In the book “Brahmacharya Gandhi & His Women Associates,” the author notes that for Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, the personal was not political. The book’s author has done an incredible job capturing intimate details of Gandhi’s life and conduct, although the book tries its best to paint him as a Mahatma. The latter was mostly misunderstood by his contemporaries and associates.
As evident from many other sources and commentators, Gandhi always spoke in generalities and high-sounding moral abstracts to shield some of his weaknesses, which is clear from this book’s content. It says that for Gandhi,
Brahmacharya was a wider concept than mere celibacy or continence. It constituted an entire philosophy and a moral imperative to be observed in thought, word, and deed.
In this post, the goal is to understand if he really meant to live these high-sounding concepts. It was a general explanation to fool people around him to experiment with his sexuality on young, innocent women.
Gandhi took a vow of lifelong celibacy in 1906 to become a perfect Brahmachari. But his conduct has baffled his contemporaries and historian alike, knowing that despite that vow of celibacy, Gandhi kept himself surrounded by single women, young and beautiful girls, and even married women throughout his life.
Mohandas Gandhi had dozens of women in his life, some foreigners and many Indians who participated in his experiments of Brahmacharya that included giving him a naked massage, taking a nude shower with him, and sleeping nude with him. All of these activities were going on in parallel while he was actively leading the freedom movement and controlling the Congress party.
Among the most controversial names of the ladies who were part of Gandhi’s Brahmacharya Prayog have been his Granddaughter Manuben Gandhi (a teenage girl), Jayaprakash Narayan’s wife, Prabhavati because of whom Gandhi and J.P. always remained at odds, and Sushila Nayyar was another young subject who was also his physician.
Gandhi defined that Brahmacharya was a broader concept than mere celibacy or continence. It constituted an entire philosophy and a moral imperative to be observed in thought, word, and deed.
So, if Brahmacharya was about moral imperative, then was it moral for a man his age to experiment his Brahmacharya with a 17-18 years old girl (who happened to be his granddaughter) to sleep naked with him, take a nude shower with him, and give him a naked body massage without even thinking what impact this experiment would have on that girl’s life?
If Gandhi really meant that Brahmacharya was about moral imperative, then was it appropriate on his part to ask Jayaprakash Narayan’s wife (read, a married woman) to stay away from her husband but participate in his own Brahmacharya experiments?
Taking this morality question a step further, was it moral for Gandhi to take Manuben Gandhi with him to Noakhali and continue his experiments of Brahmacharya with her at a time when he was going on a mission of peace in the wake of Hindu-Muslim riots that already had claimed thousands of innocent lives? How could he even concentrate on his sexual desires and experiments with Manuben when death was all around him, and riots were still going on everywhere?
Gandhi’s conduct raises severe doubts about his seriousness about the freedom movement itself. The man was in total control of the Congress party. Millions of Indians looked up to him daily for directions. He seemed to be obsessed with his sexual desires, experiments with all the women around him, and trying to control the sexual lives of others people at his Ashram. Among all the freedom fighters who fought the British, Gandhi was the only one who had so much distraction in his life. Nobody else seems to have any other parallel activities going on in their lives.
Vinayak Savarkar, Subhas Chandra Bose, Vallabhbhai Patel, Tilak, Gokhale, and countless other freedom fighters and leaders seem to have a clear goal of leading people to Freedom and nothing else. But if you look at Gandhi’s writings and letters and his daily routine, the job of leading the freedom struggle seems like his part-time job. His primary work appears to be around his sexual activities and experiments with women predominantly.
Looking at Gandhi’s daily conduct and activities around India’s freedom struggle, one is forced to ask, “Did he even know what morality means, or did he define that too as per his convenience?”
In Bhagavad Gita, Shri Krishna says in 3.21:
यद्यदाचरति श्रेष्ठस्तत्तदेवेतरो जन: |
स यत्प्रमाणं कुरुते लोकस्तदनुवर्तते || 21||
This means that commoners follow the footsteps of great men. The idea is behind this verse is that whatever standards a great man sets by exemplary acts, all the world pursues.
Gandhi has claimed throughout his life that he followed Gita. If he did understand anything that Gita says, what kind of anarchy would have been spread throughout the country if everybody had begun following his methods of experiments?
He called Manuben that he was her ‘Mother,’ and she wrote in her diary the same thing as well though she was his granddaughter. Gandhi is quoted saying that all the women in his Ashram were his daughters. So, in which country of the world, and in which religion, a father or a mother has conducted Brahmacharya Prayog with his/her daughters? Where was his moral compass when he decided that it was okay to sleep nude with his daughters, ask them to take a nude bath with him, and even give him a naked massage? It just feels wrong, doesn’t it?
If anyone is caught doing any of the things Gandhi was doing while living a fully public life in any civilized country today, what course will the law take against such a man today? He had no consideration for social norms, he had no respect for the Indic civilization, and he rejected all the Shastras just to justify his weird experiments that allowed him to sleep naked with women and keep them close for whatever pleasure he thought he enjoyed in doing so.
Such was Gandhi’s morality! Such was this ‘Mahatma’ and his absolute shamelessness!
While he is said to have taken his vow of celibacy in 1906, Gandhi had started walking with young women in 1920 while resting his hands on their shoulders in his morning and evening walks. He called them his “walking sticks” as if there were no actual walking sticks or men (if he preferred shoulders) available for him to use. This only shows how effectively he used his gimmicks to fool and patronize people around him.
The next step in this process was his elaborate daily massage that was to be performed by young women. The message was to be followed by a bath during which the presence of a woman attendant was essential. Sushila Nayyar is said to be the usual fixture on such occasions who also used to talk bath with him. In Gandhi’s own words, he would keep his eyes closed when Sushila used to shower with him naked.
