A decade ago, the American Historical Review published a paper by Mithi Mukherjee titled 'Transcending Identity : Gandhi, Nonviolence and some shite or other'
It contains the following apercu-
Encounters across geographical boundaries of all types, including those which happened in the past, feature meditations on differences in the way things are done or not done and goods and services are provided, or not provided, as well as differences in appearance, manners, norms, language and so forth. However, it would be ridiculous to suggest that such encounters raise a 'question of difference'. Rather, difference is what constitutes the thing as an encounter rather than a transaction. There is a presupposition that ipseity involves an identity which claims 'universality and truth'. The German Sociologist in Bengal says 'As a German Sociologist I have such and such universalist structural causal model and such and such universalist epistemology. However, in Bengal I found people had a very different structural causal model and a different epistemology'. No doubt, in Bengal the German engaged in certain transactions- e.g. ordering a meal and paying for it- which weren't different at all to the transactions he engaged in back home. But he does not expatiate on them. There was no 'encounter' with an alterity. There was merely a transaction.
Mithi has a bizarre theory that where an encounter takes place, there is a 'discourse of identity'. This is not the case. You don't see tourists pondering the question of what it means to be of a particular nationality. They may note that foreigners do things differently but this is because they rely on, not a discourse, but a stereotype of how things are done back home. We react to tourist in the same way. We are gratified when, in keeping with prevalent stereotypes, the Japanese tourist bows while the Italian tourist pinches your bum whereas the Indian tourist steals all the little packets of hygienic products in the hotel room or all the sachets of condiments on the restaurant table. Here is the alterity which pre-exists the encounter which confirms it as encounter, not mere transaction.
It may be argued that Mithi is speaking of intellectuals. But, the truth is, intellectuals are as stupid as shit. If they weren't, they'd see there was no encounter. There was only a transaction. They have nothing to write home about except boring economic, or mechanism design, stuff which would have to be empirically verified in an even more boring fashion.
Mithi is pretending that something important happens when a shite intellectual from the West or a shite intellectual from the East traveled for some mercenary or meretriciously scholarly purpose from or to the 'Orient'. This is not the case. No Westerner had any profound thought about what it meant to be Western in the East and vice versa. Furthermore, everybody wrote silly shite of opposite valency. So noise cancelled itself out leaving only a signal relating to Transaction feasibility.
Mithi wants to pretend that some stupid shitheads whom stupid historians are obliged to read were actually very important indeed. This is not true. There was mimetics certainly. But mimetics is transactional not epistemic. We don't greatly care which Japanese visitor to the West had importance in shaping Japanese mimetics because quite soon there were a lot of them and thus noise arising from personal idiosyncrasy, or plain idiocy, cancelled itself out. Mimetics is Economic or it is not reinforced and perishes as a mere fad.
This is what happened to the nutter Mahatma Gandhi. He was a crank and represented a passing fad. Mithi, fool that she is, thinks some great truth about identity and universality can be found- or forced into place- in the writings of a deeply silly man who fucked up Indian politics though, admittedly, helping some upwardly mobile members of specific Hindu castes.
Consider the following-
Category theory exists in Maths. But what does it teach us? On the one hand, yes, there can be 'univalent foundations' for an episteme but only if predicate logic is replaced by Martin Lof type theory- i.e. is constructionist and contains 'witnesses'. But, on the other hand, differences parsable in predicate logic can't give rise to categories because of Russell's paradox. In other words, Mithi is talking utter nonsense. If the thing can't be done even for Peano Arithmetic, how can it be done for something as complex as Human History or Identity or whatever?
