Skip to main content

Arundhati Roy digs out new chapter in Mahatma Gandhi's life: His dislike for "uncivilised" Africans

By Our Representative
In a controversial write-up, top Magsasay awardee writer Arundhati Roy has suggested that the roots of Gandhi’s views on maintaining caste hierarchy in his dislike towards the blacks in Africa during his stay in South Africa in the early 20th century. Roy, in a well-researched article in a known monthly journal (click HERE), points towards how, during the the Boer War, which broke out in 1901 Gandhi opposed siding with the local Zulus, and speak in at the Natal Indian Congress talked of “a better understanding between the English and the Indians.”
Quoting from "Indian Opinion" (April 14, 1906), Roy says Gandhi believed in not side with either the “Kaffirs [Zulus]” or the White rulers. “We are in Natal by virtue of British Power. Our very existence depends on it. It is therefore our duty to render whatever help we can”, he said. While praising Gandhi for leading the struggle of the “passenger Indians bravely, and from the front”, when two thousand people burned their passes in a public bonfire”, Roy points towards how “Gandhi was assaulted mercilessly, arrested and imprisoned”, but does not fail to “expose” his dislike for the “Kaffirs”.
She further quotes Gandhi in “Indian Opinion” (March 7, 1908), referring to his time in lockup: “We were all prepared for hardships, but not quite for this experience. We could understand not being classed with the Whites, but to be placed on the same level with the Natives seemed to be too much to put up with.” Gandhi is further quoted as saying, “Kaffirs as a rule are uncivilised—the convicts even more so. They are troublesome, very dirty and live almost like animals.”
In yet another quote, Roy says, in the 16th year of his 20-year stay in South Africa, Gandhi wrote in “My Second Experience in Gaol”, in Indian Opinion (January 16, 1909): “I was given a bed in a cell where there were mostly Kaffir prisoners who had been lying ill. I spent the night in this cell in great misery and fear… I read the Bhagvad Gita which I had carried with me. I read the verses which had a bearing on my situation and meditating on them, managed to compose myself. The reason why I felt so uneasy was that the Kaffir and Chinese prisoners appeared to be wild, murderous and given to immoral ways…”
Roy also quotes Gandhi as saying, “I have resolved in my mind on an agitation to ensure that Indian prisoners are not lodged with Kaffirs or others. We cannot ignore the fact that there is no common ground between them and us. Moreover, those who wish to sleep in the same room as them have ulterior motives for doing so.”
A decade later, Gandhi “just reimagined” things in 1928 in “Satyagraha in South Africa”, the memoirs he wrote in Yerawada Central Jail. “By then the chessmen on the board had moved around. Gandhi had turned against the British”, Roy says, quoting Gandhi as saying:
“Indians have too much in common with the Africans to think of isolating themselves from them. They cannot exist in South Africa for any length of time without the active sympathy and friendship of the Africans. I am not aware of the general body of the Indians having ever adopted an air of superiority towards their African brethren, and it would be a tragedy if any such movement were to gain ground among the Indian settlers of South Africa.”
In India, Roy writes, “among privileged castes, the social boycott in rural India traditionally means hukka-paani bandh—no tobacco and no water for a person who has annoyed the community. Though it’s called a social boycott, it is an economic as well as social boycott. For Dalits, that is lethal. The sinners are denied employment in the neighbourhood, denied the right to food and water, denied the right to buy provisions in the village Bania’s shop. They are hounded out and left to starve.”
Saying that “the social boycott continues to be used as a weapon against Dalits in Indian villages”, she adds, “It is non-cooperation by the powerful against the powerless—non-cooperation, as we know it, turned on its head.” However, the “Hindu reformers”, including Gandhi, instead of addressing this crucial factor, detached “caste from the political economy, from conditions of enslavement in which most Dalits lived and worked, in order to elide the questions of entitlement, land reforms and the redistribution of wealth.” They “cleverly narrowed the question of caste to the issue of untouchability. They framed it as an erroneous religious and cultural practice that needed to be reformed.”
Pointing out that “Gandhi narrowed it even further, Roy quotes Gandhi’s presidential address at the Kathiawar Political Conference in Bhavnagar on January 8, 1925, Gandhi: “If at all I seek any position it is that of a Bhangi. Cleansing of dirt is sacred work which can be done by a Brahmin as well as a Bhangi, the former doing it with and the latter without the knowledge of its holiness. I respect and honour both of them. In the absence of either of the two, Hinduism is bound to face extinction. I like the path of service; therefore, I like the Bhangi. I have personally no objection to sharing my meal with him…”
Even then, Roy suggests that Gandhi’s “attentiveness towards the Valmikis” was political. Referring his greatly publicised visits to “Bhangi colonies,” she says, it “paid dividends, despite the fact that he treated them with condescension and contempt." Referring to one such colony in 1946, she says points towards how “half the residents were moved out before his visit and the shacks of the residents torn down and neat little huts constructed in their place.”
She says, “The entrances and windows of the huts were screened with matting, and during the length of Gandhi’s visit, were kept sprinkled with water to provide a cooling effect. The local temple was white-washed and new brick paths were laid. In an interview with Margaret Bourke-White, a photo-journalist for Life magazine, one of the men in charge of Gandhi’s visit, Dinanath Tiang of the Birla Company, explained the improvements in the untouchable colony, ‘We have cared for Gandhiji’s comfort for the last twenty years’.”
Quoting scholar Vijay Prashad, who wrote about one such “staged visit” to the Valmiki Colony on Mandir Marg (in Delhi, formerly Reading Road) in 1946, Roy says Gandhi “refused to eat with the community”. Gandhi is quoted as saying, “You can offer me goat’s milk but I will pay for it. If you are keen that I should take food prepared by you, you can come here and cook my food for me.” When a dalit gave Gandhi nuts, “he fed them to his goat, saying that he would eat them later, in the goat’s milk.”
“Most of Gandhi’s food, nuts and grains, came from Birla House; he did not take these from the Dalits”, Roy says, adding, “While Gandhi promoted his village republic, his pragmatism (or what some might call his duality) allowed him to support and be supported by big industry and big dams as well. His chief sponsor from the year he came back from South Africa to the end of his days, was the textile magnate and newspaper baron GD Birla.”

