Chapter 8: A Womb for Transformation
I said, “Do you mean I have to lie not to hurt their feelings? Do you mean I have to stop saying the truth? - and Gandhi’s whole life can be described as a deep search for truth? He entitled his autobiography, The Story Of My Experiments With Truth.a man who thinks that his whole life is an experiment with truth. And you are his intimate followers, you have lived with him: you have got some nerve to tell me that I should not say it even though it is true.”
In public, not a single Gandhian had the courage to accept what I was saying, but they were not able to find any argument against me either; so they found one thing which in India is tremendously appealing. All the Gandhians all over the country started saying that I was too young, inexperienced; that when I became old enough, I would not say such things. Even Morarji Desai..
He thinks himself to be now the only living successor of Mahatma Gandhi, and he enjoys one thing very much.. Gandhi was called Bapu all over India. Bapu means father, but it is far sweeter than father, closer to daddy or even dad. If it is to be translated exactly I will have to use Jesus’ word for father, abba. That is Aramaic, and it has exactly the same meaning as Bapu. Bapu is a Gujarati term. Morarji Desai is also Gujarati; and now he is old enough, ninety, it is time he should be called Bapu - because that’s what Gandhi was called by the whole country.
Morarji Desai was deputy prime minister when he criticized me, and this was the only criticism that I was too young. After a few years, when he was no longer in the government, he wanted to meet me. He wanted me to help him throw Indira Gandhi from power, and he wanted my advice about what should be done. When I went to see him - it was not like him but now he was in a difficult situation - he was standing at the gate to receive me. That was not like him - I had seen him before, when he was in power.
He took me by my hand into his house and made me comfortable. A few of my hairs had started becoming gray, so he said, “Last time your hair was not gray.”
I said, “What to do? To prove myself right I am making a tremendous effort to make my hair gray. Unless my hair is gray, I am wrong.”
He could not understand. I said, “Let me remind you. You criticized me when you were deputy prime minister of the country, saying that I was too young. Since then I have been trying to become older. And I still have the same arguments - more strongly, because now I am more experienced. In a way you were right, but as far as I can see, the older I become, the sharper my arguments will be. I don’t see any hope that I can ever accept stupidities - whether they are propounded by Mahatma Gandhi or by God Himself.”
Morarji Desai was very much embarrassed, and I said to him, “If age is an argument, then have you heard my remark? - that ‘Morarji Desai has become senile. If he were a little bit younger he would understand what I am saying. It needs intelligence, and he is senile. And the more senile he becomes, the more idiotic and stupid will be the ideas that have a grip over his mind.’”