All Mithi is saying is 'Marxists are stupid but they hate Hindu Nationalists. Hindu Nationalists may be equally stupid but nobody would pay any attention to them unless the Marxists had annoyed everybody by their stupidity. The Gandhian movement was empty of thought. It was purely gestural. Okay, one might say 'Gandhian cunts believed in reincarnation. So they believed everybody should give up sex and eating nice things and doing sensible things. Instead they should do a wholly self-defeating 'Satyagraha' so as to be reborn in Satya Yuga where everybody lives for 10 gazillion years and there is no scarcity- or sex, which, quite frankly is disgusting- and everybody talks holier than thou bollocks all the time.' But one could ascribe this sort of magical thinkinging to any bunch of nutters. So the thing is not useful. Instead one should look at why these stupid fadists found it worthwhile to indulge in such foolish gesture politics. But the answer is not far to seek. The thing was 'regret minimizing'. One was hedging one's bets. Also, it was a great way to fuck over the Muslims and the Dalits without the attendant danger of getting your head kicked in.
Mithi criticises the Marxist and the Cambridge School, both of whom get that Gandhi was a fraud, but does not understand that the reason they write such slow witted shite is because they don't know about Knightian Uncertainty and Hanan Consistency. In other words, they don't have the correct conception of homo oeconomicus. That's why their teleology is ka ka and reading them so utterly wearisome.
Mithi wants to go in the other direction. She wants to find some Kantian 'ends' in Gandhian gobshittery. But 'ends' of all type are shite because of Knightian Uncertainty. Hedging can be ontologically dysphoric. It makes sense to have positional goods, with reputational effects, of a type which are 'not at home in the world'. But these aren't 'ends'. They are hedges. At the margin, there is a Kavka's toxin type reason why the reverse may appear to be the case. In other words, some people will die to preserve hedges though they are pretending they serve 'ends'. This is rational because, under Knightian Uncertainty, we might have gone under a bus in any case.
Turning to the Subaltern School- whose raison d'etre was to permit some Indians to escape India's horrible Campuses- Mithi makes Partha Chatterjee sound almost sane.
This is very foolish. 'Peasant consciousness' is largely concerned with finding ways to stop being a fucking peasant. This means fucking over other peasants. Gandhi-giri is one way to do it. The Co-operative movement is another. Even Communism could be useful. However, the only 'final solution' is getting girls off the land and into large factory dormitories. The boys will follow on their own accord and the more submissive among them too can be employed in factories. The rest can be security guards or work construction.
The distinctiveness of Gandhian discourse is that it was so obviously constructed of stupid, self-contradictory, lies. Anybody can be a Gandhian if she is shameless enough.
Mithi's own position arises from an imbecilic fallacy. She thinks if Gandhi did not write in English then he escaped Western categories. The fact is, even Azad- who received a traditional Islamic education- had been 'Aligarhized' as a teenager. All the main vernaculars had been Englishified. Gandhi uses the English word 'history' when writing in Gujerati because English type 'history' was History. 'Itihasa' was mythology which represented 'arthavada' and was 'mithak'- i.e. it was imperative not alethic. Sir Syed Ahmed had demanded that English language instruction replace Urdu for all but alethic, i.e. Scientific, subjects. Why? Writing in Urdu made you stupid. The solution was the creation of bureaucratic 'purified' vernaculars in which you can write reams and reams of Mithi type shite without ever having to engage a single brain cell.
Gandhi was as ignorant of Western as he was of Indian thought. A few years later he tried to debate the Pundits of Vaikom and was quickly defeated. By then he was saying 'fuck categories. I can spin cotton. Also I clean toilets. So I am a Dalit Kabir type Saint. Just take my word for it already. Moreover, sleeping naked with young ladies means I have super-powers. Give me some more money for my various silly money-pit schemes. If it weren't for me, the Brits would have fucked off in 1924. Thankfully, I surrendered unconditionally in 1922 saying in Court that India could not defend or feed itself. Still, sowing disaffection against India's protectors was one's unavoidable duty coz disloyal dogs are lower than loyal dogs and so Indians must be snarling curs simply to remind Britain of the increasing moral ruin they, shouldering the White Man's Burden, inevitably had wrought.
The truth is English can borrow 'categories of thought' from any language ancient or modern. Then the Mathematicians and Physicists and so forth get to work on the thing and we have something useful. But this has always been the case everywhere. Stupid people- politicians, historians, socioproctologists etc- play no role in this.
