Gandhi is almost like a Demi God. This is the result of an assiduous campaign to build up Gandhi by the Congress party and Nehru. Thus Gandhi is almost like holy cow and very little debate is tolerated about him. I remember some time back a program was aired on TV where one of the participants mentioned that perhaps Gandhi was Gay. This unleashed a storm and the program taken of the air.This is a pity for Gandhi had his foibles and one must not forget as time passes the follies of Gandhi gain in magnitude.
One aspect of Gandhi’s character which is taboo is sex. His supporters and that includes the Congress party would like this to be kept under wraps. But some facts and pointers have emerged which show that there is every chance that Gandhi was bisexual.
One name crops up in Gandhi’s life and that is the name of Hermann Kallenbach. He was a German body builder and was with Gandhi in South Africa. In fact the rumor mills say that he was the reason that Gandhi stopped sex with his wife in 1908. In a letter to Kallenbach Gandhi wrote “Your portrait (the only one) stands on my mantelpiece in my bedroom”.
Gandhi was close to this man, but one cannot insinuate a gay relationship. But perhaps the facts may never be known as it was something personal between kallenbach and Gandhi. Bu there is no doubt that in a further letter to kallenbach he mentioned that he (Kallenback) had completely taken possession of his body. He referred to Kallenbach as lower house and himself as upper house. He also made kallenbach promise not to look at women with lust. Gandhi also wrote to Kallenbach ‘how completely you have taken possession of my body. This is slavery with a vengeance’,This is surprising.
What Gandhi meant is difficult to decipher, though in his ashram salt was forbidden and sexual intimacy between inmates frowned upon. But Gandhi continued his friendship with kallen bach till 1914 when Gandhi returned to India. Gandhi wanted his friend to accompany him to India, but with the first war around the corner, the British did not allow Kallenbach to come to India.
But Gandhi did mention in a letter that how much kallenbach had taken possession of his soul and body. During this entire period it is on record in Gandhi’s own admission that he had no sexual relations with his wife and began to refer to her as mother.
With advancing years Gandhi had the privilege f indulging in his desires under the guise of experiments. Thus he started sleeping with his niece, the 17 year old Manu. When some inmates of his ashram were aghast and objected they were summarily packed off by Gandhi.
Gandhi thus was an ordinary human being with all the desires and dreams of an average male. Only he perhaps gave his urges a garb of ‘experiments with truth’. This is not to denigrate Gandhi, but to try and form an objective assessment about him. Perhaps at a later date his relationship with Kallenbach will also be revealed