Gandhi Research Paper

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Pages: 9

Gandhi’s role in the India’s quest for independence
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I. Introduction
II. Gandhi’s political history in India’s pursuit for independence
III. The strategic actions
IV. Persuasion/ nonviolent involvement
V. Socioeconomic noncooperation
VI. Political noncooperation
VII. Gandhi’s ideology in response to war
VIII. Conclusion

Introduction Mohandas Gandhi was born on 2 October 1869 and he lived until 30 January 1948. He was a renowned marquee leader who led India to independence by rallying civil rights movements, laborers, peasants, and other organizations against excessive discrimination by the British rule in the country. In 1921, Gandhi took the leadership of the Indian National Congress, which was a key participant in the protests against the British taxes. Gandhi used his unshakable belief in the theory of nonviolent civil disobedience, which gave a clear understanding of civil protests to the locals. This paper will show that Gandhi’s strategies in the quest for Indian independence were critical in weakening the British rule and at the same time, they unified the Indians under the Indian National Congress (INC). Gandhi’s efforts were orchestrated towards the establishment of an inclusive platform in the struggle for Indian sovereignty through instigating the collapse of the British Empire in India. People of diverse backgrounds were moved by Gandhi’s ideology and they became followers despite their doubts about his political motives of opposing the colonial masters. The salt protests were the turning point in the quest for Indian independence.
Gandhi’s political history in India’s pursuit for independence As a politician, after his return to India from South Africa in 1915, Gandhi did not directly engage in the course towards attaining self-rule in the country1. On the contrary, he sought to understand the problems of the natives both in the local village settings and across the cities. Through his extensive engagements with the poor, he was upset by the way locals were being mistreated and discriminated by the railway officials. The British control of the “Indian elites and soldiers in the management of the government and the masses compelled Gandhi to move to active politics”2. He knew that it was a difficult task to organize the locals under a single movement to protest against the British rule on his own. He joined forces with the prominent figures and movements geared towards India’s quest for independence. He made efforts to unite the Hindus and Muslims coupled with raising the economic and social status of the natives. At that time, the society lacked homogeny, the British Empire was gradually establishing divide and rule strategies, which posed a big challenge to the unification of native forces against it. Despite the challenges, Gandhi had a defined course and thus he started by weaving the divergent interests by Indians into a common problem whose cause was the British rule. Gandhi was keen to pursue his course for reform, whilst preserving the social and religious fabric of the Indian population. He did this by forming a powerful nonviolent plan referring to it as Satyagraha, which meant pursuit for truth.3
Between 1919 and 1922, “Gandhi started and led the noncooperation movement, the civil disobedience campaign, and the salt protests of the 1930-1931 as well as the Quit India movement from 1940-1942”4. These three campaigns were key in passing his message to the masses as well as the British rule that it was time for the constructive work towards easing discrimination and attaining self-rule. He had learnt his vices of nonviolence from Jainism not to hurt others in the course of one’s objectives. Gandhi made a resolution seeking to end the British rule and he promised to lead civil disobedience to accomplish his demands. The INC acted “decisively by passing Gandhi’s resolution during its 1929 meeting in Lahore”5. One of the