I am a domicile of North India for more than three years now. North India succumbed to the horrors of partition or 'batwara' more than 60 years ago (Note: Indians, known for their excesses, don't call it 'The Great Partition') Many people in North India hold Gandhi responsible for this event - not because he made it happen but because he couldn't stop it. So, here in the North, it is not uncommon to find someone criticize Gandhi. But surprisingly, I found that the very people who criticize Gandhi don't miss a chance to criticize (Sachin) Tendulkar!
I am proud at making this discovery as it at least clears why people hate Gandhi. Gandhi was no longer human and had risen to the status of God, and people wanted him to grant them all their wishes. So when Gandhi 'let down', it was unbearable. Just like, if Tendulkar 'threw away' a cricket match, it was unforgivable.
So, does one enter into a discussion with such people who ask too much from their Gods?
No. Just forgive them, for they don't know what they are doing.
If Gandhi was born a thousand years back, there would certainly have been another relegion called Gandhism. Chances are less but you cannot completely rule out Tendulkarism too.
I want to end this entry with a paragraph found in the book mentioned earlier, that brought me close to tears. You may not like it as much as I did but I would still leave you with it -
In May 1944, a Gandhi thought to be dying was released by the Raj. He recovered and was joined by Rajagopalachi in the hill town of Pachgani. Following consultations between the two, a wire went from Rajgopalachari to Jinnah asking if the latter would object to his telling the Press that Jinnah had rejected his formula, which he intended to release. Jinnah wired back saying that it was wrong to say he had rejected the scheme. If Gandhi dealt with him direct, Jinnah would refer the formula to the League.
Gandhi now wrote to Jinnah, proposing a meeting. Jinnah agreed and said they could meet in his house in Bombay. Because of Jinnah's poor health the talks at 10 Mount Pleasant Road commenced only on 9 September 1944 and continued till 27 September. The two met fourteen times. Newspapers printed pictures of the two smiling. Many in India prayed. Wavell, the Viceroy, wrote in his diary that he was 'sure that the G-J meeting will result in a demand for the release of the [Congress] working committee' 'The talks were so pregnant with possibilities' observed Asoka Mehta and Kusum Nari, 'that every reporter waiting on Mr Jinnah's lawn began to feel himself a historical character.