Qtn: Was Gandhi a hero or a villain?

By Sunil Kumar

Mohandas K. Gandhi in 1918, when he led the Kh...

Mohandas K. Gandhi in 1918, when he led the Kheda Satyagraha against unjust taxation. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Let us analyze Mohandas K. Gandhi. He was indeed a very shrewd organizer who managed to definitely shake the British empire; and became a global icon due to the media of the time; the barbarity of colonialism; his unique idea of non-violence and the fact that Europe(especially the U.K) could not sustain itself after a crushing engagement in World War II(Hitler and the Third Reich). If you read the books of the time; Churchill after deliberately causing a famine in Bengal(1943); also did not repay debts owed to the Indian government(under British control). The Indian naval rebellion in 1946 also scared London into acting; as it was ruling the people with support from a police and army largely composed of Indians themselves.

Due to his personal dislike of Gandhi; propping up of Jinnah; and chumminess with Mountbatten; India had to pay the price of a bloody partition. Gandhi gradually became very popular in India overshadowing his mentor Gopal K. Gokhale(part of the Moderate Section of the Congress); who died in 1915.

There is no denying that the support and devotion Gandhi received from the common people of India propelled him to global fame. Many people know about his preference for Nehru; indifference to patriots such as Bhagat Singh and Bose; and the many fasts undertaken to get either the government or the people to agree. Rather than casting Gandhi as a hero or a villain; I believe that he was an inevitable factor in history to make sure that the savage exploitation of a nation by a foreign power came to an end; and the people got to elect their own government.


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