Sunday, 27 March 2011

Gandhi: Soul Love

"Yet as Mr. Lelyveld makes abundantly clear, Gandhi's organ probably only rarely became aroused with his naked young ladies, because the love of his life was a German-Jewish architect and bodybuilder, Hermann Kallenbach, for whom Gandhi left his wife in 1908. 'Your portrait (the only one) stands on my mantelpiece in my bedroom,' he wrote to Kallenbach. 'The mantelpiece is opposite to the bed.' For some reason, cotton wool and Vaseline were 'a constant reminder' of Kallenbach, which Mr. Lelyveld believes might relate to the enemas Gandhi gave himself, although there could be other, less generous, explanations.
"Gandhi wrote to Kallenbach about 'how completely you have taken possession of my body. This is slavery with a vengeance.' Gandhi nicknamed himself 'Upper House' and Kallenbach 'Lower House', and he made Lower House promise not to 'look lustfully upon any woman.' The two then pledged 'more love, and yet more love... such love as they hope the world has not yet seen.'"

Andrew Roberts reviews Joseph Lelyveld's Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi and His Struggle with India, in the Wall Street Journal.
Most of the review is taken up by right-wing Mr Roberts saying how dreadful he thinks Gandhi's politics were, and the above I think is meant above all to suggest Gandhi was a hypocrite...

"Imperfect myself, I must be gentle with others" - Gandhi.

Update: Lelyveld has denied his book suggests Gandhi was bisexual.

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