Chapter 21: My Message: A Matter of Life and Death
In his own life Gandhi saw all that he never wanted to see - villages burning, people being killed, butchered, slaughtered, women raped.. This was the result of his whole non-violent movement? Yes, I want to say this was the result of his whole non-violent movement because he has no understanding of human psychology.
He was talking about non-violence to people who were not people, who were just a mob; and if they were following him as a non-violent leader, the reason was that to follow a violent leader you need guts, because sooner or later you will have to face bullets. To follow a non-violent leader you need nothing; you just need a flag and a good loud voice so you can scream and shout. That was enough. And Gandhi believed that these people would be able to create the country.
His own very close disciples stopped listening to him the moment they were in power. They were listening to him because they wanted to remain intimate with him so that when power came they would not be left behind. Once they were in power Gandhi was no one.
In independent India’s capital, its own revolution’s leader was killed by one of the Hindus - and Gandhi was a Hindu mahatma. And nobody bothers to think how all this happened, why the same masses became so antagonistic to Gandhi that the people who used to worship him, killed him. The reason was simple: he was asking the impossible. It was his own misunderstanding.
He thought that he had created such a great movement, now nobody could prevent him from creating a new India. But he depended on the wrong type of people, because they were not interested in creativity, they were interested in destruction. So when he was not leading them towards destruction.. Anybody who was ready to lead them to destruction they were ready to follow.
So if they were Hindus they were following Hindu leaders, killing Mohammedans, burning mosques. If they happened to be Mohammedans, they were following Mohammedan leaders, killing Hindus, destroying temples. And Gandhi was simply left alone.
He himself said, “I feel lonelier today than I have ever felt in my life. Nobody listens to me.”
But it was not the fault of the masses; it was the fault of Mahatma Gandhi himself that he depended, hoped, and based all his future programs on the sands of a mob. You cannot make a palace on the sands.
There are mobs - mobs cannot listen to me. There are crowds - half mob, half organized - they cannot listen to me either. The half that belongs to the mob is incapable of listening; the other half is hindered from listening because of their organization - their religion, their politics, their cult, their prejudice - that hinders them.
And the organized one is the most difficult. He is almost deaf; he has no ears to listen. Yes, he can hear but you have to make a clear-cut distinction between hearing and listening.