On “Was Mohandas Gandhi a Racist?”

C. K. Raju

Last year, my younger son, a researcher at Rockefeller University, and Institute of Advanced Study, Princeton, gave a talk at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla, on “Gandhi must fall? An African-American perspective”. He is also an activist against racism and has many other writings on that issue. e..g. Gandhi's Connection with the American Civil Rights Movement, Remembering a Revolutionary Artist: Paul Robeson and His India Connection, etc. (or see the whole lot at, Particularly important are the writings of Du Bois, such as Dark Princess, allegorically suggesting an African-Asian coalition against the West.

The conversation prior to my son's talk enthused me enough to check out the numerous citations in the original article on "Gandhi must fall" by the US born and Brooklyn bred Ghanian professor who now goes under the name of Odadelele Kambon.

Though Gandhi's original sources are cited aplenty, in the "Gandhi must fall" article, many are wrongly and mischievously quoted and some are totally fabricated, to bolster the case against Gandhi. Why the resort to falsehood?

Not being a Gandhian myself, but shocked at witnessing the state of Gandhi's statue at Pietrmaritzburg (where he was thrown out of the train) in South Africa, in 2017 after this falsehood spread,  I was hoping that some Gandhian scholar, like Vinay Lal, would bring out this elementary fact about the unreliability of Kambon's citations.

Besides, a person changes. The young Gandhi, a product of colonial education, obviously had a colonised mindset.  But that cannot and should not be held against him, any more than my having been a formal mathematician can be held against me or my current attack on formal mathematics as superstition.  We do not choose either how we are born or how we are educated, especially under colonialism. And it takes a long time to escape from colonial indoctrination.

C. K. Raju, TGA Laureate. Honorary Professor, Indian Institute of Education

Jun 28, 2018

Prof. C. K. Raju

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