Deviant Gaze

The meaning of the gaze has changed from mere looking, to intentionality for an appropriation or possession. Psychoanalysis has also grown in its stature from the days of Freud to revision by Jacques Lacan and also to incorporation of phenomenology, existentialism, structuralism, feminism and poststructuralism. Psychoanalysis is also conflated with Literature and Philosophy (there are tragic criminal psychiatrists inflicting psychological and physical violence on their patients which is especially the case in India) and its ramifications are analyzed in many fields like advertising, media and film studies and also queer studies.

What I am proposing to do in this article is to develop a new methodology for the gaze which I am going to classify in my own terms of psychoanalytic as the deviant gaze. Please note that the term deviant, in the common meaning of cultural lexicography means one who has radically departed from the rules, norms, culture of a mainstream society, and such a one could be classified as being prone to criminal tendencies or also be a megalomaniac. At the outset I would also like to say that the term deviant has been methodoligized as a social, political, legal, medicinal construct. I am analyzing the term deviant from the modality of those concepts, its all pervading archeology in the philosophic conception of language. But again I am in no way justifying deviancy but I would like to analyze deviants from the point of view of the epistemological rupture, a fission of notion, of the existence of the language to exist in one sense as a pretending-to-be-united-self and the other, the dictates of language as propagated by the all dominant law and legalisms of societal culture.

The personalities that I have selected for the deviant gaze are notoriously well known in the world. They are Mahatma Gandhi (The Father of the Indian nation), Adolf Hitler, Rasputin (a notorious, scandalous and licentious monk who attained suzerainty in Tsarist Russia), Ted Bundy (a criminal psychotic who brutally killed more than 35 young women and who was sentenced to death in America), Osmana Bin Laden (the name is too familiar) and the ISIS and also Andreas Lubitz who did self suicide by crashing German Wings and killing all passengers on board.

Mahatma Gandhi

Mahatma Gandhi needs no introduction. Starting his career in South Africa as a barrister, he returned to India and then took active interest in the independence movement of India, organizing many non violent revolts. Gandhism is synonymous with non violent form of agitation and pacific revolt. However one question remains; I am quoting a comment made by Nirad C Choudari in the ‘Autobiography of the Unknown Indian’. Gandhi indulged in ‘moral and psychological violence’. More historical studies are needed to analyze the facts whether it was Gandhi who secured Indian independence or the proletarians or the British so fed up that they decided to leave India. However at this juncture I am not interested in analyzing the political philosophy of Gandhi.

What I am interested in analyzing Gandhi was his sexual life. Though Gandhi was a moral puritan, his views on sexuality were idiosyncratic yet erotic and can be labeled as one type of deviant gaze. I know the so called followers of Gandhi in India will be furious and might deport me. But I don’t care. I also know that readers will want to give me evidence of Gandhi’s deviant sexual behavior. It is also important to know that Gandhi was married very early in life and his wife Kasturba died also died early. Gandhi was no sexual puritan and I would like to say that he was neurotic of a melancholic-phantasmagoria with masochistic and voyeuristic tendencies. I am furnishing some evidence from an internet article on Gandhi’s sexuality.

Gandhi’s Sexuality as quoted from the Independent

“The pre-independence prime minister of the Indian state of Travancore called him, “a most dangerous, semi-repressed sex maniac”

“It is the duty of every thoughtful Indian not to marry. In case he is helpless in regard to marriage, he should abstain from sexual intercourse with his wife.” Mahatma Gandhi’s Words

Gandhi’s sexual behavior is “Abnormal and unnatural” said: Jawaharlal Nehru First Prime Minister of Independent India. This has to be taken as being credible.

“While she is bathing I keep my eyes tightly shut,” he said, “I do not know… whether she bathes naked or with her underwear on. I can tell from the sound that she uses soap.” Mahatma Gandhi’s Words.

“Vina’s sleeping with me might be called an accident. All that can be said is that she slept close to me.” Mahatma Gandhi’s Words.

“It can’t, one imagines, can have helped with the “involuntary discharges” Mahatma Gandhi’s Words.

