Even as Gandhi served to unify the Indian people, his figure served to expose the contradictions within the British position on the subcontinent. For while the members of Gandhi's home-rule movement strengthened their arguments by pointing to the oppression of the British Viceroys, those Viceroys attempting to quell the Gandhi phenomenon in fact failed because of a policy not oppressive enough. Theirs was a liberal empire in the end, and they were raised in a liberal tradition that prized freedom of speech, of the press, and of assembly; thus they could not counter satyagraha and stay true to themselves. Had Gandhi practiced satyagraha in, say, Stalin's Soviet Union or Hitler's Germany–or had the British been willing to violate their own liberal principles and imprison him for life, deport him, or even execute him–the struggle for independence might have taken a dramatically different turn. But then, such a
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