An explosive new book on the late Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi, who was famous for his vow of chastity, claims Gandhi worked around that vow -- sharing his bed with women and conducting strange sexual "experiments."
The book called "Gandhi: Naked Ambition" has already been released in Britain, and will soon hit store shelves in India. It will likely cause controversy there, where Gandhi is considered a legend 60 years after his death.
Author Jad Adams said Gandhi had a normal sex life during the first half of his life. Then, he famously decided to be celibate. But Adams said Gandhi's definition of celibacy is questionable.
"He's talking about penetration. However he's defining sex so narrowly that he's ignoring a lot of activities that many people would consider sensual, if not actively sexual," Adams said in a telephone interview with The Sydney Morning Herald.
For example, the book claims Gandhi would bathe with naked women, share his bed with them, and have nude massages. Adams has a theory on all of this. "My interpretation is that he was expecting these women to try to stimulate him sexually in order that he could demonstrate his resistance.
"He wanted to see if sex could be controlled because he felt it was such a powerful force."
Gandhi married his wife Kasturba when he was just 13 years old. Adams says she seems to have gone along with the sex experiments. "She didn't give much credit to the restrictions on eating or seemingly any of the things that he did, but she went along with them because she was a devoted and devout Hindu wife."
The author says Gandhi's sex life was openly discussed while he was alive. But all that stopped after he was assassinated in 1948, as Gandhi was elevated from man to national icon.