Friday, 18 November 2011

Are we killing Mahatma Gandhi all over again?

An anguished soul, who directed my attention to this article, asks me 'when we receive or give black money- thick wads of currency notes with Mahatma Gandhi's face upon them- are we not guilty of killing him all over again?'

I have thought about the matter and now give my judgement.
1) No. You say you killed the guy. I've checked. He really is dead. So you aren't killing him all over again even if you are paying or receiving a lot of Rupees to do it. In legal terms, such an action falls under the category of impossible attempt.
2) I forget whether you and your chums claimed credit for raping Gandhi while killing him last time round. The truth is I tend to let my mind wander when the topic of the Mahatma comes up. Still, it is not unreasonable for me to proceed on the assumption that you chaps both raped and killed Gandhi and now are seeking information from me as to whether you are succeeding once again in perpetrating the same faux pas.
On reflection, no- I think that what you are guilty of is necrophilia, gross indecency and mutilating a corpse.

I hope this answers your question.


  1. There are many instances of necrophiliac mortuary attendants causing dead people to come back to life. Thus your judgement is incorrect and based on apriori reasoning without proper empirical inquiry. Please contact the person who asked you the question and ascertain whether, in the course of the necrophiliac rape of the late M.K Gandhi, corpse has been re-animated and thus become available for purposes of re-slaughter.

  2. @Anon- the question as asked was 'are we not guilty of killing Gandhi all over again?' Clearly the questioner had, together with some confreres, killed Gandhi at some point in the past. Whether Rape also occurred was not specified but quite reasonably inferred. You say that while raping the mortal remains of MK Gandhi, the questioner may have succeeded in bringing him back to life. If so, the questioner could not have been guilty of killing him in the first place any more than a doctor, who stops the heart of a patient, but then revives him, could be considered guilty of murder. Now, you may argue that the questioner in using the word 'guilty' does not mean legal guilt but moral culpability and remorse. But why should the questioner feel such remorse and moral culpability if indeed, as you suggest, his or her act of necrophiliac rape restored life to the Mahatma? After all, there is no obstacle to the perpetrator of this heinous act from killing Gandhi (a famous passive resister) again. Why then should the questioner say 'are we not guilty of killing Gandhi again?'
    In my opinion, this is a case where a priori reasoning, independent of an examination of empirical evidence, can provide an apodictic judgement.

  3. @windwheel- You overlook the possibility that your questioner in saying 'are we not guilty &c' may have meant not 'are me and certain associates of mine not guilty &c' but 'are you and I not guilty &c'. Suppose you had commissioned, instigated or otherwise facilitated the original act of rape and murder and thus shared criminal guilt, suppose further your motivation was different from that of the questioner, in this case the construction you put upon the quoted statement does not, a priori, rule out the sort of consideration raised in my last. Thus, here as elsewhere in Jurisprudence, a priori reasoning proves non apodictic. Only empirical investigation can give rise to justified true belief.

  4. @anon- this seems a perverse argument. I know with certainty that I did not rape and kill Gandhi- the questioner makes no mention of any sort of compact between us to do so, I can myself testify that I have never received or given large sums of currency stamped with the face of MK Gandhi for any purpose connected with his rape or murder. Thus, I can with apodictic certainty rule out the highly insulting and improper construction you have placed upon the questioner's statement.
    My judgement stands, all the more secure for being a priori. It is your thirst for empirical evidence which has led you astray.

  5. @windwheel- thank you for proving my point. You may have apodictic certainty re your non-involvement in the rape and murder of MK Gandhi. However, you can't have apodictic certainty re. what the questioner believes regarding your degree of culpability in that distasteful affair.
    Even more crucially, in presenting a judgement as anything other than a personal opinion or conclusion based on private knowledge, both facts and reasoning from those facts must be set out otherwise how am I or any third party supposed to get justified true belief- let alone apodictic certainty- from your statement?