Mithi says Gandhi was a 'sanyasin'. This is untrue. He may not have been fucking his wife but she was cooking for him- and, according to Bhiku Parkekh, tearfully preparing mutton chops for Maulana Azad. There already had been plenty of Revolutionary Sanyasis. Even the mildest of them, Swami Rama Tirtha, inspired Bhagat Singh and Bismil. Gandhi wasn't trying to compete with Vivekananda or Baba Bharati (both of whom Tolstoy read) or Aurobindo, not to speak of Brigadier Dyer's great enemy in Iran- Amba Prasad Sufi. Gandhi was on the other side from these genuinely learned Renunciants. But he offered safety to young people like G.D Birla who had to go underground after being linked to the Roda cartridge case. What was the upshot? Police Commissioner Tegart who killed Bagha Jatin and put down the 'Anushilan Samiti' revolutionaries, ended up on Birla's payroll! The 'politics of non violence' was about not getting sentenced to hard labor in the Andamans or getting hanged by the neck. But it involved episodic unconditional surrender and going meekly to jail after each occasion where your people had run amok and thus strengthened the Brits by pissing off the Muslims.
Gandhi did have an 'enunciative persona'. But it wasn't Religious or involve Renunciation. He was the 'Dictator' of an essentially timid Movement. His job was to unconditionally surrender as and when doing so was fatal to Indian Nationalism- as opposed to majoritarian Hindu mercantile & bureaucratic interests.
Mithi thinks Gandhi in South Africa was part of a 'juridical discourse'. Is she not aware that there was a War there? Smuts, was a smart barrister but he gained salience on the battlefield. Had Milner been able to impose his 'kindergarten', maybe there could have been a 'juridical discourse'. But Kitchener tipped Smuts the wink that the Liberals would win. Then Smuts played the Yellow Menace card- at about the same time that F.E Smith, invoking Ucalegon, decried a fellow MP who had won an election by suggesting that Chinese coolies would come to take jobs from British coal miners! Smuts could deport the Chinese. He couldn't deport the poorer Indians because they were subjects of the King Emperor. They genuinely couldn't pay the poll tax. They couldn't be forced to work- that was slavery by another name- and they would have to be repatriated and resettled at the cost of the British exchequer. Thus it was inevitable that the Indians would win. Gandhi's greatness lies in his diluting their victory to Smuts's great satisfaction. But Smuts was glad to see the back of Gandhi. The guy was a shite lawyer- there was no point doing a deal with him because he'd change his mind and accuse you of perfidy.
On first being arrested for breaking the Pass Law he did a deal to get out after a few weeks. Then he went around saying 'Giving fingerprints and carrying a Pass is a very good and salutary thing. What I was objecting to was the suggestion that we Indians needed to be compelled to get them. The truth is we love such things and clamor for them.' Naturally, some Indians beat the shit out of Gandhi. He learned an important lesson. After you fuck up big time, you need to spend at least a year or two in jail till people forget what a fucking asshole you are. Smuts, however, was not impressed with Gandhi's mendacious claim that the Government would repeal the law if Indians voluntarily registered. The fact is, in Law, there is a presumption that people voluntarily comply with laws. Those who don't are punished severely if their defiance is willful. It has never been the case that a Law is removed from the Statute Books just because it proves unnecessary. Rather we say it falls into desuetude and may, at some later point, be abandoned along with other obsolete laws. Anyway, the real issue was fingerprinting and having to carry a Pass and pay the poll tax and so on. Gandhi's 'juridical discourse' consisted of telling stupid lies and running around like a headless chicken till beaten by his own or jailed by Whitey.
Mithi mentions Tolstoy farm. She does not mention Vivekananda and Ramakrishna's earlier influence on Tolstoy and his 'letter to a Hindu', replete with quotations from Gita and Kural, which Gandhi read. This was of obvious use to him which is why he translated it into Gujarati. What made it useful? Tolstoy says get rid of the specialised knowledge of Religion, Science, Economics and so forth. Affirm the simple law of love. What perplexities remain when everybody would be better off simply by rolling around naked in the mud till they die of typhoid?
