnephew Kanu Gandhi. Gandhi acknowledged "that this experiment is very dangerous indeed," but thought "that it was capable of yielding great results." His nineteen-year-old grandniece, Manu Gandhi, too was part of his experiments. Gandhi had earlier written to her father, Jaisukhlal Gandhi, that Manu had started to share his bed so that he may "correct her sleeping posture." In Gandhi's view, the experiment of sleeping naked with Manu would help him in contemplating upon Hindu-Muslim unity in India before partition and ease communal tensions! Gandhi saw himself as a mother to these women and would refer to Abha and Manu as "my walking sticks." JE comments: After Einstein, MLK and I forget who else, I suppose it's fair to take a swipe at Gandhi. (I'm sure Mother Teresa is next--and we should not overlook Albert Schweitzer.) I do not see, however, how we can pillory Gandhi for the tone of his letter to Hitler--that Hitler was the "one person in the world who can prevent war" in 1939 seems right on the mark. Isn't the "dear friend" part a mere rhetorical device? Perhaps our Gandhi expert, Holger Terp in Denmark, can answer this question for us: if Gandhi was anti-Zionist regarding a Jewish homeland in Palestine, what did he suggest in its stead? -- For information about the World Association of International Studies (WAIS), and its online publication, the World Affairs Report, read its homepage by simply double-clicking on: http://wais.stanford.edu/ John Eipper, Editor-in-Chief, Adrian College, MI 49221 USA

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