  6. @anon- let me see if I have understood you correctly. You are saying that the questioner may believe I was her confederate in the rape and murder of Mahatma Gandhi. She asks 'are we (meaning me and her) not guilty' of this distasteful crime. I say- no. A dead man can't be killed twice, nor can rape occur after death because that is the quite separate crime of necrophilia (illegal in the UK since 2002)
    You raise the possibility that a second attempt at raping and killing Gandhi may have led to his reanimation. However, since the reanimation occurs at the hands of the original murderer, no guilt re. killing specifically attaches to the original act. Some other criminal guilt undoubtedly arises- e.g. grievous bodily harm, attempted murder etc- but not unlawful killing. It is true that a second crime of rape has occurred if the questioner continued to sexually assault Gandhi after his body returned to life. However, my judgement was regarding guilt for unlawful killing alone. A man can only be killed once. No one can be guilty of killing a man 'again' (i.e. more than once). This is a priori and apodictic reasoning.
    You are quite right that my own certainty re. my non-involvement in this murderous orgy can not give rise to apodictic certainty in your mind. But, my remark was by way of obiter dicta merely and not stare decisis. It can be stripped out of my judgement, without any harm being done.
    I repeat, your thirst for empirical evidence and attachment to a 'justified true belief' epistemology has misled you.

  7. @windwheel- once again you beg the question. You say a man can only be killed once. This is patently untrue. A person can be raped and killed by one person, or set of people, at one time. Those people can be properly charged with rape and murder and hanged (if such be the law of the land)for the crime. At a later point, that same person may, during the course of a necrophiliac assault, come back to life only to be once again done to death. The person or persons responsible may, quite legally, be charged with rape and murder and hanged in their turn.
    Your argument, which you accept is a priori and without empirical backing, assumes that every physical body dies only once. But, you have not offered an a priori argument for why that should be the case. What if it is found that some medical procedure can re-infuse life into a corpse even after hundreds of years? How can you decide a question, which only the progress of science can categorically affirm or provisionally reject, simply by applying a priori reasoning?

  8. Yes, but in this case the questioner was involved in both acts of rape and murder. However, since only person suffered the indignity and inconvenience only one occasion for guilt (at least with respect to the offence of unlawful killing) arises.

    Please explain to me how the same person can be charged twice with killing the same person.

  9. In this instance there are two separate crimes. Firstly, the rape and murder of MK Gandhi in which your culpability may have been diminished by reason of being a minor, secondly the rape and murder of the reanimated remains of MK Gandhi, in which your culpability may be diminished by some other reason for e.g. senile dementia.
    Clearly the reanimated MK Gandhi- whose estate long ago passed to his heirs- has a different legal personality, though what precisely that might be is open to conjecture. Though your necrophiliac rape of the esteemed but deceased senior citizen may have been instrumental in giving him a second lease of life, yet your own brute lust and sadism may have condemned him to a second unsavoury death.
    Your defence attorney may well try to use your argument so as to reduce your culpability, but it is an empirical matter as to how the Judges will rule.
    From a Utilitarian perspective, you and your confreres deprived Mahatma Gandhi of life twice. Once when you originally raped and killed him- thus preventing him from fulfilling his natural span- and secondly when you once again brutally raped and murdered him- depriving him not of his original natural span but one, perhaps, much extended in a Century he would never otherwise have lived to see.

  10. I think you're somewhat missing the point of my post. The real culprit is David Cameron. Something very shifty about that young fellow. Not that David Milliband is any better. Rahul Gandhi had better watch out. Frankly, this country is really going to the dogs now all the shirt lifters have taken over Parliament.
    It's Downing St. you should be fighting, not me.
    Not just Downing St. Look at what Obama's up to. Now I come to think of it, Gandhi's sudden reanimation coincided suspiciously well with Obama's campaign...
    I think there's much more to this than just a bunch of randy mortuary attendants. 'Follow the money' is what Deep Throat said to Woodward & Bernstein. But this Gandhi business is much bigger than Watergate.
    Come to think of it, this ties in with the US Visa ban on Narendra Modi... I seem to recall some of Gandhi's ashes being recovered a couple of years ago in the States...
    there's dark doings afoot. Make no mistake, we haven't seen the last of the Mahatma. They'll be raping and murdering him all over again for some nefarious purpose probably to do with the financial meltdown and stuff.