Ahmedabad: Leading Economist Lord Meghnad Desai on Friday questioned the principles and beliefs of the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi. Speaking at an event in Ahmedabad, he said he was puzzled over why the apostle of ahimsa defended Adolf Hitler and endorsed the Bhagvad Gita, a text that Lord Desai believes condones violence.
Desai was speaking on 'Gandhiji's views on violence', as a part of the 12th Prof Ramlal Parikh Memorial Lecture, organised by Indian Society for Community Education.
"I chose the topic as I want to raise some questions with regard to Gandhiji's views on violence. I am going to raise two separate issues...," Desai said.
"First is Gandhiji's endorsement of Bhagvad Gita, whose end outcome is that ultimately everybody should go out and kill everybody. Mahabharata war, if taken literally, was similar to a holocaust," he said.
The second issue was Gandhiji's attitude to Hitler, which was beyond belief as came from a man who practised non-violence, Desai said.
"Gandhiji has admired Hitler and termed him as an unclouded intellectual with no vices, clean character, a non-vegetarian. How could someone of Gandhiji's intellect make mistake on Hitler? How could food and drink habits could be mistaken for virtues?"
"I am arguing that Gandhiji's defence of Gita and Hitler are puzzling as they both seem to endorse gross macro acts of violence. Why does the apostle of non-violence, on two separate issues, seems to condone gross acts of violence?" Desai said.
With additional information from PTI