Ahmedabad: Economist and professor emeritus
at London School of Economics, Lord Meghnad Desai on Friday
questioned Mahatma Gandhi`s philosophy of non-violence in view
of his endorsement of the Bhagvad Gita.
Desai said he was puzzled as to why the apostle of
non-violence seemed to condone violence by endorsing Bhagvad
Gita, and by admiring Adolf Hitler.
Desai was speaking on `Gandhiji`s views on violence`, as
a part of the 12th Prof Ramlal Parikh Memorial Lecture,
organised by Indian Society for Community Education
"I chose the topic as I want to raise some questions with
regard to Gandhiji`s views on violence. I am going to raise
two separate issues...," Desai said.
"First is Gandhiji`s endorsement of Bhagvad Gita, whose
end outcome is that ultimately everybody should go out and
kill everybody. Mahabharata war, if taken literally, was
similar to a holocaust," he said.
The second issue was Gandhiji`s attitude to Hitler, which
was beyond belief as it came from a man who practised
non-violence, Desai said.
"Gandhiji has admired Hitler and termed him as an
unclouded intellectual with no vices, clean character, a
non-vegetarian. How could someone of Gandhiji`s intellect make
mistake on Hitler? How could food and drink habits could be
mistaken for virtues?"
"I am arguing that Gandhiji`s defence of Gita and Hitler
are puzzling as they both seem to endorse gross macro acts of
violence. Why does the apostle of non-violence, on two
separate issues, seems to condone gross acts of violence?"