Gandhi’s Experiments With Celibacy

Posted by Anilkumar Kagi in History
February 8, 2018

I am as interested as any Indian or a foreigner, in knowing or ascertaining whether Gandhi had any clandestine intentions of sexually gratifying himself under the camouflage of experimentation with celibacy, as he is accused of.

To ascertain this beyond doubt, one needs to investigate it thoroughly. But I do not have the time and privilege for doing that. Before casting any aspersions on a lofty and important personality, it is important to investigate this further. I would thank anyone endeavoring to bring out the truth for the benefit of all.

Before giving any judgment on his acts; adequate research is necessary, because we are judging a person, who had such immense understanding of the world around him, that he could shake an empire with bare hands, not only in India but even in a foreign nation (South Africa), an empire which was the world’s biggest and most powerful ever, to whom the kings, Sultans and their armies, the wealthy landlords etc. had bent. Even the 1857 incident in which the Indian soldiers themselves had rebelled, couldn’t stir them. Our nation was under the oppression of both Mughal and English rule for about a millennium, and we couldn’t do anything about it till he came.

Moreover, proper investigation is important because, he has shown the greatest method man could ever know to change the miseries around our world. So his personality should not be maligned unnecessarily, because it would also affect the perception of his great message too.

So all in all, before judging a person whom we cannot match either in intellect or in deed, we need to do adequate research, and give due consideration to the intentions behind his behavior. To do that, we need to shed a few prejudices:

  1. Some people’s minds are so prejudiced that if they see a man putting his arms on the shoulders of a woman, they think there must be some sexual intimacy between them. We need to shed that.
  2. Some people are such ardent followers, that even if their leader is caught while forcing himself upon a lady, they would convince themselves and others that the leader was doing something good. We need to shed that.
  3. By the venture of this research we seek to arrive at the truth, and do not intend to cover-up the conduct out of reverence for him, nor do we intend to tarnish the image of a lofty personality to seek publicity or to satisfy our ego. We need to take note of the fact that we do not have the person amidst us to defend himself.

Kindly note that I am not accusing anybody of anything, I am just quoting some of the ethics of scrutiny.

I read R. P. Parasuram’s letter, and I will not criticize or approve of it. That is trivial. What is important is, to arrive at the truth, dispassionately. In my endeavor to know the truth, some immediate questions that crop up in my mind are;

  1. Did Gandhi have sexual gratification by those acts? Or, did he indulge in those acts to sexually gratify himself?

  2. Have any of his willing or unwilling partners reported of him taking sexual pleasure by those acts?

  3. Have any of his close associates reported of his indulging in sexual intercourse with anyone of the Asharm or anywhere in India or abroad, other than Kasturba Gandhi?

  4. Did the female participants report of any symptoms of sexual arousal in Gandhi during the course of the ‘experiment’? Did he try to touch them sexually? Did he advance on them with sexual intent? Did he try to derive sexual pleasure with them?

Now coming to the case of the women who were part of his ‘experiment’:

  1. It is clearly evident from the information in the letter that the ladies were pained. Were they forced into the act with threats or confinement, i.e, not being allowed to desert Gandhi? Or did they participate in it because of their inability to say no to it? Why were they enduring it? Was it due to some external compulsion behind which Gandhi had a hand or did they participate because they couldn’t say no as they couldn’t sum up the courage to say ‘no’ to a lofty personality? Or did they get carried away by the general norm then that Gandhi shouldn’t be disobeyed?

  2. Were the female participants just asked to participate blindly or did Gandhi discuss the matter with them and give reasons for his behavior and try to convince them? What were the reasons given by Gandhi? Has any participant made public those reasons given by Gandhi?

  3. It is clearly evident from the reports of their crying, that the female participants were hurt. What was the reason behind the hurt? That they were being sexually exploited? Or that even if Gandhi did not try to derive sexual gratification from them, the very act of sleeping naked with him was embarrassing to them? That his ‘experiment’ was not acceptable to the other ashramites and leaders, and thus these ladies were looked down with stigmatic attitude by the rest of the Ashram or society? Which was the cause of their pain; the lascivious Gandhi? Or that even though Gandhi did not behave in a lascivious manner, they were fearful of the social stigma? (Giving Gandhi the consideration that he simply intended to experiment and check if his libido had been destroyed totally or not, to the point that even a naked teen female sleeping next to him could not arouse any passions in him. To genuinely feel the same indifference about sex and the nude female body that a child would have towards naked women.)

These are some of the initial questions that arise in my mind. Has anyone found any information regarding these, through their research. If so please present them for the perusal of the public.

Lastly; if the honorable ladies who participated in Gandhi’s ‘experiment’, do not accuse him of being lascivious and as one who conducted those experiments in order to clandestinely derive sexual pleasure, but instead were fearful of what society would think about them for sleeping naked with him, then it is the society, that is to be blamed for making a simple but bizarre experiment from a man who had given his everything to human society, was also conducting experimenting with himself, his ability to control the common human passions of hunger, thirst, riches and also libido. This is because this ignorant society is notorious for maligning great personalities. Let us also not forget that, this man Gandhi had grown above these silly passions that humanity dies to achieve every single second of its existence, and it is only because he had grown above these silly passions, that he did not kneel before an empire unlike the common human being did for a millennium. He gave the courage to two nations, India and South Africa to stand up and rebel against the most powerful empire.

People who judge someone accused, should be worthy enough to judge the accused.

How many of the beings on this planet can understand Gandhi’s experiments with truth?

How many of the beings on this planet can understand Gandhi’s experiments with non-violence?

Only that many of the beings on this planet can understand his experiments with celibacy.

So let those beings who are worthy of understanding him, judge him.

The rest of us should be doing what we are best at; achieving our silly passion for riches and fame. I believe that we are not worthy of judging him. To judge him we need to understand his theories, that enabled him to throw away an empire from two nations, just because a petty servant of the empire threw him out of the train. Can we do that? I strongly feel none of us can understand his theories, because if we did, we would all be Gandhis.

He said my life is my message. He must be only a fool to demean his own life, that too openly, in order to sexually gratify himself.

It would take too much for a normal person, who is immersed in the passion for achieving the worldly pleasures of riches, fame and sexual pleasure, to comprehend that Gandhi was above riches and sex. As for fame, I believe it licks the feet of those who shun riches and sex, because the common people who are the source of fame, give fame to a person,when they are awed by that person who doesn’t have the same itches that they die for.