Gandhi was very angry. The prophet of nonviolence was angry, violently angry. What he said was, “Now this home is closed for Haridas. He should not be allowed in and nobody from my family should meet with him. Even his mother, his brothers, his sisters – nobody should see him and meet him. If anybody meets with him, he also goes with him. He has failed me.” He imposed such stupid ideas…. Now, what Haridas was doing was perfectly right. This man had to be disobeyed. The other children did not escape; they were weaklings. Haridas had some guts. And he showed later on that he did have some guts.
Gandhi used to say, “All religions are one.” That was also a political gimmick: “All religions are one – Hindu, Mohammedan, Christian, Jaina, Buddhist, Sikh…all religions are one.” But the basic politics was to capture all these people and their votes, and to keep the whole of India undivided, so that Gandhi’s party ruled over the whole of India, not only a part of India.
In his prayer meetings every morning the Koran was recited, the Bible was read, and other holy books were also included. Just a few pieces read from the Bible, a few pieces read from the Torah, a few pieces read from the Koran…. And there too was great cunningness, because I have looked into those pieces that were read: they were the pieces which were synonymous with the Gita. Only those pieces were chosen from the Bible that were synonymous with Krishna, because Gandhi used to call the Gita his mother. He never called the Koran “my father” or the Bible “my uncle” at least…only the Gita his mother. And all these fragments that he had chosen were deceptive. They were simply translations, as if they were the same message so there was no problem. All that was against the Gita – or different from the Gita, not even against it – was not chosen.
So he was deceiving Mohammedans, he was deceiving Christians, he was deceiving Jainas, he was deceiving Buddhists, he was deceiving Sikhs, everybody. And they all thought that this man is a super-sage; that is the meaning of mahatma: the great soul. As if souls are also small or great! Souls are simply souls, neither small nor great. But the great soul, mahatma, because he was so liberal, unprejudiced…. And he was full of prejudice.
Haridas knew it. So what he did was, he converted himself into a Mohammedan. He did well. I appreciate him. The doors of the home were closed. Gandhi had abandoned him, declared, “He is no longer my son. I am no longer his father. He has utterly failed me. If he had died it would have been better.” And what sin had he committed? He had gone to school! But he was really an intelligent boy. When he left school, he turned to Mohammedanism. And Mohammedans rejoiced. They enjoyed the idea that Gandhi’s eldest son found shelter in Mohammedanism. They started calling him “Mahatma Abdullah Gandhi.”
They kept “Mahatma” and “Gandhi” so people remembered who he was, and changed “Haridas” into “Abdullah” – which literally means Haridas, Abd’allah – servant of God, and that is exactly the meaning of Haridas: servant of God. It is the Arabic translation of Haridas, so it was exactly the same.