Mithi thinks the Indian Freedom Struggle was led by renunciant sanyasis. This is false. Some people who would have become ascetics anyway also participated in Revolutionary politics. But most did not. There were some professional Revolutionaries who weren't ascetic at all but the British police were good at penetrating and rolling up their networks. A few landed up in Moscow or Japan or Berlin and so forth. But, the vanguard of the Freedom Struggle was constituted by Teachers and Lawyers and Journalists and Labor or Peasant leaders etc.
Gandhi, like other lawyer/journalists, faced the problem of how to gain a livelihood while doing stupid shite. Yes, one could beg for money- but on what basis? The answer was to have a money-pit Ashram and various crackpot money-pit schemes. The idea was that the nutters employed in this manner would always be available for 'organizational' work. In other words, a captive 'rent-a-mob' was maintained. This could be useful for the purpose of pretending you had a tremendous grass-roots following such that the Government must concede the financiers the corrupt rents they were seeking. The problem with this is that it alienated minorities. Why should the Muslim burn his stock of foreign cloth so some Hindu mill owners could make more profit? Tagore had warned against this type of stupidity a decade before Gandhi returned to India. That cretin did not understand why his presence at Champaran was so important. It was to provide cover for the 'cow- protection' riots raging across Bihar. The Muslims were prepared to trade-off cow-protection for Khilafat and this is what gave Gandhi his big break. But he betrayed the Muslims by unconditionally surrendering in 1922. By 1932, his antics had caused all minorities- even Sikhs, Dalits and Justice Party Dravidians- to unite against the High Caste Hindus his Party represented. What was the result? Viceroys stopped listening to the INC. They did whatever was in Britain's interest while siding with Muslims. This meant that when Congress finally took power in the Provinces in 1937 it behaved in an equally 'communal' fashion. This was not inevitable.
Apart from, wholly erroneously, saying that asceticism was connected to the Independence struggle- though some ascetics supported it, just as some Catholic priests supported the IRA- Mithi blunders unconscionably by thinking that 'Mukti' or 'Liberation' valorized by Indic Religions had any political meaning. It didn't. It was perfectly compatible with slavery and Imperialism of various types.
Mithi's ignorance of India is genuine. She isn't just trying to pull the wool over the eyes of gullible Americans. She writes-
This is stupid shit. Some Western theologians had similar notions to some Indian theologians. But that was wholly irrelevant. In Indian cities, poorer people wanted more representation just as they did in Western cities. In the countryside, peasants wanted to own the land, not pay rent or tax, and to plunder the fucking Money-lender. But this was true everywhere! The America of Satyananda Stokes was the same as the India where he went to jail. Himachal's 'Johnny Appleseed' soon saw, married to an Indian Christian, that there wasn't much difference between the problems of rural people across the globe. True, some Bengali shitheads may have convinced themselves otherwise- but Bengal would soon turn into a basket-case.
Moksha means dying- or being as good as dead. That's Liberation from the Soteriological point of view. But Freedom means Hohfeldian immunities. Sadly, what the Indians wanted was an immunity from paying in any way for public goods. Thus the apotheosis of Gandhian politics was achieved when Independent India turned into a giant begging bowl for American charity. No doubt some Bengalis- or even Madrasi Brahmins- would very kindly explain that the hole in the begging bowl is the soul whose goal is Moksha which you too can get from my cousin the Swami who is charging in US dollars only- mind it kindly.
Mithi's Westerners are so crass that they think Freedom means being able to do smart things which benefit you without too much interference by corrupt or crazy officials. Mithi's Indians are so crap they just long to die and become one with an indifferent, almost entirely lifeless, Cosmos.
Mithi mentions 'purusharthas'. But all human life can be conceptualized like this. Only certain high caste males pretended it was normative for them in India- but this was merely pretense. But there have been plenty of other societies where it was usual for older people to join a Monastic Institution of one type or another. It is in America, that the Retirement Home with Yoga and Mindfulness and so forth has created vast demographic clusters whose votes can sway Presidential elections.
