Thoughts on economics and liberty

Gandhi was a typical upper caste Hindu racist (detested black Africans and staunchly supported caste)

I'm trying to find the REAL reformers of Hinduism. Not even Raja Ram Mohun Roy comes up to my expectations. Although he rejected transmigration and started a new branch of Hinduism without the evil of caste, he did not really give up caste. On his voyage to UK he took along with him a Brahmin cook to prevent his caste from being affected. But at least he tried.

And we know that much as Vivekananda praised Islam for equality of all Muslims, he strongly supported caste.

Dayanand Saraswati supported the caste system as well although he claimed (on the basis of the Vedas which no one ever follows in India – only Dharmashastras like Manusmriti are followed) that caste was not necessarily hereditary. That is an entirely fake claim and I have no patience with such obfuscation. Be real, is what I say to people. If you agree in the principle of transmigration, you are a casteist and no amount of waffling can help.

Note that there redeeming features in all these reformers, so my overall opinion is NOT informed by their racism/casteism. To the extent they supported liberty (even though it was not real liberty), they are to be praised.


I knew that Gandhi supported caste, but I wasn't aware that he was a BIGOTED RACIST. (His opinions are PRETTY similar to what Dayanand Saraswati held about blacks – and Vivekananda). This information I picked up from random internet browsing on the subject.

Gandhi believed that UPPER CASTE HINDUS are entitled to equality with the "whites" (in South Africa) but not lower castes, and DEFINITELY not black Africans. So his great fight against racism was a fight for UPPER CASTE HINDUS!!!

"Upper caste" Hindus largely continue to hold themselves aloof from blacks and even call them seriously foul names. Kallu is the typical name today. Gandhi used to call them kaffir – equivalent to "nigger". Details of Gandhi's detestation of the blacks are everywhere on the internet so I won't repeat. Just a few links to start you off:

So much for his preaching love. I almost thought at one time that he was like a Jesus in his love for the oppressed. Turns out not. He was a bigot.

If the racism of Churchill and Hitler is to be rejected, Gandhi's racism too, must be rejected.


I'll come to untouchability separately, but as far as caste is concerned, Gandhi was a FANATIC. He insisted on observing caste. Here are links to start off  your research:

"I believe in caste division on the basis of birth because the roots of the caste system start from birth."

"According to me, the caste system is scientific. You cannot condemn it by argument.  It controls the society socially and ethnically—I see no reason to end it.  To end casteism is to finish the Hindu Religion.  There is nothing against Varnastram.  I have reason to believe that the caste system is an arithmetic principle.  It has its own limitation and disadvantages. Even then there is nothing to be hated in this system." Harijan, l932 (Translation from a Lower Caste tract circulated among Scheduled Castes and OBCs)

And so on.

Now Gandhi didn't want an end to the caste system. He was an orthdox Hindu (and extremely racist, as his writings against the blacks demonstrate). Gandhi was very particular about the Order of Varnas (Varnashramadharma or Chaturvarna), for, he wrote, ‘caste has a close connection with the profession of one’s livelihood. Everyone’s profession is his own “dharma”. Whoever gives it up, falls from his caste, and is himself destroyed, that is, his soul is destroyed’.  [Source UNTOUCHABLE FREEDOM A Social History of a Dalit Community Vijay Prashad]

In NO WAY was Gandhi a reformer.


The more I read the more I understand that Gandhi was a hypocrite in relation to untouchability – the thing he is most well known for. Yes, he did make a few statements which indicate his opposition to untouchability.

But two things are paramount:

a) He had a clear view that if the Dalits (untouchables) were not brought into the fold of Hinduism, they would join the Muslims and significantly increase the strength of Muslims during the political battles underway in pre-independence India.

His Closed Chamber Dialogue with Sardar Patel, which reveal the reasoning behind Gandhi’s actions, one day after he began his fast unto death opposing separate electorate to the Scheduled Castes, as recorded by Mahadev Desai, Gandhi’s secretary, to justify his threat of self-immolation:

Sardar Patel: Why have you placed yourself between two stones? This is the battle of Touchable and Untouchables. I keep telling you not to do so. Let the two stone grind each other. Why must you cone in between?

M.K. Gandhi: The possible consequences of separate electorate for Harijans (this must be Desai’s editing—the word Harijan was not yet used by Gandhi) fill me with horror. Separate electorates for all other communities will still leave room for me to deal with them, but I have no other means to deal with “untouchables”. These poor fellows will ask why I who claim to be their friend should offer Satyagraha simply because they were granted some privileges; they would vote separately but vote with me. They do not realize that the separate electorate will create division among Hindus so much that it will lead to blood-shed. “Untouchable” hooligans will make common cause with Muslim hooligans and kill caste-Hindus[1]. [Source]

b) Ambedkar had a few meetings with him and came out feeling insulted and looked down upon. Listen to Ambedkar's own voice, here. What shame that he felt slighted by Gandhi. My opinion about Gandhi has plummeted seriously after this discovery.


Not All Peaceful: 13 Racist Quotes Gandhi Said About Black People

Indians Dragged Down to the Kaffirs

Before Dec. 19, 1894: “A general belief seems to prevail in the Colony that the Indians are little better, if at all, than savages or the Natives of Africa. Even the children are taught to believe in that manner, with the result that the Indian is being dragged down to the position of a raw Kaffir.”

