Gandhi's son embraces Islam

We have now seen how Gandhi moved away from the Indian National Congress platform. The congressmen and their ways made him frustrated and that was why he moved away from the politics of the Congress party.

Gandhi has been called ‘Mahatma’. We have seen till now what Gandhi has been. Whatever he was, he was a man of extreme kindness and compassion towards all beings, human, animal or whatever. He treated others as his equals. He was generous and tolerant.  But he never compromised on his principles.

On a day in 1936 news reached Gandhi that his eldest son Harilal embraced Islam at a mosque. Gandhi was deeply shaken and so was his wife, Kasturba. She wrote to Harilal about his thoughtless deeds that amounted to cruelty to his parents. 

But Gandhi wrote an article in his journal Harijan, expressing his mind in no ambiguous terms. It can be paraphrased like this: If he converted to Islam because he had sincerity in the deed, I would have no complaint about it. For, Islam is a real religion as Hinduism is. 

But many know that he is a drunkard and had been visiting brothels. He is in the habit of borrowing money for excessive interests. I have given my sons all freedom to respect all religions. If he tells me he really wants to go to Islam, I have no objection. But what I have to tell my friends in Islam who already have known the ways of Harilal, they should discard him. On the other hand, if it is a sincere move, they should see to it that he is saved from temptations and made useful to the society.