Whether or not Asaram Bapu is guilty or a victim of vilification I do not know, but the fact that his case has been ongoing in the courts from the last 2years without any conclusive evidence even after our enthusiastic media picked up his files before the courts did, is telling of the haste of our media, today we easily see him as a bogus baba who, disguised in his Karmic attributes secretly sought and exploited carnal favours from his bewildered bhakts.
Asaram Bapu claims that he is not guilty and that he is made to pay a price for voicing out against the Gandhis, but in today’s world where the loudest loathe becomes truth we tend to believe everything instantly at face value, in the current context of a dissipated scenario that surrounds us, where if you spoke for him you are branded a right winger and if you spoke against him you are a left liberal but in all this furore of the Left vs the Right is there really any scope for a rationale debate?
The words Bapu and all this fuss about ashrams is routine TRP business but will we ever dare introspect the truth behind our tall legacies or lie gacies of our political saints?
In India and elsewhere the very term ‘Gandhiji’ is seen as synonymous with honesty and truthfulness, a portrait of the Mahatma is always hung in all police stations, legal and educational institutions, in fact a whole nation is taught early in life to inculcate and exude the Gandhian way of non-violence and truthfulness, he is still the star in all our freedom struggle commemorations and our academics.
In that very spirit of Gandhiji to seek truth and divulge some rationale objective views, in order to understand the father of our nation, I dug up a little and read his biographies, scanned many journals and read various bits and bytes about the Mahatma, who with his penchant for experiments be it with life or non-violence, vegetarianism, truth or with celibacy itself Gandhiji comes out as a split personality to me.
We have all read about Gandhi for his ideals, for his Ahimsa or non-violence but what we did not know was that it was the same Ahimsavaadi who pledged to become a recruiting agent and rained Indian soldiers upon the British royal empire, acknowledging their sovereignty over us in bargain for a little triumph card of goodwill to seek Independance. He was instrumental in extending our unconditional support to the British masters during the World War where at least 2lakh Indian soldiers died in the bloody battlefield.
While his Quit India movement and his satyagrahas are seen as robust facades of freedom struggle, most written communications sent by Gandhiji during this period are seeming reassurances of his loyalty to the British empire and fragile appeals often in bargain for our compromise on one thing or the other, his Dandi march, his anti-apartheid stands, we have read his merrier sides but the murkier side that is darker than the many conundrums of sexual abuse that we hear today, this left me wondering if Bapu was any different from what Asaram Bapu is made out to be today?
In his own book ‘My Experiments with truth’ he writes that he regrets for not having been by the side of his ailing father because of his intense carnal desires to be with Kasturba that night when his father breathed his last! He later tries diets that reduces such desires, he advocates to practice celibacy even while he is married to Kasturba but strangely after her death he sets newer goals and admits in his writing that he is experimenting with young girls by sleeping naked with them to arrest his carnal desires.
Abha and Manuben the two grandnieces who were regarded as Gandhi’s walking sticks to whom Gandhiji often clung to in all his freedom marches, were in reality guinea pigs or course material for his self-proclaimed experiments of Bramacharya. He writes about bathing together with his secretary’s attractive sister Sushila Naayar and claims that he shut his eyes while she bathed and also talks about sleeping with women of his ashram who often vied with each other for this bedside honorarium.
If at all our constitution was written a little early then I wonder what criminal sedition charges, articles and sections these experiments would attract. For a moment I shuddered to think …what if Arnab Goswami was a contemporary of Gandhiji then!
In ancient times when the sages wanted to conquer their minds over their bodies they meditated under harsh hostile conditions of the Himalayas or in some forests renouncing all worldly pleasures but Gandhi wrote his own rules for Bramacharya, in his quest to seek an unconventional spirituality behind closed doors in the afterhours of a socially and politically over active life did Gandhi not physically, emotionally and psychologically abuse those vulnerable young girls?
In one of the diaries of Manuben Gandhi, discovered recently, it reveals that she came to him an orphan at the age of 12 and ever since then he is like a mother to her, at the age of 18 Manuben was sleeping naked with the 77year old Gandhi for all his bramacharya experiments. Although she says that she sees it as a pious experiment she also notes that her diaries were signed by Gandhi personally each night.
Rhonda Brynes’s “The Secret” says that thoughts make a person, if you keep saying I should not spill the milk, you are invariably attracting that thought of spilling the milk and will end up spilling the milk.
It is hard to digress that a great personality like Gandhi did not realise this simple truth and in his quest for experiments he had knowingly or unknowingly jeopardized innocent lives around him.
Gandhi’s secretary, Pyarelal mentions that Gandhi cared for Manuben’s education, food, dress and sleep so much that he supervised her every aspect and even shared his bed with her, if a girl’s mind is innocent then she will not be embarrassed to sleep with her mother.
But the contentious point here is no mother would ever ask her 18 year old to sleep naked next to her and bathe and massage her body.
Now if Gandhi was reading and signing her personal diary notes each night then there is little scope to believe that she dared to write the truth. She died at the age of 40 silently somewhere without making any furore on Newhour, without the aid of any women empowerment clout but my fears are what if the Bapus of today claim to follow these Gandhian path and experiments? Will we just brush it aside saying every great man has some kind of kink or will we extend the same motherly theory and make Mahatmas out of the current day Bapus or will we question what it takes to be a real Mahatma?
Digging up history will often leave you branded as a right wing or left winger today in India but a wise quote by Voltaire says “To learn who rules over you simply try to find out who you are not allowed to criticize”!
Attaching a few online reference links