Great Soul

But Gandhi’s saintly image, his martyrdom at the hands of a Hindu fanatic in 1948 and Martin Luther King Jr.’s adoption of him as a role model for the American civil-rights movement have largely protected him from critical scrutiny. The French man of letters Romain Rolland called Gandhi “a mortal demi-god” in a 1924 hagiography, catching the tone of most writing about him.  […]

Yet of the four great campaigns of Gandhi’s life—for Hindu-Muslim unity, against importing British textiles, for ending Untouchability and for getting the British off the subcontinent—only the last succeeded, and that simply ­because the near-bankrupt British led by the anti-imperialist Clement Attlee desperately wanted to leave India anyhow after a debilitating world war.

It was not much of a record for someone who had been invested with “sole ­executive authority” over the Indian ­National Congress as early as in December 1921. But then, unlike any other ­politician, Gandhi cannot be judged by ­actual results, because he was the “Great Soul.”

via Book Review: Great Soul – WSJ.com.

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