Comments

DOCTOR AND THE SAINT-
Really I do NOT care for Arundhati Roy, who is praised by Rothschild media, only because Syrian Christians are Jews.
Arundhati Roy, a Syrian Christian with a Hindu name does NOT know that both BR Ambedkar and EVR Periyar had written that they do NOT want the white invader to leave India.
Rig Veda (1200–900 BCE) was written 4000 year earlier in 5000 BC than what she has alluded to.
Basava was a Jew Rothschild back dated creation. Veerashaivas were fooled into burying their dead bodies by rothshild. They are NOT hindus as Hindus are cremated.
All these fourteenth century Bhakti poet-saints—Cokhamela, Ravidas, Kabir, Tukaram, Mira, Janabai—were all created by Rothschild to drive fissures into Hindusim for divide and rule , and back dated.
She does NOT know that Raja Ram Mohan Roy was a Rothschild Opium drug runner.
She does NOT know that Dayananda Saraswati ( Arya Samaj ) was pumped up by Rothschild to beliitle Hindusim.
Punch into Google search-
CNN-IBN POLL, THE "GREATEST INDIAN SINCE MAHATMA GANDHI" , SHAM AWARD - CAPT AJIT VADAKAYIL .
To know about desh drohi EVR Periyar punch into Google search-
HINDUISM IN BALI, TURN OF TIDE AND HINDU RESURGENCE VADAKAYIL
To know more about Raja Ram Mohan Roy-
Punch into Google search-
THE OPIUM RAJA , BRITISH STOOGE , RAM MOHAN ROY VADAKAYIL
For immoral attack on Hinduism—punch into Google search-
HOLI CELEBRATIONS , IMMORAL ATTACK ON HINDUISM AND INDIAN CULTURE VADAKAYIL
Capt ajit vadakayil
..
SAMIR SARDANA said…
The Story of Gandhi, is his EVOLUTION in SOUTH AFRICA.South Africa transformed the man

