If not for Mahatma Gandhi, would India still be under British rule? by Sahith S Tiger
Answer by Sahith S Tiger:
Gandhi did not play any significant role in India’s Independence. In fact, he hindered it for decades.
This may sound astonishing and false to Gandhi-worshipers, who are multitude even today, but it is the truth. The Congress led by Gandhi was so ineffective that, until 1929, they did not even ask for self-governance, and were willing to settle for “partial independence” with British Rule. Exactly what they meant I do not know – I mean, either you are free, or you’re not. If they had had their way, this would have continued, and likely come into effect.
But then this guy came along:
was an anarchist, atheist, revolutionary, and believed firmly in a human being’s right to defend themselves. He began the movement that became – “total independence, nothing less”. The British were quick to paint him as a “terrorist” because he believed in fighting back (throughout India’s freedom struggle, the British vocally supported and respected Gandhi’s non-violence movement, while continuing to safely ignore his demands since they had no fear of retribution). Singh quickly realized that the only way to garner support was to create a national incident – he and a comrade attacked the Legislative Assembly with low-yield, non-lethal grenades, and, instead of escaping, waited for the police and handed over their weapons in surrender. Singh (who was wanted for the murder of a British officer at the time) knew full well that the British would make a showcase of his trial and execution, and it would effectively reach more people across India than he ever could by himself. Once in jail, seeing the discrimination in how Indian prisoners were treated much worse than European prisoners, Singh went into a hunger strike, going without food for 116 days (no, that wasn’t a typo). The British were so terrified of his popularity that they moved his execution forward by 24 hours, secretly removed the body in pieces, cremated it and threw the ashes into the Sutlej river. At the time of his death, Singh was 23 years old.
Gandhi, who had some so-called noble ideas, I’m sorry, was simply idealistic to the point of being foolishly naive. This is a man who advised that the jews
“should have offered themselves to the butcher's knife. They should have thrown themselves into the sea from cliffs… It would have aroused the world and the people of Germany… As it is they succumbed anyway in their millions." ()
(Ref: Fischer, Louis (1950).. Harper. p. 348.)
That’s an exact quote, by the way – his idea of fighting genocide was mass suicide. Oh,to test the strength of his vow of celibacy.
If not for Gandhi, India likely would have adopted a more violent freedom struggle. I do not support violence but I do support self-defense. Gandhi– something Gandhi supporters gloss over when they talk about his non-violence. He also opposed and his ; actively pushing back their recruitment activities even as millions followed him into non-violence. These millions would instead have joined the struggle under the INA, and Britain would have been unable to hold on to India in the early 40s when faced with a united congress that fought back under Bose, which likely would have resulted in India becoming a free nation years earlier. This would have severely weakened Britain in the Second World War, What that would have meant for them and the rest of the world, who knows?
Willingly or not, Gandhi’s actions aided immensely in British oppression and control of India.