Gandhi (Jad Adams) pdf, epub, doc

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Jad Adams writes a moving but deeply bigoted book. Adams repeatedly insists that Gandhi was a scheming, ambitious man without even a single piece of substantiation. He reads motives where none exist. Of course, Gandhi had his faults — and not one escapes Adams' judging eye or salacious tongue — but personal ambition was not one of them. When Adams acknowledges some good in Gandhi, he damns him with faint praise. The fact that Gandhi's greatness comes through despite the vicious slander is what makes the book moving.

Adams religiously notes every bigoted moniker that the English opponents of Gandhi threw at him ("monkey", "bania", "naked beggar"...) and notes how all this is understandable. The most distasteful part of Adams' book is how he excuses gross, racist incidents made by the English rulers of India. He would have us believe that the English would have given Indians independence out of their great benevolence without any insistence on the Indians' part. He excuses willful, racist negligence as being an oversight. Every single Englishman, to Adams, no matter how racist, or how vicious, is well meaning. The death of millions of people in a famine is, for Adams, due to an oversight and "entirely avoidable". I wonder if the same thing couldn't be said about the English occupation itself! Finally, in this series of ugly excuses the worst comes when he almost treats Dyers and the Jallianwala Bagh as an understandable incident. He almost writes as if Dyers was justified and a hero. I am shocked that someone could be so callous when the blood of the massacre has literally not dried even yet.

Despite the overall negative tone of my review, I think the book is still worth reading — if one can get past getting furious at the underhanded bigotry and the sly mud-slinging. It does show Gandhi as deeply human. Gandhi never pretended to be a saint and indeed, as Adams shows, he was not one; At the very least he was a deeply flawed saint. Adams has certainly done his research and several facts one was probably not aware of earlier come to the fore and help paint a more complete picture of Gandhi. The inspiring thing about knowing Gandhi completely is that one understands that it is possible to transcend one's human limitations and achieve something important if one has the will to do so.

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