Gandhi termed Blacks as "lazy,indolent kaffirs", and also termed lower caste Indians, as "coolies.Students in Ghana, a few years ago,destroyed the statutes of Gandhi, in Universities,on account of the above remarks

He also joined the British Army,as a sarge,swore fealty to the British Crown, and volunteered to use arms against the Zulus, in the Bambata Rebellion. He also supported the Boers ,in the Boer war.

Besides,Gandhi also expressed ideological support, for the caste system,on account of the theory of the "division of labour".He also expressed his inability to curb his sensual and sexual passion

Thereafter,began the slow but quantum transformation,into an anti-racist, anti-colonialist,anti-imperialist and a proponent of justice, celibacy, vegetarianism, equity and equality.

But the greatest ode to the man,is his documentation of the failings, frailities and transformation of his life,ideology and philosophy - in the form of his autobiography, hiding no part of his life.

It is a masterpiece on the EVOLUTION of a man,based on his sense perception of reality and how the masses of the people perceived Gandhi.dindooohindoo

TRENDING

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Examples of support to Hindu temples, scriptures, saints by 'Muslim' rulers galore

Siya Ram coin issued by Akbar By Bharat Dogra* At a time when the country as well as the world are passing through very difficult times leading to more urgent need for strengthening national unity for meeting several big challenges ahead, unfortunately disputes relating to religious places have been allowed to raise their ugly head once again. It is well-realized by now by many people that it is not historical facts but narrow considerations of political gain and spreading of fanatic ideas of intolerance which are behind such mischief, but due to the increasing threat of mob violence and patronage available at higher levels to groups spreading intolerance many people are reluctant to openly and fearlessly express their views. Hence there is urgent need for broad-based peace committees with wider social support to spread the message of communal harmony and to appeal against the dangers of spreading false messages regarding places of worship which can ultimate

Gyanvapi case: Use of 'illegal' lawfare to keep the communal pot simmering

By Venkatesh Narayanan, Bobby Ramakant, Manoj Sarang* With a steady drumbeat of bad news for the lives of ordinary citizens --  inflation at a multi-year high , rupee at an all-time low , negative job creation and when all forward indicators as seen by industry leaders point to recessionary clouds on the horizon , what’s a serially-incompetent government to do?  Dust out their time-tested-citizen-distraction playbook. The Gyanvapi-Masjid case is all of this -- as a weapon of mass distraction. This zeitgeist of our times is best captured by a recent opinion piece : "The idea is to keep the pot on a perpetual boil, simmering at the top, whirling feverishly beneath. A restless society forever living precariously on the precipice arouses distrst, uneasiness, fear and discomfort, That is a toxic panoply for manufacturing rage, which can then be effortlessly mobilized at short notice. BJP is creating an eco-system of real-time instant delivery of hate-mongers. That is how we are sudde

Targeting mosques, churches: 'Roadmap' for 2025, RSS' centenary year?

416 years old Our Lady of Health Church, Sancoale, Goa  By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ*  Fascists use manipulative strategies aimed at whipping up sympathy and support from the majority community, to which they normally ‘belong’. They do so in a variety of insidious and subtle ways. In the past few months, they have gone overboard in their efforts to denigrate and demonize minorities in India, particularly Muslims and Christians. They have spewed hate and divisiveness through their venomous speeches; incited people to violence and have effectively used officialdom to further their vested interests. The results are there for all to see: greater polarisation of the majority community in a country which prided itself for its pluralism and diversity. Their meticulously planned agenda is in order to gain absolute power of the country in the 2024 national elections. More so it is also a roadmap towards 2025 when the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) will complete one hundred years of its existence.

