Sunday, September 6, 2009

Critical look at Mahatma Gandhi

The September 3, 2009, Five O'Clock train was a lively phone interview with co-author G.B. Singh of the new book "Gandhi under cross-examination", speaking from his university office in Nashville, TN.

Gandhi's life presents many contradictions and much evidence suggests an ingrained racism/classism. He recruited co-citizens in South Africa to fight in a colonial war against blacks. His later pacifism was not for cowards; since he stated that it was better to die trying to aquire arms to fight than to use pacifism as an excuse for cowardice.

Singh's book points us to this key quote from Gandhi that has much relevance in Canada's present colonial war in Afghanistan:

I make no distinction, from the point of view of ahimsa, between combatants and non-combatants. He who volunteers to serve a band of dacoits [robbers], by working as their carrier, or their watchman while they are about their business, or their nurse when they are wounded, is as much guilty of dacoity [robbery] as the dacoits themselves. In the same way those who confine themselves to attending to the wounded in battle cannot be absolved from the guilt of war.

Make no mistake, Canadians are the robbers here... Strong words from the most famous pacifist.

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