Kaffirs Pass Their Lives in ‘Indolence and Nakedness’

Sept. 26, 1896: “Ours is one continual struggle against a degradation sought to be inflicted upon us by the Europeans, who desire to degrade us to the level of the raw Kaffir whose occupation is hunting, and whose sole ambition is to collect a certain number of cattle to buy a wife with and, then, pass his life in indolence and nakedness.”

Kaffirs Would Not Work

Oct. 26, 1896: “There is a bye-law in Durban which requires registration of coloured servants. This rule may be, and perhaps is, necessary for the Kaffirs who would not work, but absolutely useless with regard to the Indians. But the policy is to class the Indian with the Kaffir whenever possible.”

Indians ‘Infinitely Superior’ to the Kaffirs

Before May 27, 1899: “Your Petitioner has seen the Location intended to be used by the Indians. It would place them, who are undoubtedly infinitely superior to the Kaffirs, in close proximity to the latter.”

Indians Shouldn’t Be Taxed Like Kaffirs

May 24, 1903: “The £3 tax is merely a penalty for wearing the brown skin and it would appear that, whereas Kaffirs are taxed because they do not work at all or sufficiently, we are to be taxed evidently because we work too much, the only thing in common between the two being the absence of the white skin.”

Indians Forced to Live with Too Many Kaffirs

Feb. 11, 1904: “I venture to write you regarding the shocking state of the Indian Location. The rooms appear to be overcrowded beyond description. The sanitary service is very irregular, and many of the residents of the Location have been to my office to complain that the sanitary condition is far worse than before. There is, too, a very large Kaffir population in the Location for which really there is no warrant.”

Calamity Coming for Johannesburg

Feb. 15, 1904: “I feel convinced that every minute wasted over the matter merely hastens a calamity for Johannesburg and that through absolutely no fault of the British Indians. Why, of all places in Johannesburg, the Indian Location should be chosen for dumping down all the kaffirs of the town passes my comprehension.”

No Mixing Kaffirs With Indians

Feb. 15, 1904: “Of course, under my suggestion, the Town Council must withdraw the Kaffirs from the Location. About this mixing of the Kaffirs with the Indians, I must confess I feel most strongly. I think it is very unfair to the Indian population and it is an undue tax on even the proverbial patience of my countrymen.”

Kaffirs Less Advanced

Sept. 9, 1906: “Even the half-castes and Kaffirs, who are less advanced than we, have resisted the Government. The pass law applies to them as well, but they do not take out passes.”

Even a Kaffir Policeman Can Accost Indians?

June 4, 1907: “Are we supposed to be thieves or free-booters that even a Kaffir policeman can accost and detain us wherever we happen to be going?”

Kaffirs Can Be Pleased With Toys and Pins

Feb. 2, 1908: “The British rulers take us to be so lowly and ignorant that they assume that, like the Kaffirs who can be pleased with toys and pins, we can also be fobbed off with trinkets.”

Kaffirs Are Uncivilized Animals

July 3, 1907: “Kaffirs are as a rule uncivilised – the convicts even more so. They are troublesome, very dirty and live almost like animals. Each ward contains nearly 50 to 60 of them. They often started rows and fought among themselves. The reader can easily imagine the plight of the poor Indian thrown into such company!”

Indians Must Stay Away From Kaffir Women

Dec. 2, 1910: “Some Indians do have contacts with Kaffir women. I think such contacts are fraught with grave danger. Indians would do well to avoid them altogether.”

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Sanjeev Sabhlok

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5 thoughts on “Gandhi was a typical upper caste Hindu racist (detested black Africans and staunchly supported caste)
  1. Hqarbans Lal Badhan

    Mahatma Gandhi was a fundamentalist Sanatni Hindu and he was also staunch supporter of Varna system and Caste system. Both, Caste and Varna are the mother and father of Untouchability. :-

    Indian Caste system is more dangerous, cruel, barbarous, hard, violent, inhuman and harmful than any other kind of Racial discrimination or Slavery system. It (Indian Caste system) an unnatural and unscientific man made system, made by the enemies of society and anti social elements. It (Indian Caste system) is not only a social, economic, religious and political evil, but also a mental disease and mental sickness. It (Indian Caste system) should be banned at any cost by Act of Parliament or by the Law of the State. Otherwise, it (Indian Caste system) will spoil and kill the democratic institutions and secularism of any great civilization or state and society. It (Indian Caste system) will also slaughter the unity, peace and economic and scientific development and progress of state and society or any civilized society. It (Indian Caste system) divides the society. It (Indian Caste system) is not only a monster but also a devil, who destroy the principle of equality, liberty and fraternity. To believe in Untouchability and Caste is not only a crime against humanity but also a violation of human rights of an individual. It (Indian Caste system) is a great challenge to the unity of global society. Caste is more dangerous and harmful than chemical weapons.

  2. Harbans Lal Badhan

    “The Untouchables (Dalits) of India, want economic, social, political, religious and educational equality in Society, not in the eyes of God”
    (Harbans Lal Badhan)

  3. lal patel

    I agree with your comments that Gandhi was a racist,he had the world fooled but now the he is being seen as he really was.

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