Many friends today reject Gandhi because of his opposition to untouchability but not to caste. On this I find myself entirely with Ambedkar, who believed that untouchability is not an aberration of caste but is intrinsic to caste, and that social equality and fraternity requires not the reform but the demolition of caste.

However I still love and revere Gandhi as the bravest fighter for an India built on the foundations of love and mutual respect and good will. I thought often during our travels of what we believe was Gandhi’s finest hour, the last months of his life. Think of it. A million people had died in Hindu-Muslim riots, the country had been torn apart in a frenzy of hate, trainloads of people were slaughtered in trains travelling in both directions, and angry refugees were returning in millions from what was now Pakistan with terrifying stories of communal bloodletting, loss and betrayals.

And yet amidst all of this Gandhi still had the courage to speak unwaveringly of love, unity and equal citizenship as the only legitimate basis of Indian nationhood, as he walked alone in places where hatred was at its pinnacle, like Naokholi and the country’s capital Delhi smouldering with hate. It is this radical love to which the Karwane Mohabbat has tried to pay small and modest tribute, therefore we were both inspired and sobered to sit in the same hall in his Ashram, as we paid tribute to the audacious fearless courage of his love, in a town that had become the epicentre of hate politics, exactly one hundred years after him.

In the Karwan, we lustily shout out the slogan Jai Bhim. But we like to follow this immediately with Jai Gandhi. In both these great icons we find pathways to love, to fraternity, to a sisterhood and brotherhood of all peoples. Jai Bhim! Jai Gandhi!

Part one: here

(Cover Photograph: Harsh Mander laying photographs on the spot where Pehlu Khan was lynched)