Indian Home Rule

Indian Home Rule - Mohandas K. Gandhi: Indian Home Rule...

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Mohandas K. Gandhi: Indian Home Rule (1909) The popular image of Gandhi in the West involves a saintly manner and "passive resistance." In fact he was a skillful lawyer whose techniques of nonviolent protest were anything but passive and who could be fearlessly outspoken in defense of his beloved India. In this imaginary dialogue, Gandhi is replying to the question of an interviewer (here labeled "READER") as to how he would address "extremists" seeking independence from Britain. Gandhi's replies are labeled "EDITOR." What does Gandhi say the proper role of the British in India should be? EDITOR: I would say to the extremists: "I know that you want Home Rule (1) for India; it is not to be had for your asking. Everyone will have to take it for himself. What others get for me is not Home Rule but foreign rule; therefore, it would not be proper for you to say that you have obtained Home Rule if you have merely expelled the English. I have already described the true nature of Home Rule. This you would never obtain by force of arms. Brute-force is not natural to Indian soil. You will have, therefore, to rely wholly on soul- force. You must not consider that violence is necessary at any stage for reaching our goal." I would say to the moderates: "Mere petitioning is derogatory; we thereby confess inferiority. To say that British rule is indispensable, is almost a denial of the Godhead. We cannot say that anybody or anything is indispensable except God. Moreover, common sense should tell us that to state that, for the time being, the presence of the English in India is a necessity, is to make them conceited. "If the English vacated India, bag and baggage, it must not be supposed that she would be widowed. It is
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This note was uploaded on 12/17/2010 for the course ASIA 150 taught by Professor Hewison during the Fall '08 term at UNC.

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Indian Home Rule - Mohandas K. Gandhi: Indian Home Rule...

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