Mithi lives in a parallel universe where Gandhi gave up sex, got Moksha, and this meant India got independence. The truth is everybody got independence at around the same time because Imperialism could not pay for itself. Gandhi may have looked, at one time, like a great popular leader coz he wore a loin cloth and talked bollocks. Then Jinnah put on a Sherwani and got 83 percent of the Muslim vote. Suddenly, Gandhi was an embarrassment. Fortunately some equally crazy celibate shot him.
What really happened in the East was that the first World War convinced even the Princes- some of whom saw battle- that Monarchy was no longer an option. War wasn't the sport of kings. If India was to defend itself and project force it would have to pay taxes, develop industries, and have lots of soldiers trained to kill. Gandhi represented a protest against this. Certain Hindu castes, it seems, were utterly shite. If India started to rise, they would have to be less shite or risk getting relegated to teaching History in Amrika.
Consider the following shite-
This is crazy shit. Roy lobbied Westminster to permit unrestricted settlement by Brits in India. He said this was the only way the Hindu would be safe from the domineering Muslim bully. His idea of social service was to get very rich by fucking over the peasants. Dwarkanath Tagore carried on this great tradition of licking the boots of the Brits. Brahmo Samaj was about getting rid of idol worship so as to be more like the Muslims. But by the time of Vivekananda, it was obvious that Hindu agricultural castes would kill Muslims in Hindu majority areas. There was no point sucking up to the Muslims. Rather one should try to fuck over the Hindu agriculturists by pretending one had some sort of Godly alliance with the Muslims- who, after all, were not lacking in valor. Gandhi's Mum had told him, 'if you touch an Untouchable, quickly touch a Muslim to pass on the evil. Otherwise you will have to take a bath to regain ritual purity.' Thus, pretending to be allied with the Muslims meant touching the Untouchable so as to be able to rub off that evil on the meat-eating mleccha.
Indians, like everybody else, believed that getting a job and looking after your family was social service. At the same time, they noticed that those who had dedicated themselves to social service where unemployable shitheads. Still one didn't have to be a dick about it.
Roy, Tagore & c, did no Social Service. They got rich and sucked up to the Brits like nobody's business. They were greatly hated by Hindus. But many a Mukherjee has a soft spot for the Brahmo Samaj- probably because it licked the arse of the Brits but good, whereas the Arya Samaj bred Revolutionaries but also 'Hindu Nationalists' while the Prarthana Samaj seems to have been entirely sensible.
The Ramakrishna Mission, it is true, produced Revolutionaries. But that sanyasi tradition is represented by Narendra Modi. Vivekananda is perfectly acceptable to the Arya Samaji or the RSS man. Mithi Mukherjee, thanks to her ignorance of India, is endorsing the BJP though no doubt she thinks herself as on the right side- i.e. the Left side- of history. But this is why the Indian Left's long march through the Institutions has ended in utter ignorance and irrelevance.
This is nonsense. Vivekananda found moksha quickly- by dying. But Sister Nivedita, who was Irish, spent a lot of time telling young Indians- like Subramaniyan Bharati- to go kill Whitey already. This was pretty political. The 'Anushilan Samitis' split between Leftists- some of whom reached Moscow- and Hindu Nationalists. The Leftist branch died long ago. Modi represents the Hindu branch and, thanks to him, the BJP has displaced both Congress and the Left front as Mamta's main rival in West Bengal.
Mithi then mentions Tagore's Gora but not Ghare Bhaire. She doesn't get that Tagore is saying 'Muslims are the majority in East Bengal. They will slit Hindu throats and take our Estates. Enough with this 'Swaraj' nonsense. The Bengali bhadralok will lose most if the Brits leave'. But then, this was the ancient tradition of his House. Roy and his Granddaddy had lobbied for unrestricted White settlement in India because they needed the Brits to protect them from their former masters- the Muslims.
