This week on Twisted History we do a deep dive into the papacy.
I almost called the episode "pap(al) smear" because Vibbs and I wind up talking a lot of shit about some derelict popes that existed primarily in the Middle Ages, but I thought grouping the person who is allegedly closest to God alongside a procedure that involves a speculum placed inside of a vagina would probably ruffle some Christian feathers and some non-Christian vaginas.
By the end of the podcast, I decided that my fellow Catholics had enough, so we turned our crosshair towards another so-called "religious leader"… But this time, he was a Hindu… This time, it was Mahatma Gandhi.
And, in short, I ended this week's podcast by giving the listener all the reasons why Gandhi was an asshole.
First, some history…
Mahatma Gandhi was an activist who was the leader of the Indian independence movement against British colonial rule in the early 1900s.
His real name is Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, but the widely used moniker of “Mahatma” was an honorific title bestowed upon him by the residents of Gurukul Kangadi… Mahatma is actually a Sanskrit word meaning “high souled” or “venerable“.
Employing nonviolent civil disobedience, Gandhi led India to independence and inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world. He is one of the most widely revered figures of the 20th century, a peaceful protester who is often mentioned in the same breath as Nelson Mandela, Michelle Obama, or Martin Luther King.
On January 30, 1948, at the age of 78, Gandhi was assassinated by 3 gunshots to the belly fired at point-blank range by a political rival named Nathuram Godse. At the time, Gandhi was on his way to a prayer meeting in New Delhi, India.
Hollywood made a movie about Gandhi in 1982 that was lazily titled “Gandhi” and the film won every major award that year, including the Oscar for Best Picture, Best Director (Richard Attenborough), Best Actor (Ben Kingsley), and somehow Best Costume Design, even though the whole cast wore virtually nothing but different colored bed sheets and cheap glasses throughout the production.
Here's the kicker… Those bed sheets won over the technical wizardry of Tron.
But my real gripe (and the underlying reason for including him in the Pope episode) was to provide a peek behind the curtain of the man often referred to as "Father Of A Nation."
Here are 3 bullets…
1. Gandhi was a racist prick who didn’t hold certain black people in high regard. During the two decades he spent in South Africa, Gandhi repeatedly expressed contempt for the native population, claiming they were no better than the “untouchables” of Indian caste society.
In 1896, he was quoted as referring to black South Africans as 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.”
Winds up the word "kaffir" is actually worse than the n-word in some circles, and yet Gandhi used the k-word more than once when referring to the blacks in South Africa.
2. I call “BULLSHIT” on Gandhi’s commitment to celibacy. Mahatma fell victim to wet dreams, and would become incensed every time he suffered “involuntary discharges.”
He was so eager to rid his body of its propensity to accidentally ejaculate that he began sleeping naked, surrounded by nubile young women… Including his 18-year-old grandniece, Manu.
He would also take baths with young naked women, and receive massages from them… All of this wonderful shit was to test his Hindu vow of “brahmacharya“… Which invokes a spiritually focused life centered around celibacy.
3.He was a hypocrite, and not a good husband nor father. This asshole refused to educate his sons, ordered them as young men to abstain from sex, and disowned his eldest, Harilal, for wanting to get married… That son eventually attacked Gandhi in print, converted to Islam, and died an alcoholic.
He once wrote about his illiterate wife: “I simply cannot bear to look at 'Ba’s' (Kasturba's) face. The expression is often like that on the face of a meek cow and gives one the feeling as a cow occasionally does, that in her own dumb manner she is saying something.”
And when his dumb-as-a-cow wife was sick with pneumonia, British doctors told Gandhi that a shot of penicillin would heal her, but Gandhi refused to have alien medicine injected into her body, so she died soon after.
Fast-forward to some years later and Gandhi had become sick with malaria and, forgetting what he made his wife go through, allowed doctors to save his life with an equally-alien shot of Quinine.
He also allowed British doctors to perform an appendectomy on him which I assume involved some pretty alien shit as well.
Does all this stuff I just gave you make Gandhi’s achievements as a statesman less relevant?
Hopefully, not at all.
The reason I am telling you this is because somewhere along the way, you are going to hear Gandhi’s name.
Maybe your kid will learn about him in school.
Maybe India’s fight for independence will come up in small-talk at some fucking random (and seemingly boring) backyard barbecue.
However his name comes up, I just want to put a little bullet in your conversational revolver that could potentially turn a Gandhi discussion on its ear… I don’t have much else, so shit like that makes me happy.
Tune in to Twisted History for more of this slander, and take a report.
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