Gandhi’s role in National Movement – UPSC GS1

In your opinion, which had more impact on Indian masses during the freedom struggle – Gandhiji’s philosophy of life or his political strategy as a political leader? Critically analyse. (200 Words)

Gandhi was the most prolific and accepted leader of the Indian mass movement. His conduct both on and off the field of movement inspired many people of his and future generations. His philosophy of life and religion and political strategies had deep impact on the masses that were interconnected to one another.
His concept of truth and non-violence are a universal phenomenon and hints to the civilized human nature that ought to be followed for inner and outer peace. His performance of self-control was found to be immensely useful for idealizing in a person’s life. He followed religion and backed it by arguments, but he wasn’t critical of other religions, in fact he espoused that all religions gospelled same principles but only the methods were different.
His care for untouchability found support in the downtrodden.
He combined his philosophy into his political movements. He launched anti-untouchability campaign, and fought for Hindu-Muslim unity. He limited his struggles till the non-violent movements, as he knew the realities and limits of a mass movement. His idea of penance for the fulfilment of aims and revolting against the unjust laws, rules and regulations were a broader part of his philosophy.
Thus it is difficult to isolate his philosophy from his political battles and then analyse the impact on the masses. Rather, it’s the combined effect that affected the masses towards protesting against the British.


Critically analyse the nature of relationship Gandhiji had with Britain and the British during the national movement. (200 Words)
Gandhiji’s influence in contemporary world is not limited to India but is spread across world, Especially in South Africa and Britain. Gandhi with his famous ideologies of Satyagraha, Ahinsa and Love not only made British Govt to leave without war and bloodshed but also helped to make future relation pleasant and cordial. It also made a series of freedom of nation among colonies in Asia and African nations.
Gandhi’s relationship with Britain and British were of strong criticism, evaluative on Human Rights and economic ground but yet cooperative at times. Like during World Wars and Boer wars Gandhiji supported Britishers because he doesn’t want to get independence on the misery of British Govt.
This made Gandhi’s image more refined among British parliamentarians and helped the Conservative and Labour party realise the gravity of freedom struggle in India. Also, Gandhi’s decision of suggesting to make Govt of India Act 1935 in sync of British Constitution led the Britishers in dilemma that, Gandhi is not against them but against the their ill-treating of Indians and subjugating Indians as second class nations.
During freedom struggle, Gandhi always demanded rights on humanitarian ground and compared it with, what British citizen was granted.
Hence, Britishers intellectual of that time also knew the rightful demand of Gandhi and this feeling was spread among the Labour Party members which granted India freedom during their tenure of power under Clement Atlee.
In recent time also, from time to time, Gandhi’s ideologies are remembered in UN General Assembly and David Cameron’s decision to install Gandhi’s statue in Parliament campus shows the gratitude toward enlightened soul and his messages.



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