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Subhas Chandra Bose's evaluation of Gandhi - Part 2

Updated: Mar 15, 2020

In his book Indian Struggles Subhas analyzes the rise of Swarajya party during this period and his impressions about Gandhi and Congress. He said that "mass of India had always been susceptible to the influence of avatars, priests and gurus. The spiritual man had always wielded the largest influence in India and he is called a Saint, a Mahatma or a sadhu. For various reasons Gandhiji came to be looked upon by the people of India as a Mahatma before he became the undisputed political leader of India." Subhas said that Gandhiji's austere lifestyle, his spirit of renunciation, were all his assets and thus the masses came to acknowledge him as their leader. "Consciously or unconsciously Mahatma fully exploited the mass psychology of people. He was exploiting many of the weak traits in the character of his countrymen which had accounted for India's downfall to a large extent." These included a "belief in the supernatural, indifference to modern scientific development, her backwardness in the science of modern warfare, the peaceful contentment engendered by her latter day philosophy and adherence to ahimsa or non violence carried to the most absurd length." Congressmen began to look upon Gandhi not merely as a political guru but also a religious messiah and developed a cult around him that ate vegetarian, adopted the same style of dress and behavior and talked of spiritual swaraj before political swaraj.  "And worst of all was the tendency on the part of the orthodox followers of the Mahatma to regard everything that he said as gospel truth without reasoning or arguing and to accept his paper Young India as their Bible."

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