He had an almost magical belief in the power of semen: “One who conserves his vital fluid acquires unfailing power,” he said. Mahatma Gandhi’s words.

While in Bengal to see what comfort he could offer in times of inter-communal violence in the run-up to independence, Gandhi called for his 18-year-old grandniece Manu to join him – and sleep with him. “We both may be killed by the Muslims,” he told her, “and must put our purity to the ultimate test, so that we know that we are offering the purest of sacrifices, and we should now both start sleeping naked.” Mahatma Gandhi’s Words.

“One who never has any lustful intention, who, by constant attendance upon God, has become proof against conscious or unconscious emissions, who is capable of lying naked with naked women, however beautiful, without being in any manner whatsoever sexually excited… who is making daily and steady progress towards God and whose every act is done in pursuance of that end and no other.” That is, he could do whatever he wished, so long as there was no apparent “lustful intention”. Mahatma Gandhi’s words.

Eighteen-year-old Abha, the wife of Gandhi’s grandnephew Kanu Gandhi, rejoined Gandhi’s entourage in the run-up to independence in 1947 and by the end of August he was sleeping with both Manu and Abha at the same time.”

“While she is bathing I keep my eyes tightly shut,” he said, “I do not know… whether she bathes naked or with her underwear on. I can tell from the sound that she uses soap.” Mahatma Gandhi’s Words.

From this quote it is evident that Mahatma Gandhi was interested in a form of narcissistic-voyeuristic-masochism. It would be too ridiculous to assume that Gandhi was covering his eyes. Gandhi had a morbid fascination for the members of the opposite sex. In the beginning of this paragraph I quoted that Gandhi was prone to the eroticism of melancholia, voyeurism, masochism and narcissism. Though Gandhi’s sexuality did no harm as violence, I am sure that the women who had to undergo this ritual of sexual performance were humiliated. Gandhi’s sexuality can be termed as a kind of psychological rape on the women. It should also be noted that all these women who agreed to whims of the moral Guru were young girls. And I am wondering whether they were mature enough to make decisions for themselves.

Now what is melancholia and from where did this term spring from? Melancholia in psychological terms means: pining for an imaginary object. The system of courtly love was a fantasy of projecting the ideals of a lover into the realms of the imaginary. In Mahatma Gandhi we find that psychoanalytically Gandhi was not able to separate himself from his oedipal longing. But when Mahatma Gandhi enters the symbolic world of the language- (the world where language becomes symbolic and orders the needs of the body Lacan) from the imaginary (the imaginary in Lacan is a period of infancy when the infant learns the substitution of self from the body to an image) but here Lacan also advocates that the perceived unity of the self is only partial; the created self is in fact a disunity of the self. I would like to use a new term here that we as individuals develop not just a single ego but twin egos. One ego is conditioned by the parents, culture and social mores. Another Ego becomes a container for housing the feelings that arise from the unconscious which is called by Lacan as the other or the unconscious (Lacan has called this as spat out chewing gum). When Freud says the unconscious manifests itself as dreams, jokes and tongue slips, I would also like to say that the unconscious is present in one part of the twin Ego. In part of Mahatma Gandhi’s twin ego, the rupture of the Oedipus complex to the projection of others (desiring other women rather than the mother) is not fully complete. Oedipal traces are left as vestiges in the one part of the twin ego.

Gandhi’s peculiar role of coming to prominence and acceptance in Indian politics is borne out the conflict with the Ego and the Super Ego (Law of the Father) and an internalization and narcissism of melancholia of the ego to an idealized notion that a fictitious Father Phallus exists in a social and cultural ideal and he alone is fit as a noble saint or great soul to embark the nation to freedom and independence. Gandhi’s non violent ventures in fact have led to the injury, killing of many illiterate subalterns. I fully support Nirad C Choudari’s claim that Gandhi indulged in ‘psychological and moral violence’. It’s only curious note that sometimes the innocent crowd went berserk and this is specially the case of the Chouri Chouri incident when British policemen torched alive. The notion of melancholic courtly love is fictitiously idealized to a non existing Father Phallus. The Father Phallus is appropriated into the Ego and becomes sublimation for a political struggle against the British.