Mithi speaks of a 'discourse of Imperial justice'. What does she mean? The answer was protection of property. The landlords needed the Brits to keep them rich and secure. The problem was that if they tried to push for more power and yet more property, the Brits could cut them out as middlemen. The spread of education and of access to markets meant that peasant and other productive castes were rising up to challenge the propertied bureaucratic elite. However, it was only the new class of Hindu speculators turned industrialists who were willing to finance a National movement. Why? They hoped to gain tariff protection and a business friendly monetary policy. This could only be done by taking control at the center. At one time it seemed they could do this in alliance with the Muslim mercantile and 'Ashraf' landowning castes. Gandhi's genius was to sabotage this possibility.
All this is nonsense. In 1857, John Company found that their attempt to bypass the Landowning class so as to deal directly with the peasants of Oudh had backfired. So, in 1858, the British Government took over. It decided to use intermediaries as far as possible. The Law gained salience because intermediaries had increased residuary control rights. By the 1880s, it was obvious this scheme wasn't working because the intermediaries were crap. There had to be higher local taxation to supply local 'Club goods'. But this meant a measure of representative Government was required. Thus, some British Civil Servants created the Indian National Congress. But this was monopolized by Hindus and so a Muslim League came into existence. Had either the principle of Partition or that of a loose anti-Imperialist Federation been accepted then India would have become free at around the same time as Ireland and Egypt. But the Hindus had convinced themselves they could have it all. The result was that, thanks to Gandhi's leadership, they had to accept whatever it was convenient for the Brits to give them from time to time. Things did not improve after Independence because the Hindus had gotten used to begging bowl politics.
The discourse of Justice is the discourse of Politics. It is about appropriable and residuary control rights over property. Good lawyers bridge the gap between Court and Legislature. India did have a few of these but it also had the cretin Gandhi who fucked up everything he turned his hand to. Suppose Gandhi had supported peasant and tribal agitations. The class of intermediaries would have had to add value or else disappear. The State's Revenue would go up. This makes it worthwhile chucking out the Brits to gain control over Credit Creation. This is what should have happened but didn't.
Gandhi's idiocy meant that the class of intermediaries could continue to add negative value. This didn't matter to Gandhi because his money was coming from speculators turned industrialists. Sadly he could not prevent development and education and young men turning into smartly dressed soldiers. Thus he died a disappointed man.
Mithi thinks Indians didn't have 'a discourse of resistance'. What the fuck does she think the Mutiny was about? 'Kill Whitey' is not exactly a Hegelian synthesis only achievable after the Owl of Minerva has taken flight. It's the first thing one thinks of- more particularly if Whitey has a nice bungalow you can loot and pretty kids you can sell to a brothel.
It is foolish to speak of 'Resistance' in a country where Whites were few and far between. There could be a discourse of massacre and there could be a discourse about how to divvy up the spoils. But organized resistance was resistance the other side could anticipate and instrumentalise- i.e. it was organized to fail. Spontaneous was the way to go. Slit throats, run away, return to slit throats another day. Meanwhile, the respectable classes could do boycotts and demonstrations and so forth- but only on a spontaneous basis. If the thing was planned then it could be gamed.
The problem with the anti-Rowlatt agitation was that it was planned, not spontaneous. The Brits locked up the respectable leaders. The anti-social element ran amok in Amritsar. The District Administration's response was suspiciously weak. Dyer- fresh from the Seistan campaign- comes in and shoots a lot of people without even bothering to declare Martial Law to keep things kosher. What is the result? Punjab quietens down. Apparently the Brits also machine gunned peasants from aeroplanes- but that may be a myth. Having saved the Punjab, Dyer leads mainly Indian troops to victory over the invading Afghans. Gandhi calls off the Rowlatt agitation describing it as a 'Himalayan blunder'. Later Punjabi Premiers would whimper to the Brits for 'the smack of firm government'- i.e. Dyer type massacres.
Dyer preserved British rule in India such that the Brits could borrow money from India to pay for goods and soldiers from that country to help them win the Second World War. Dyer's genius was to show the Indians that the Brits weren't in India to do 'Nation Building' or to listen to stupid barristocrats. They were there only in their own interests. Either Indians accepted the Brits on the terms they dictated or they were welcome to try going it alone. But, this meant India would have to develop its own military capacity and use that capacity in a manner not wholly destructive of property and productivity.
