Gandhi was obsessed with sex â€“ while preaching celibacy to others: Kusoom Vadgama | Times of India Opinion A controversy has erupted in Britain over the proposed second statue of Gandhiji in London, this one in Parliament Square. It was announced in July by Britainâ€™s Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne and since-removed Foreign Secretary William Hague, ironically, a day after they inked a 250 million GBP arms agreement in New Delhi. Kusoom Vadgama, the doughty 82-year-old historian and former â€˜Gandhi worshipperâ€™, tells Bachi Karkaria why she is leading the fight brigade. She recently founded the Indo British Heritage Trust to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the appointment of Sir Thomas Roe as Englandâ€™s first envoy to the court of Emperor Jehangir and the first documented arrival of Indian in Britain, also in 1614. Its highlight is a debate on August 18 in Britainâ€™s Supreme Court on whether India benefited from British Rule. You have reportedly opposed the statue because of Gandhiâ€™s â€˜debasement of womenâ€™ by his experiments with sexual self-control. Why have you come out so strongly now? Men in position of power take advantage of their status. They have no qualms about abusing minors or women. All his life Gandhi was obsessed with sex â€“while preaching celibacy to others. No one challenged him. He was the nationâ€™s â€˜untouchableâ€™ hero, his iconic status eclipsed all his wrong doings. The protest against yet another statue of his in London, just two miles from the one in Tavistock Square, is a perfect opportunity to speak the truth about this other peopleâ€™s Mahatma. What most angers you most about this known truth? Gandhi never made a secret of sleeping naked with is great-grand daughter and the wife of his great-grand son. It may have been his way of testing his control over his sexual drive, but these women were used as guinea pigs. If he had used other adult women, it would have been nothing more than interesting gossip. But Gandhi chose a teenage blood relation and a great-grand-daughter-in-law for his sexual whims. It is as unforgivable as it is unbelievable. I do not belong to the brigade that admires the Emperorâ€™s new clothes, and have no fear or hesitation in telling the truth about him. Ironically, it was he who instilled in me the mantra of â€˜satyameva jayateâ€™. With his place in global iconograph, will your voice be heeded? The world has changed. For women, personal freedom and self respect come before the freedom of the country and national leaders, however important or influential. Because of his global â€˜iconographyâ€™, it is hoped that the truth about Gandhi will also be a universal message. But Gandhiji did give a great deal of space to women in the freedom struggle. For them it was a personal liberation. Yes Gandhi mobilized the women of India. One of the reasons for his success was that his political rallies were called prayer meetings. Women attended in thousands not only to listen to him but also to have the â€˜darshanâ€™ of the saintly man. Earlier, you too â€˜worshipped Gandhiâ€™. He was my God in Nairobi, Kenya, where both my parents were deeply involved in Indiaâ€™s freedom movement. In school, I studied the glory and greatness of the British Empire, but spent all my time outside in protest marches and dawn processions, ordering the British out of India. I even shouted â€˜Jai Hindâ€™ to the English school teacher, and thought Iâ€™d be expelled. Why have you pitched for a statue of Dadabhai Naoroji instead? The Indian diaspora needs a role model for all the positive values of Indo-British relations. Dadabhai Naoroji, Britainâ€™s first Indian MP elected in1892, deserves to be in Parliament Square. He was a great supporter of the suffragettes who campaigned for Home Rule for Ireland. He represented the culture and spirit of India in Britain as no other Indian did. He was much loved and respected by Jinnah and Gandhi. He also happened to be the first Indian to represent the first Indian trading company in London in 1855 â€“ and the first professor of Gujarati in London University. What led to the Indo-British Heritage Trust? It is important to put the history of India in Britain on the same level as that of the British in India. Arriving in England in 1953, I could find nothing of comparable value. Eventually I wrote a book myself. This and my research into the freedom struggle led to the discovery of my two heroes, Dadabhai and Sir William Wedderburn, who established the British Committee of the Indian National Congress in 1890. My third role model is Cornelia Sorabji; I published 233 edited volumes of her letters in 2011, and a year later, in 2012, donated a bust of hers to the Lincolnâ€™s Inn. The Trust was set up to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Sir Thomas Roeâ€™s arrival in India â€“ and by a happy coincidence that of the first documented Indian to come to England, also in 1614. DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author's own.