Opinions on M.K.GandhiFor a while now, a long held personal view has been the following: One of the scales I judge the intelligence of a fellow Indian is from whether s/he has (or seems to have) a "considered" opinion on M. K. Gandhi. By "considered", I do not mean an opinion born out of some emotional response (which is usually derived from others in proximity) or created by our history textbooks. For the opinion to hold weight, it should hopefully have sprung from a number of sources. For instance, it could be influenced by the writings of the Gandhis and the Godses, from the expressions of Congressmen and RSS workers, from Richard Attenborough's "Gandhi" or Kamalhassan's "Hey! Ram", from the books of Louis Fischer or Rajni Bakshi. It should also ideally examine previous emotional responses, whatever be the source, instead of dismissing them outright.
Why is it necessary to hold an opinion about the man? I think if you do that, you will be naturally led to thinking about a lot of the other issues. You will also be led to thinking about other personages of times before, during and after his era, and all of this is a good way to be more aware, whatever be your depth of understanding. Irrespective of where we stand on the life and legacy of the man, we must concede he was a pivot of his times like few ever were.