What about the notorious inner sexual life of Mahatma Gandhi? I would like to say that Mahatma Gandhi is crouched in the complex of the Clitoral Complex. The Clitoral Complex is an internal narcissism, eroticized as a desiring mother archetype. However the Law of the Father, The Father Phallus or the Super Ego interferes with the fantasy and allows the fantasy to be materialized with taboos. The desiring mother can be possessed only in partial; rupturing her would lead to an incestuous ego. What is allowed is, sanction to be a Bacchanalian Gaze of a voyeur. My concern here is the callous way in Gandhi used young girls and that too his own relatives. It’s preposterous to imagine that one can sleep with nude girls without being aroused. What about the freedom and identity of the girls to retain their dignity? The problem with psychiatry in India is that it is solely empricized as the gaze of the Doctor and the Clinic. Philosophy and Literature are its aliens

Adolf Hitler

Everyone is familiar with Adolf Hitler and the host of racial crimes which he perpetrated against the Jews as the holocaust. Very little is known about his parentage. I was able to research the Jewish Library. His mother was a German maid who worked in a wealthy Jewish family. Hitler was born out of their fornication. The Jewish Library boasts that DNA tests done on family members Hitler prove that he has links with the Semitic race.

It’s fascinating to research Hitler’s sexual life. We can at the outset conclude that sexually he was a masochist and politically he was a racist. Some writings also claim that he was impotent with a penchant for being urinated and defecated upon (coprophila). I have also read that he was fond of nude woman beating him black and blue. However I would like to say that the writing on Hitler’s sexual life is by no means unanimous at there is no consensus. I would like to classify Hitler as being prone to the disease of a deviant-phallic-complex. At the symbolic level (I am using Lacan’s terminology) when the being becomes separated from the mother -of -desire to the all consuming language which wants to maintain the permanence of the self there was no Father to idealized. What emerged from this psychic exchange was a desire for revenge against the biological father. This can be contrasted to the Fatherly love, Oedipus had for his surrogate father. This was further exacerbated when Hitler was denied entry into art school whose teachers were also Jewish. To make matters worse, post world war one Germany had hordes of affluent Jews while the majority of the Germans lived in starvation and penury owing to debt repayment and the stagflation of the German Mark. All this became internalized in Hitler as Jewish vendetta and became melancholized as a thanatic-complex (meaning a desire to inflict violence and brutality and extinguish a whole race). Please note that I in no way am a Fan of Hitler but we are also some times victims of realizing that we have a stable self. The self for all commoners is a tight rope walk act which requires balancing and exercising significations which go in harmony with social mores. An intellectual rebellion can make a person a creative with critical deviancy that does not harm the society. We have to be always on the guard of authoritarianism and conformity in the so called democracies and critically aesthetize the notions of democracy to creative sublimation (process of translating baser desires to art and other modes of expression).


Rasputin is too familiar and too famous. He was a Russian peasant who trained himself in mysticism and was able to cure the son of the Tsar who was suffering from hemophilia (a claim which I do not fully believe). But anyhow that gained him permanent entry into the Russian royal household and biographical depictions portray him as sleeping with the women of Russian royalty. Psychologically we can portray Rasputin as charismatic and a one who was sexually straight but being a heterosexual. All men who become released from the Freudian Oedipal complex have sexual desires for many which are heterosexual.

Though heterosexuality is not sanctioned morally or ethically it goes on as hide- and- seek behind closed bedrooms, secret places, and luxury resorts and in shanties. Heterosexuality also enjoys the legal sanction in many countries and blends with the maxim: “do it while you can but don’t get caught.” In a country like India, one can be arrested and charged under the crime of immoral traffic; the Law of Immoral Traffic sad to say is an obsolete law, very British in Victorian morals and purity. A heterosexual gaze is accepted in the fringes of modern society and Rasputin in those days was fortunate to have opportunities to utilize it. The feminists of today are very critical of socially sanctioned heterosexuality and feminist philosopher like Judith Butler has suggested other forms of gaze for the women like the lesbian phallus, a gaze which can signify feminine eroticisms especially of a lesbian ilk.