Upholding labour rights, Nehruvian scientific temper, Rajni Patel opposed Emergency

By Harsh Thakor*  Rajni Patel, who died 40 years ago, whatever his flaws, had one great quality: his human touch to offer selfless service and ability to galvanise or influence human beings from all walks of life. Few people would ever go out of the way to help someone or serve as selflessly without aim of personal gain. Rajni championed Nehruvian secular ideas and scientific temper. As a master in public relations he revealed utmost humility. As a barrister, he never appeared against the trade unions or workers. A Fabien Socialist he opposed liberal capitalism and radical socialism. Unlike most lawyers, he did not succumb to the lure of amassing wealth. Rajni was born in Sirsa, in Gujarat, on the very day Gandhi set foot on Indian soil, on 9th January, 1915. He gained his baptism through one of Gandhi's speeches calling for the boycott of foreign goods, which was the virtual turning point of his life. Rajni toed Gandhi to organise boycott of foreign goods. Rajni was able to cros

This varsity succumbed to extra-academic mobocracy, 'ignored' Hindutva archives

By Shamsul Islam* Open letter to Sharda University vice-chancellor Sub: Discarding a Question on Linkages of Hindutva with Nazism/Fascism is blatant Academic Dishonesty! Dear Professor Sibaram Khara Saheb, Namaskaar! According to your esteemed University’s portal: “The name of University, 'Sharda' is synonymous to 'Goddess of knowledge and learning-Saraswati'. She is identified with 'veena', an Indian musical instrument and the ‘lotus’, where she resides. The lotus in our logo symbolizes the seat of learning that the University is created for.  "Variety of colours signify the variety of disciplines the university offers and the overlap between petals creating new colours demonstrate the ethos of collaboration between students and teachers of different programme, nationality, creed and colour working towards creating new knowledge…the University's cherished mission to provide education beyond boundaries and to facilitate the students and faculty to achie

Whither climate goal? Increasing reliance on coal 'likely to worsen' India's power crisis

By Shankar Sharma*  Recent news articles, How to shock-proof India’s power sector and Power minister points finger at states for worsening electricity crisis , have highlighted a few current problems for the ongoing power sector issues as in April 2022. However, there is a lot more to it than a few temporary solutions as indicated in the articles. It should also be emphasised that it is techno-economically impossible to completely shock-proof a highly complex and geographically wide-spread vast power network, such as the one in India, which is only getting more and more complex with the passage of each year due to some irrational policies/ practices in the sector. A business-as-usual (BAU) scenario, wherein more and more of conventional technology power plants, including coal power plants, will be added in the near future, will also necessitate the increased complexity in the integrated national grid, and as a result the instances of power shortage/ disruptions can only escalate for

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

A former Modi ally, Prashant Kishor wanted to enter Congress 'on contract, as trader'

By Anand Sahay*  The Congress Party and the election campaigns specialist Prashant Kishor, whose company has done strategic communications for a host of political parties across ideology, should both count themselves lucky that they could not reach an agreement for Kishor to join the party. News reports suggest that the Congress rejected Kishor’s terms. This is not wholly unexpected. People join a party because they are attracted to it, and wish to serve it in any capacity that the party may see fit. But that isn’t Kishor at all. He gave the impression of entering into a contract, as a trader might. If news reports are to be believed, he sought freedom to report directly to party chief Sonia Gandhi, and sought untrammeled control over party communications. When such ideas did not find favour, the consultant withdrew. It is clear he has no particular love for the Congress, and its ideas, ideology and politics. In contrast, look at the key personae in G-23. They

Haven't done a good deed, inner soul is cursing me as sinner: Aurangzeb's last 'will'

Counterview Desk The Tomb of Aurangzeb, the last of the strong Mughal emperors, located in Khuldabad, Aurangabad district, Maharashtra, has this epitaph inscribed on it: "Az tila o nuqreh gar saazand gumbad aghniyaa! Bar mazaar e maa ghareebaan gumbad e gardun bas ast" (the rich may well construct domes of gold and silver on their graves. For the poor folks like me, the sky is enough to shelter my grave).