Mahatma Gandhi’s experiments with sex

Remember the book “My Experiments with Truth”? Had he not been the icon he was, Mahatma Gandhi would’ve certainly written another book called “My Experiments with Sex”.

Every nation reveres its iconic figures may it be Abraham Lincoln and George Washington in America and Mahatma Gandhi in India. They give you a sense of pride, and there is nothing wrong in it. The Congress party has used Mahatma Gandhi as a validation currency ever since its independence: the great Mahatma belongs to our party, and so on.

There are documented proofs of the kinkiness of the Mahatma, especially when it came to youngers, but these proofs have been so far suppressed by the government in order to maintain a sense of sanctity around the great man. These documents are gradually being revealed. This review of the book “Gandhi: Naked Ambition” begins candidly:

It was no secret that Mohandas Gandhi had an unusual sex life. He spoke constantly of sex and gave detailed, often provocative, instructions to his followers as to how to they might best observe chastity. And his views were not always popular; “abnormal and unnatural” was how the first Prime Minister of independent India, Jawaharlal Nehru, described Gandhi’s advice to newlyweds to stay celibate for the sake of their souls.

An excerpt in the book tells that in his younger days, the sexual urges of Gandhi were so overwhelming that…

Two years later, as his father lay dying, Gandhi left his bedside to have sex with Kasturba. Meanwhile, his father drew his last breath.

In his ashram he had strict rules on how men and women, boys and girls should conduct themselves in the company of the opposite sex – forbidding physical intimacy but encouraging teenage boys and girls to bathe together naked – the rules were a bit different for him.

The rules did not, however, apply to him. Sushila Nayar, the attractive sister of Gandhi’s secretary, also his personal physician, attended Gandhi from girlhood. She used to sleep and bathe with Gandhi. When challenged, he explained how he ensured decency was not offended. “While she is bathing I keep my eyes tightly shut,” he said, “I do not know … whether she bathes naked or with her underwear on. I can tell from the sound that she uses soap.” The provision of such personal services to Gandhi was a much sought-after sign of his favour and aroused jealousy among the ashram inmates.

The writer of the book doesn’t mince words when he quotes one of the prime ministers of some old Indian state

Much of this material was known during his lifetime, but was distorted or suppressed after his death during the process of elevating Gandhi into the “Father of the Nation” Was the Mahatma, in fact, as the pre-independence prime minister of the Indian state of Travancore called him, “a most dangerous, semi-repressed sex maniac”?

The recent diaries of Manuben, Gandhi’s 18 years old grand niece who was beside him when Nathuram Godse shot him, are in the possession of India Today. One of the recently published articles says:

The diaries, in which Gandhi often signed on the margins, reveal a girl devoted to him. In an entry on December 28, 1946, at Srirampur, Bihar, nine days after joining the then 77-year-old Gandhi who was on a walk through of troubled villages after massacres in Noakhali in then East Bengal, she writes: “Bapu is a mother to me. He is initiating me to a higher human plane through the Brahmacharya experiments, part of his Mahayagna of character-building. Any loose talk about the experiment is most condemnable.” Pyarelal, Gandhi’s secretary, endorsed this view in Mahatma Gandhi: The Last Phase, “He did for her everything that a mother usually does for her daughter. He supervised her education, her food, dress, rest, and sleep. For closer supervision and guidance, he made her sleep in the same bed with him. Now a girl, if her mind is innocent, never feels embarrassment in sleeping with her mother.” She, in turn, was his primary personal attendant-massaging and bathing him as well as cooking for him.

Mahatma Gandhi was no doubt a great leader who moved an entire continent. He has a great spiritual and moral influence over almost every Indian who is conscious of his or her recent history. Does it matter how his sex life was? To me personally, it doesn’t. He had his kinks, but most great individuals have had one or another kink. Nietzsche was quite weird and so was Newton. Even Socrates is known to have some really weird habits. What about the people who closely followed him, to the extent of worshiping him? What about Manuben who, according to the India Today article died a lonely spinster at the age of 40? Life can be unfair, that’s the only thought that comes to my mind right now.

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