As this process got established, the next step was to make young women sleep with him in proximity or with him, in his bed, and then sleeping completely naked with him, in his bed. In a letter he wrote to Munnalal G Shah [ashram manager and husband of Kanchan Shah], he said:
“Perhaps they will say, ‘We were not objects of your experiments; we slept with you as with a mother.’ I would not contradict them….”
The book quotes him to add this in the same letter:
If you just read the content of this letter, it’s very telling about Gandhi and his mental status. Sometimes, you begin to think, was he sick? Or Perverted?
He says that those women slept with him like a mother. Has anybody heard a mother asking her adult children to sleep naked with her or bathe with her naked? He was not only not ashamed of his experiments. Instead, it almost feels like he was proud of what he was doing and wanted to convince others that he was ‘Prophet’ or ‘God’ who couldn’t be subjected to scrutiny.
From this letter, we can see that Kanchan Shah undressed in front of him ‘reluctantly’ just so that he doesn’t feel hurt. But even then, she couldn’t sleep naked with him for more than an hour. And this, Gandhi is explaining to her husband and very smartly putting Munnalal and Kanchan on a guilt trip by saying that, “therefore she cannot be included in the ‘experiment.’”
Gandhi was not ashamed to demand that other people treat their wives as their sisters but send them to him so he could sleep naked with them, ask them to give him a naked massage, and help him perform his other experiments with them. Have we seen another personality in the history of the world as audacious and immoral as Gandhi?
About the participants in his experiments, let’s read what Gandhi wrote himself as per the book:
Another event that draws attention around the 1930s when the British police came to arrest the ‘Mahatma’ at night and found him in bed with a young girl as the book describes:
If we find his experiments with young women and other people’s wives so disturbing in the 21st century. In that case, one can only imagine how many people and his well-wishers would have tried to warn him urged him to stop progressing on that self-destructing path. It seems Gandhi listened to them, realized the dangers, and stopped…but then he couldn’t stay away from the enjoyment for too long and resumed it again…. and again…. and again…
The book confirms that in these lines in the 3rd chapter in the following paragraph:
Again, let’s not forget that Gandhi argued that all his women associates were his adopted daughters in the ashram. He spoke about this to clarify his stand as the book reveals:
But then he resumed the practice again in 1932 as soon as he saw a bit of improvement in the atmosphere around him. Again, when people resisted and opposed, he stopped, for some time, then resumed again… and this stop-resume-stop cycle kept going. It looks like he just couldn’t resist the temptation of proximity to young women; he was just not able to stop his nonsense!
When you read this book, you will be shocked to see how many times he vowed to stop these experiments, or his activity of using girls as his ‘walking sticks’ and then took a U-turn to go back to his old self, again and again. There are instances where people confronted him about it, and he lied, saying, “I don’t remember making such a promise!”
Just the first 3-4 chapters of the book are enough to prove that Gandhi was not even a ‘Satyawaadi.’ Gandhi’s lies are everywhere, all over the place.
There were not many takers of Gandhiji’s unique experiments and weird justifications for his immoral conduct. People wrote him letters, confronted him face-to-face, and even wrote articles.
Let’s read/review some of them.
Vinoba Bhave wrote in his letter dated 25th February 1947:
In case Gandhiji was a perfect Bhrahmachari, he did not require his credentials to be tested. And if he was an imperfect Brahmachari, he should have avoided the experiments like a plague.
Sardar Patel wrote two letters to Gandhi. First, he said this on 25th January 1947:
Read your letter to Kishorelal Mashruwala, Mathuradas, and Rajkumari Amrit Kaur. You have thrown us in a wildfire of agony. I can’t understand why you thought of reviving this experiment. After our last talk with you, we thought this chapter had ended. Parashuram was a faithful servant, and your contempt for him is wrong (he was Gandhiji’s attendant who left in disgust unable to stomach the experiments). You just don’t care for our feelings. We feel utterly helpless. Devdas’s feelings stand acutely injured. All of us are pained beyond measure. Till further discussion, you should suspend it. I just can’t fathom such a terrible blunder on your part.
Then, Sardar Patel wrote him again, even more, agitated when Gandhi instructed Jiwanji Desai to publish his celibacy experiments in Navjivan publications, including Harijan. In this case, Sardar Patel said:
I called Jiwanji (to Delhi) after your directive to him. In between, I received Kishorelal Mashruwala’s letter. Rajaji (Rajagopalachari) and Devadas also met me and talked about the issue. We all feel there is no end to your obstinacy. You have pushed us into a calamity. You are unable to measure the extent of our pain. Even if for the sake of taking pity on us, you must leave it. Publicising these experiments isn’t going to benefit the world. Your saying that ‘others shouldn’t follow you (on celibacy experiments)’ isn’t going to make any difference. People always follow the elders. I can’t understand why you are bent upon pushing the common people on the path of heterodoxy instead of religion. If only we could cut open our hearts and show how deep are our wounds. In this helpless situation, the trustees of Navjivan have come to the conclusion that they can’t publish anything about this experiment, come what may.
These are some of the gory details of Gandhi’s personal conduct and the way he spent his days and nights with women doing his experiments on them, without thinking about impact of his activities on their minds and their lives, without thinking how it was interfering with India’s freedom movement. As we continue to study his life and expose the hidden dirty truth about the shady dealings of the ‘Mahatma’, we wish that you, our reader, study the life of Gandhi yourself, share these details, this knowledge with your friends and family, educate your younger generation and help us eradicate the disease of ‘Gandhiwad’ that has dominated the post-colonial India’s politics and hurt India’s growth tremendously.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.