Gandhi's life and teachings inspired many who specifically referred to Gandhi as their mentor or who dedicated their lives to spreading Gandhi's ideas. In Europe, Romain Rolland was the first to discuss Gandhi in his 1924 book Mahatma Gandhi, and Brazilian anarchist and feminist Maria Lacerda de Moura wrote about Gandhi in her work on pacifism. In 1931, notable European physicist Albert Einstein exchanged written letters with Gandhi, and called him "a role model for the generations to come" in a letter writing about him. Einstein said of Gandhi:
While Gandhi expressed mostly positive views of Islam, he did occasionally criticise Muslims. He stated in 1925 that he did not criticise the teachings of the Quran, but he did criticise the interpreters of the Quran. Gandhi believed that numerous interpreters have interpreted it to fit their preconceived notions. He believed Muslims should welcome criticism of the Quran, because "every true scripture only gains from criticism". Gandhi criticised Muslims who "betray intolerance of criticism by a non-Muslim of anything related to Islam", such as the penalty of stoning to death under Islamic law. To Gandhi, Islam has "nothing to fear from criticism even if it be unreasonable". He also believed there were material contradictions between Hinduism and Islam, and he criticised Muslims along with communists that were quick to resort to violence.More Info
In 1932, Gandhi began a new campaign to improve the lives of the untouchables, whom he began to call harijans, "the children of god". On 8 May 1933, Gandhi began a 21-day fast of self-purification and launched a year-long campaign to help the harijan movement. This campaign was not universally embraced by the Dalit community: Ambedkar and his allies felt Gandhi was being paternalistic and was undermining Dalit political rights. Ambedkar described him as "devious and untrustworthy". He accused Gandhi as someone who wished to retain the caste system. Ambedkar and Gandhi debated their ideas and concerns, each trying to persuade the other.More Info
According to Sean Scalmer, Gandhi in his final year of life was an ascetic, and his sickly skeletal figure was caricatured in Western media. In February 1947, he asked his confidants such as Birla and Ramakrishna if it was wrong for him to experiment his brahmacharya oath. Gandhi's public experiments, as they progressed, were widely discussed and criticised by his family members and leading politicians. However, Gandhi said that if he would not let Manu sleep with him, it would be a sign of weakness. Some of his staff resigned, including two of his newspaper's editors who had refused to print some of Gandhi's sermons dealing with his experiments. Nirmalkumar Bose, Gandhi's Bengali interpreter, for example criticised Gandhi, not because Gandhi did anything wrong, but because Bose was concerned about the psychological effect on the women who participated in his experiments. Veena Howard states Gandhi's views on brahmacharya and religious renunciation experiments were a method to confront women issues in his times.More Info
According to Kumaraswamy, Gandhi initially supported Arab demands with respect to Palestine. He justified this support by invoking Islam, stating that "non-Muslims cannot acquire sovereign jurisdiction" in Jazirat al-Arab (the Arabian Peninsula). These arguments, states Kumaraswamy, were a part of his political strategy to win Muslim support during the Khilafat movement. In the post-Khilafat period, Gandhi neither negated Jewish demands nor did he use Islamic texts or history to support Muslim claims against Israel. Gandhi's silence after the Khilafat period may represent an evolution in his understanding of the conflicting religious claims over Palestine, according to Kumaraswamy. In 1938, Gandhi spoke in favour of Jewish claims, and in March 1946, he said to the Member of British Parliament Sidney Silverman, "if the Arabs have a claim to Palestine, the Jews have a prior claim", a position very different from his earlier stance.More Info
Gandhi believed in the sarvodaya economic model, which literally means "welfare, upliftment of all". This, states Bhatt, was a very different economic model than the socialism model championed and followed by free India by Nehru – India's first prime minister. To both, according to Bhatt, removing poverty and unemployment were the objective, but the Gandhian economic and development approach preferred adapting technology and infrastructure to suit the local situation, in contrast to Nehru's large scale, socialised state owned enterprises.More Info
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