Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Re: [Gandhi] Quotation du Jour

Richard: Andrew Roberts left out some of Gandhi's greatest hits, such as these from May 1940: 

"I do not consider Hitler to be as bad as he is depicted.  He is showing an ability that is amazing, and seems to be gaining his victories without much bloodshed." This was, admittedly, before the invasion of France began on May 10, so one might still say he was merely a slow learner, even as many of Churchill's own colleagues were still slow learners about Hitler on the eve of May 10.  Yet Gandhi returned to this topic on June 22, the day France capitulated: "Germans of future generations will honor Herr Hitler as a genius, as a brave man, a matchless organizer and much more."   For this kind of talk, Marge Schott was banished from major league baseball some years ago.  But Gandhi is still thought of as contender for Man of the Century.


Discussions - 7 Comments

Good quote. Thanks, Steve.

I loved the Gandhi of the movie...saw that as an impressionable teenager...I loved the idea of Gandhi...of the religious teacher shaking a nation and an empire. And that movie, particularly in its crowd and train scenes, has a real magic to it. A national epic.

And then because I admired this Gandhi, I read Louis Fisher's fawning biography...and it , in spite of the fawning, revealed him to be...not so original (basically, one part heterodox Hinduism, one part Tolstoy), and a very pedantic (and sexually and dietarily odd) man. And this latest WSJ review reveals quite a bit more, in the spirit of the classic anti-Gandhi essay "The Man Nobody Knows."

The Indian struggle for independence, and the Gandhi-formulated creed of non-violence remain important/admirable above and beyond the man itself.

What adults need is movie or miniseries about Nehru or Jinnah, hard-headed politicians trying to deal with and being partially seduced by the Gandhi phenom. Perhaps with a script written by V.S. Naipaul.

But conservatives, don't spit on a young person's IDEA of Gandhi; just show them that the reality and the idea don't match up. And for young admirerers of non-violence, the example of the American-bred SCLC is a much saner one.

Do you have a source for those quotations?

Replying to Stephen Tootie ....

The quotes + references are noted here:

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Mahatma_Gandhi

Best Wishes,

PRODOS
Melbourne, Australia

I have found much food for thought in the reflections on Gandhi and Churchill offered up in Arthur Herman's parallel life of these two 20th-century giants.

As Herman points out, both men were much haunted by profound ironies: Churchill believed in and sincerely devoted himself to a British Empire (not merely because it was his own, but because he thought it a force for good in human affairs) that was going up in smoke throughout his adult life in ways that he was powerless to stop.

Gandhi, for all his eccentricities, believed in and sincerely loved the brand of bold and courageous nonviolence (satyagraha) that he practiced and preached, but could see that it was NOT this nonviolence but precisely the fear of mass violence (along with exogenous factors such as exhaustion and penury after two world wars) that forced Britain to give India its freedom.

In the end, Herman's narrative leaves one with a sense of what I can only call the humility (not to say the humbling) of these two great men, each of whom wrought mighty deeds but each of whom could also see how differently events had turned out in relation to his own most cherished intentions.

Completely understand what your stance in this matter. Though I'd disagree on some of the finer particulars, I feel you did an awesome job explaining it. Sure beats having to analysis it on my own. Thanks. Anyway, in my language, there aren't much good supply like this.

Gandhi's Hitler quote seems to be mischeivious. The real one is as follows, and seems to have been said in the exact opposite sense it is mentioned here:
"And I doubt if the Germans of future generations will entertain unadulterated pride in the deeds for which Hitlerism will be deemed responsible. They will honour Herr Hitler as genius, as a brave man, a matchless organizer and much more. But I should hope that the Germans of the future will have learnt the art of discrimination even about their heroes."

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