At a dinner party shortly afterward, a friend of mine, who had visited India many times and even gone to the trouble of learning Hindi, objected strenuously that the picture of Gandhi that emerges in the movie is grossly inaccurate, omitting, as one of many examples, that when Gandhi’s wife lay dying of pneumonia and British doctors insisted that a shot of penicillin would save her, Gandhi refused to have this alien medicine injected in her body and simply let her die. (It must be noted that when Gandhi contracted malaria shortly afterward he accepted for himself the alien medicine quinine, and that when he had appendicitis he allowed British doctors to perform on him the alien outrage of an appendectomy.) All of this produced a wistful mooing from an editor of a major newspaper and a recalcitrant, “But still. . . .” I would prefer to explicate things more substantial than a wistful mooing, but there is little doubt it meant the editor in question felt that even if the real Mohandas K. Gandhi had been different from the Gandhi of the movie it would have been nice if he had been like the movie-Gandhi, and that presenting him in this admittedly false manner was beautiful, stirring, and perhaps socially beneficial.
Now, what I want to highlight is a few undeniable facts:
- Permitting quinine treatments technically qualifies as doing violence to the “innocent” malaria germs. 2. not “permitting” the treatments which would (likely) have saved his wife’s life essentially means that whatever organism was causing the pneumonia was of greater value to Gandhi, than his own wife.
3. His failure to “sacrifice” himself to microorganisms — when HE HIMSELF had previous (effectlively) offered up his own wife to other micro-organisms — is – at best — hypocrisy
.Mohandas K. Gandhi was a scum-bag of the worst kind, and was most definitely NOT a “great soul”. He is unworthy of the appellation “Mahatma”.