Gandhi calls vaccines barbarous and fatal

deirdre

Senior Member.
Gandhis-Anti-Vaccine-Views-Ring-True-A-Century-Later.jpg






This quote comes from a book Mahatma Gandhi wrote in 1921 called "A Guide to Health". Despite the translator's (2012) note

To me, the quotes seem reasonable in context, in keeping with the rest of the book and (what little i know-which is little) of Gandhi. The translated 'quotes' above come from Section 2: Some Simple Treatments Chapter 7: Small pox

Bold highlights are mine

 

Henk001

Senior Member.
Gandhi did a lot of good things, but his ideas about vaccination didn't match reality in 1921. By then Small pox were already almost eridicated in the UK and other countries, other vaccinations (for instance against diphteria) were also very succesful. I am afraid that his ideas will have been culturally influenced. In his culture he probably was more familiar with, say, ayurvedic views on health. Typical western approaches like vaccination were part of the colonial influences he wanted to get rid of.
 

Pigeonkak

Member
Needless to say, Ghandi's professional expertise extends to law. Not to medicine. Carrying British soldiers on stretchers doesn't count as medical experience either.

I should hope an anti-vaccination advocate could at least see past his legacy to acknowledge that fact.
 

Hevach

Senior Member.
I should hope an anti-vaccination advocate could at least see past his legacy to acknowledge that fact.
Sadly there's a problem run into in a lot of fields that it's very hard for people to accept that somebody can be right about a lot of things and then wrong about something else, and it leads to these extreme all-or-nothing arguments where proving a political or religious leader is wrong about some point of fact is countered by all the positive changes they championed and suggesting that ignoring their one wrong point means throwing all that away, too.
 

Pigeonkak

Member
Sadly there's a problem run into in a lot of fields that it's very hard for people to accept that somebody can be right about a lot of things and then wrong about something else, and it leads to these extreme all-or-nothing arguments where proving a political or religious leader is wrong about some point of fact is countered by all the positive changes they championed and suggesting that ignoring their one wrong point means throwing all that away, too.

I can't imagine living such an illogical, self-misleading life.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
Sadly there's a problem run into in a lot of fields that it's very hard for people to accept that somebody can be right about a lot of things and then wrong about something else, and it leads to these extreme all-or-nothing arguments where proving a political or religious leader is wrong about some point of fact is countered by all the positive changes they championed and suggesting that ignoring their one wrong point means throwing all that away, too.
I'm kinda hoping if they read the quotes IN CONTEXT and acknowledge the date the book was published, they might realize comparing Gandhi's statements, spiritual leanings and [lack of] medical knowledge to todays world isn't appropriate.

Esp. since eventually India DID embrace the vaccines and smallpox was eradicted in India 1972-1977.

it wasnt working.
 

Pigeonkak

Member
Ghandi had a great deal of flaws. But remains for his activism a role model worth learning from. If you can retain perspective and context of his teachings, of course.

It isn't surprising his views though. The overzealous British efforts to eradicate bovine illnesses in Southern Africa destroyed African livestock populations. Ghandi, working with the British Army in the turn of the 20th century may surely have seen Africans literally lose their personal wealth when entire herds were culled. He perhaps developed an innate mistrust of government vaccination programs seeing that.

And I'm also not surprised that someone in the 1920's without medical training would balk at the notion of a virus being injected into you to ostensibly cure or prevent that same or related condition. It must have seemed crazy then.

It is worth noting, that despite some equally ironfisted and hamfisted early efforts to eradicate diseases like bovine Rinderpest, the virus is practically gone today thanks to vaccinations.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
And I'm also not surprised that someone in the 1920's without medical training would balk at the notion of a virus being injected into you to ostensibly cure or prevent that same or related condition. It must have seemed crazy then.
Sounds too like they were pretty "filthy" as well. Contamination from the smallpox 'donor' and the animals themselves, was a real thing. Not sure what he meant by suffering of the calves?
 
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