What should the Indians have done? Ireland supplies the answer. It should have set up a separate Justice system and used demobbed soldiers to train up territorial regiments in each province. This would signal two things- one, property and productive capacity would be protected. Two, there was a Military and Police force with some cohesion and training ready to step in which would obey political leaders rather than engage in War Lordism.
Gandhi did speak of a parallel legal system and the Congress did set up a 'black shirt' Seva Dal. But nothing came of either. Gandhians, like Sardar Patel, would still use British Courts to get the Wills of their deceased relatives overturned. Smart young people still wanted to join the Civil Service or rise at the Bar or gain military training in the Army- precisely because the Brits who presided over these institutions were good at their jobs.
Mithi speaks of Gandhi becoming a Sanyasin as part of some discourse or the other. The truth is every type of loser ends up with a begging bowl and a supposed spiritual mission to transform Society such that cats will marry dogs and Capitalism will go away and Nationalism will punitively sodomize Xenophobia and Socialism won't be utterly and predictably shite.
Mithi quotes Vivekananda as saying that the Indian masses look up to Sanyasins and that the vast numbers of them wandering around trying to get some food could be a force in the transformation of Society. But, Vivekananda died young. People listened to him because he was smart and educated- not a typical beggar at all. Most Sanyasis were and are as stupid as shit. Nobody listens to them. Maybe, Babaji will bless your wife so you have a son. But maybe he will be doing the blessing with his dick. True, at one time bands of Sanyasis could get together and terrorize localities into feeding them. But that was before the time of reliable revolvers and rifles. Shooting Sanyasis discourages the fuck out of them. Still, disguising yourself as a Sanyasis to go to some wilderness where you train brawny young men in guerilla warfare, would have been quite a good expedient. The problem was people suspected that half the Sanyasis they came across were Police spies. Who knows? Perhaps they were.
Reading Gandhi can either make you laugh or it can make you stupid. Laughter is a good thing. It makes you charitable. You know what the cretin is getting at. The fact that he mangled the usual sanctimonious argument, endears him to you. Gandhi was endearing. He gave a lot of people the chance to spend some time in Jail where they could read books and do a bit of Yoga and get away from the wife's nagging and the kids incessant demand for money to buy school books. Imprisonment was a good thing. Lawyers should be sent to Jail regularly. At least, this is the case with Indian lawyers. Why? They don't get that the Law is what Judges say it is, not whatever they say it is so as to earn money and fame.
Mithi does not read Gandhi, or Tagore for that matter, for- as would be right and proper- shits and giggles. She speaks gravely of their correspondence- those two elderly cretins!- and Tagore's disapproval of Non Cooperation which Gandhi very quickly gave up. She does not see that Tagore, in his vacuous way, was saying 'Muslims will kill us if the Brits leave' while Gandhi, in his cretinous way, was replying 'Upanishads say 'neti, neti'. That means to tell the Truth you must reject the Truth and tell the stupidest lies possible. Also, Hindus are the majority in Gujarat. Fuck we need the Brits around for?' It is hilarious to read of these two married householders talk of being world renouncing ascetics rather than guys who constantly had their hand out for money to finance their foolish money-pit schemes.
Mithi thinks Gandhi and Tagore mattered. They could have done. But they didn't- save as a measure of the stupidity of the cohort and the class they represented. These were old geezers who were relentless self-publicists because they needed more and more money for their vanity projects.
Gandhi did lead a united Congress-Khilafat combine for a brief period- 1919 to February 1922- but he surrendered unconditionally. His financiers, however, kept getting richer which is why he could make a come-back. But he represented the idiot constituency. Everybody else was barking up some different, equally foolish, tree. Then the Brits left and India adopted the Gandhi-Tagorean begging bowl as its final act of revenge against Turks and Brits and other such Mlecchas who had briefly made it an attractive place to sojourn, if not settle, in.
