Friday 24 November 2017

Mahatma Gandhi opposed Interfaith Marriages

Mahatma Gandhi opposed Interfaith Marriages
  •  ·         Even after 12 years of friendship Manilal could not marry Fatima
  • ·         The Father of the Nation was opposed to Inter-caste marriages too

Dr. Hari Desai’s Weekly Column : Back to Roots” in Asian Voice, the Newsweekly of ABPL Group, London 25 November 2017     Web Link :   blog :

·         While grooming his own children, he had always taught them of Hindu-Muslim harmony but when it came to marriages, the Mahatma took a different stand which not only shattered his own son, Manilal, but even his grand children could not digest his views.

·         At least two of his grand and great grand children respectively, Rajmohan Gandhi(“Mohandas : True Story of a Man, His People”) and Uma Dhupelia- Mesthrie( “Gandhi’s Prisoner? : The life of Gandhi’s son Manilal”), preferred to present the contradictions in Gandhi’s approach of inter-religious marriages.

  • ·         A letter from Mohandas addressed to his son, Manilal, was rather a bombshell for him when the Mahatma wrote to him “as a friend” initiating the communication calling Manilal’s wish as “what you desire is contrary to Dharma”! What he wrote further was rather more shocking for the obedient son. 
  • ·         It is interesting to note that the eldest son, Harilal, was to get converted to Islam and adopt the name Abdullah after a decade, in 1936, of the happenings which led Manilal to desist from marrying Fatima! 
  • ·         In a most surprising revelation one comes across that so far hardly any member from the Mahatma’s family has married a Muslim though there may be some marriages with the Christians, Zoroastrian and even one with Dalit. In Sanskrit, there is a verse “परोपदेशे पांडित्यम् सर्वेषाम् सुकुरम् नृणाम्” meaning it is always easy to preach others than implementing it for self. 

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