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Wednesday, October 23, 2019


Gandhi to Hitler


TSI | Issue Dated: October 8, 2006
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Gandhi to Hitler The Mahatma and Hitler are the best-known examples of the opposite poles of human behaviour. There’s no evidence of them having met but they had curious views of each other. Hitler once told a British Viscount to shoot Gandhi and get over with it. On his part, Gandhi wrote to the British public asking them to give up their islands and possessions but not their souls. The British ignored both.

Gandhi and Hitler led average lives for long years. Gandhi was a mediocre lawyer until he got kicked out of a first-class compartment in South Africa for daring to travel with the Whites. Hitler was deeply insecure and spent time in the gutters of Vienna hating his fate. Both took on the world and changed it. Finally, Gandhi wrote to Hitler.

24 December 1940

“My friend,

That I address you as a friend is no formality. I own no foes. My business in life has been for the past 33 years to enlist the friendship of the whole of humanity by befriending mankind, irrespective of race, colour or creed… We have no doubt about your bravery or devotion to your fatherland, nor do we believe that you are the monster described by your opponents.

But your own writings and pronouncements and those of your friends and admirers leave no room for doubt that many of your acts are monstrous and unbecoming of human dignity…Hence we cannot possibly wish success to your arms. We resist British imperialism no less than Nazism. Our resistance to it does not mean harm to the British people. We seek to convert them, not to defeat them on the battle-field.

The non-violent method could defeat a combination of all the most violent forces in the world. If not the British, some other power will certainly beat you with your own weapon. You are leaving no legacy to your people of which they would feel proud.”

Your sincere friend

MK Gandhi
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Issue Dated: Feb 5, 2017