With the display of the letters of Gandhiji to his friend Hermann Kallenbach - a German-born Jewish architect who worked in South Africa - at the National Archives museum in Delhi, has given rise to media gossip about his sexual orientation. One such letter is addressed to 'My dear Lower House' and signed 'Sinly yours, Upper House,' and this has caused a media flurry. To me, the letter reveals a great sense of humour of Gandhiji.
According to the museum management, only a sample of Gandhiji's original correspondence has been put on display at the museum. The letters and photos belonging to Kallenbach were purchased by the Indian government last year. Earlier, Lelyveld's book, entitled "Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi
And His Struggle With India" also makes a mention of the close relationship between Gandhiji and Kallenbach which was misinterpreted. The author of book later on clarified that he had never said that Gandhiji was bisexual.
Once again, Gandhiji is being projected in wrong light, and his relationship with another individual being misconstrued. A section of the media and society are passing moral judgements on this greatman. Gandhiji was an honest and open person as the book 'My Experiments with Truth' reveals, and he did not any have any secret and dark side. Some peope will always misinterpret close friendship and buddy feelings which are just normal things among individuals.
I am reminded of Betty White' saying, in case of the present gossip in the media and drawing-rooms about Gandhiji, who had once said. "I think we're losing our sense of humour instead of being able to relax and laugh at ourselves. I don't care whether it's ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, or whose ox is being gored."
Another apt quote on the present situation is by Diana Ross, which goes, "I don't judge people by their sexual orientation or the colour of their skin, so I find it really hard to identify someone by saying that they're a gay person or a black person or a Jewish person."
Personally, I believe, we must respect the values Gandhiji stood for and oppose bigotry, bias, abuse, discrimination and prejudice based on one's sexual orientation even otherwise.