War in the Mahabharata and World War II
DOI link for War in the Mahabharata and World War II
War in the Mahabharata and World War II book
The outbreak of World War II had catapulted Winston Churchill into power as Great Britain’s prime minister. During the 1930s, Churchill had identified himself with two politically controversial positions, warning against the consequences of appeasement of Hitler on the one hand and of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi on the other. When World War II began in 1939, neither Gandhi personally nor most Indians could any longer imagine that loyalty to the Empire would lead to freedom for India. Gandhi was not pro-war, and saw no reason to change his opposition to all wars simply because in World War II the Allied side was preferable. Even if victorious, Great Britain was likely to ‘share the same fate that awaited the surviving Pandavas’ after the Mahabharata war. Like Arjuna in the epic Mahabharata war, Gandhi during World War II was reluctant to oppose warriors whom he knew personally and regarded with affection.