“The Congress at the present stage—what is it but a Fascist organization? Gandhi is the dictator like Stalin, I won’t say like Hitler: what Gandhi says they accept and even the Working Committee follows him; then it goes to the All-India Congress Committee which adopts it, and then the Congress . . .”
That sounds contemporary but is actually from December 1938. [Source: India’s Rebirth Part 5.] Sri Aurobindo speaking to his disciples. Continuing on, Sir Aurobindo says:
There is no opportunity for any difference of opinion, except for Socialists who are allowed to differ provided they don’t seriously differ. Whatever resolutions they pass are obligatory on all the provinces whether the resolutions suit the provinces or not; there is no room for any other independent opinion. Everything is fixed up before and the people are only allowed to talk over it—like Stalin’s Parliament. When we started the [Nationalist] movement we began with the idea of throwing out the Congress oligarchy and open the whole organization to the general mass.
Srinivas Iyengar retired from Congress because of his differences with Gandhi . . .
He made Charkha a religious article of faith and excluded all people from Congress membership who could not spin. How many even among his own followers believe in his gospel of Charkha? Such a tremendous waste of energy just for the sake of a few annas is most unreasonable.
. . .
Give [people] education, technical training and give them the fundamental organic principles of organization, not on political but on business lines. But Gandhi does not want such industrial organization, he is for going back to the old system of civilization, and so he comes in with his magical formula “Spin, spin, spin.” C. R. Das and a few others could act as a counterbalance. It is all a fetish.
Talking of fetish, I have always been fascinated that Gandhi had more than a few himself. Imaginary idyllic villages is one of them. And among a large number of Indians, Gandhi is a fetish. So villages are fetish-squared for many Indian even today.
Here’s a related post: Moving Mountains. Dec 2007.