This is nonsense. What we see in India from 1917 onwards is the conversion of British paramountcy into a juridical Nation State with representative institutions and a distinctive, increasingly indigenized, administrative apparatus. The separation of Burma and the creation of Sindh province in the Thirties paved the way for the linguistic, confessional, and other reorganization of the Provinces which is still continuing. Legislatures and Courts wrestle with the same issues now as they did in the Twenties and Thirties. Gandhian imbecility and Tagorean vacuity were features of that period but we still have plenty of shitheads of that stripe.
What is this shite about 'Nation-States' being the 'all-powerful arbiter of the destiny of people and society'? Where has that ever happened? Ideologies can truly fuck over a Society. But Nation-States are simply the form of Government you have once Empires cease to be fiscally viable. 'The discourse of identity' is the corollary of teaching a shite subject to cretins. You don't find smart people doing it unless they are terribly woke LGBTQXYZ nutters who have married their pussy-cats and are eagerly awaiting the birth of a litter of kittens only some of which will look exactly like them. Thus these sad losers will need to discourse about Identity- or rather Idenkitty- to other sad losers.
Non-Violent movements have often changed Society and caused maps to be redrawn. India's map wasn't non-violently redrawn- it is true- but only because Gandhi, and Hindus in general, was as stupid as shit. However, Norway parted company with Sweden in a perfectly peaceful fashion. Czechoslovakia broke up in an amicable manner. The thing could be done if there were sensible people around to do it.
Mithi, being a historian by profession, thinks otherwise
All this is nonsense. Britain faced a challenge in India on 3 occasions
1) 1920 when it was militarily overstretched and faced an internal 'Red scare'. Ireland and Egypt and Turkey asserted themselves. India, because of Gandhi, failed miserably
2) 1930 because of the Financial Crisis. Again, Gandhi failed yet more miserably. All the minorities, including Sikhs, Dalits and the Justice Party, formed a united front against Gandhi. Thus Britain would dictate the pace and nature of Constitutional change
3) 1942 when the Japs were at the gates. Another abject failure. Satyagraha simply means the Brits know whom to arrest and when to do so.
The 'core notion of political freedom' is to kick out foreign rulers. Not talk shite about renunciation and spirituality and non-violence. Brits faced challenges in Ireland and Egypt and so forth and were forced to give up. In India they met a challenge which quickly turned into vacuous gobshittery with everybody demanding to be sent to Jail till they had cooled down and gotten right with Ahimsa or Moksha or Satyagraha or some other such shite.
Why is Mithi writing such absurd nonsense? The answer is she has been reading Hegel- never a good sign in a Bengali.
Hegel was talking about the French Revolution. He considered Indians to be cretins. Had he lived to see Gandhian stupidity, it would have confirmed to him nothing about Fichtean 'negative freedom', because Gandhi was too stupid to form a coherent abstraction of any sort, and everything about how darkies are natural slaves- doomed to 'Shudra Dharma' as Tagore put it.
The truth about India is that it has evolved along juridical lines established under the Raj. Its political culture originated then and still has many of the same features. There is a 'sanyasi' tradition- represented by Modi and Adityanath. There is a 'Liberal' tradition represented by Economists and Jurists allied with different parties. There is an indigenous Marxist tradition which has its roots in Jugantar and Ghaddar and so forth. Gandhian nutjobs too exist and, like Anna Hazare, they may be called in to orchestrate a mass movement from time to time. However, it is the Caste Associations of the 1880s onwards which have had most salience. There are dynastic caste based parties which may have an ideological veneer dating back to the Nineteen Twenties. What is lacking is any Bengali nitwit marrying Hegel or Tagore so as to 'discourse on Identitty- i.e. nipples are many, titty is one' to kittens who may not look like either of those two pussycats of hers.
Autocracy, the Russians liked to say, is tempered by Assassination. Gandhi insisted that all power be concentrated in his hands. It is no great surprise that three people named Gandhi, in whose hands power was concentrated or appeared to be so, were assassinated. In India, Caste abides. Autocracy withers and dies unless it is taking too long to so do in which case someone will always oblige with a bullet or a bomb.