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Civil Disobedience
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The important thing to remember is that the word civil is the key in this context. Before the days when rulers became obligated to follow laws, they could just massacre anyone who disobeyed. If British had the attitudes of the rulers of a century before Indian Independence, Gandhi would have been turned to toast at an early age.

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Gandhi Was my guy

Gurnam,

 

It's not like the British didn't occassionally try to kill Gandhi, about a dozen ways.  Gandhi's only life insurance so to speak was England's own sense of superiority around the world and the free press that surrounded it.  England also,needed India economically, both her people and resources.  Gandhi offered what Britain thought was a lesser of two evils.  He changed the focus of several disconnected violent insurgencies into a non violent, non cooperation.  I wouldn't presume to tell you the history of your native country.  But, the genius of Gandhi really was to play on Britain's own sense of pride versus shame until it became inevitable that independence was coming.  There is no doubt that this doesn't work before international wire services.  But, I think Gandhi could have sold his point that an inflamed India benefitted neither the British or India even without the press.  The shame of course is that I think his own idealism caused the civil war and eventual split of India and Pakistan.  I still am convinced that if he had bitten the bullet and become India's first prime minister it might have gone differently.  Or maybe I just consider him superman and could do anything...except stop bullets sadly.