For several decades after his death, this episode was not widely known. He liked to play with sexual boundaries. No evidence suggests the young women themselves bore Gandhi any ill will. Such a person, Gandhi wrote, would be incapable of lying or harming anyone. Why was this so important to Gandhi at that time? A blot on his reputation would have become enormously magnified — a sad end to a humane and world-changing life.
Khaleesi. Age: 32.
Nor, in any obvious way and so far as anyone can tell, did he begin one now.
Adrienne. Age: 29.
How would Gandhi’s celibacy tests with naked women be seen today?
Because he believed — fantastically, egotistically — that the Hindu-Muslim violence then sweeping India had some connection to his own failings. A blot on his reputation would have become enormously magnified — a sad end to a humane and world-changing life. His behaviour in the winter of shocked many of his followers.