Ted Bundy

I happened to read the biography of Ted Bundy by chance while casually browsing on the internet. Ted Bundy was ill reputed as a criminal and a psychopath or more aptly a sociopath. Let’s look into Ted Bundy’s past to understand the psychology of his violence. Ted Bundy was the son of an illegitimate father and mother who later on married. Ted Bundy’s childhood was based on a strict Methodist upbringing. There are evidences to show that Ted Bundy was prone to pornography and use to scavenge dust bins for sexually explicit photos. Ted Bundy was studious in studies and also was handsome. He had many affairs and sexual escapades. However all this did not satisfy him. He embarked upon sexual acts of brutal violence. The women whom he used to select were young, and vulnerable. His famous ploy was he while confronting these women he used to present himself with a sling and pretend that he was injured and needed help. Unsuspectingly some of the victims used to oblige him and then he use to batter them with an iron object and sometimes also decapitate them. During certain times he used to revisit them and indulge in necrophilia (sexual copulation with corpses). He was also fond of decorating his victims with makeup, usually that too on decapitated bodies. Ted Bundy also took precautions not to use guns and also gloves. He left very few clues and it’s tragic to say some of his sadistic crimes have not been solved. It’s ironic that the American law and order though being so sophisticated took surprisingly many years to catch him.

Ted Bundy can be suffering from a psychosis of an inverted -destructive-father-complex. In Ted Bundy’s case while being castrated from his mother and entering the symbolic realm of language (Lacanaian sense) and the law of the phallic father, he internalized the image of the father with desire for the death drive or thanatic drive. The psychic separation of Ted Bundy from psychological weaning of the mother was marked by injury to the ego as the loss and the not-accomplished. This psychological weaning, marked by loss and injury to the ego, manifested bizarrely as gruesome, sadistic violence, wanting to incarnate the diabolic on innocent unsuspecting women. It’s also questionable to ask whether strict enforcement of Christian ideals especially Methodism can trigger individual responses to be deviant. For most of us whether we know it or not are conditioned beings, and we, tight rope walk our self -circuit to adjust the social arena of the self. But a sociopath like Ted Bundy has a signified disunity in the already conflicting unity to be a self. In Ted Bundy’s case, the crimes were societal and not racial like Adolf Hitler’s.

Osmana Bin Laden and the ISIS

Osmana Bin Laden and the ISIS are dubiously famous for inflicting crimes on non-violent, peaceful so called democracies, a claim which I do not totally adhere to. Osmana Bin Laden and the ISIS are technically speaking in Freudian language Oedipal -misfits that are violently castrated. They have destructively abjected (term in psychoanalysis meaning one which one violently rejects) and they have replaced it with destructive father prone to the thanatic drive or the death drive. The naively assume that this father hero ideal exists somewhere mythically ( really) as an authoritarian, dominant and a father who wants inflict violence on others who want to be deviant, but culturally creative through sublimation processes. This is especially true of Charlie Hebdo whose cartoons on Prophet Mohammed were in the lighter banter of comic humor. For them courtly love as melancholia is displaced into egomaniacical drives of cruelty, brutality, narcissism and sadism which will make even Marquis De Sade as innocent as lamb that was slaughtered.

Andrea Lubitz

Andrea Lubitz became famous in contemporary society for all the wrong reasons. He was the copilot who locked the cockpit and plunged German Wings (a budget carrier for Lufthansa) on to the French Alps, tragically killing all on board. There are reports to show that Andrea Lubitz had undergone psychiatric tests which reveal mental depression and ignoring them, the German Wings gave him a clean (s)(c)hit to fly. Andreas Lubitz was suffering from the obsessional father complex. The super ego or the In the Name of the Law of the Father became internal narcissism of suicidal or death drives. Andrea Lubitz also had a very poor notion of the self. This self can also be in psychoanalytic terms as the person’s other or the unconscious. Andrea Lubitz childhood is read to be a normal one with happy parents. Andreas has projected as destructive-hero-father figure into his self and wanted to go at any costs to accomplishing it which involved the tragic death of innocent passengers. To the tragic irony of humanity, this father figure like all courtly romances is entirely fictional and a person like Andrea Lubitz has accepted this as something, being real or tangible.