Topics: British Empire, British Raj, Indian independence movement Pages: 7 (2668 words) Published: April 22, 2013
To what extent has the importance of Gandhi been exaggerated in persuading the British government to give India independence in 1947?

Gandhi wasn’t as significant as people think he was during the struggle for Indian independence. Some believe that Gandhi was the reason why Britain gave independence to India, people exaggerated over his abilities and his actions during the struggle for Indian Independence, and so he then became “the Father of India” this again really exaggerated his importance. But then again, after the Second World War, Britain would have given India independence anyway due to Britain becoming bankrupt which would have meant that Britain would have to give India independence because they couldn’t afford to keep control and order in such a big country like India. Therefore, Gandhi didn’t actually need to go on big campaigns, because most of them would result in a huge number of people being killed or die of starvation. These are the key parts that people miss out and over exaggerate about Gandhi’s importance. Just like the Amritsar massacre and the Bengali Famine, India was punished for the trouble they have caused for Britain, which resulted in lots of Indians being killed. In a way, Gandhi knew that his campaigns would be result in some people being killed and he could have done it differently, in a more peaceful way, because Britain would have given India independence eventually. Gandhi set himself a goal, to unite the whole of India so that Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs could live together without the British Raj, but he failed to do that and because he failed we now have a separated India, which resulted in millions of people losing their lives due to Gandhi’s decisions and actions . Overall, Gandhi really annoyed the British, which caused them to act in a way they wouldn’t necessarily act, like shooting in a crowd of Indians. Also, like the “Quit India Campaign”, which Gandhi introduced and said to his fellow Indians to Cause trouble on the streets of India, Gandhi thought that this will eventually lead to Britain getting fed up of the constant trouble and then grant them the Independence, which they have so badly been fighting for, but this only led to more Indians being killed. This proved to be a disaster for Gandhi and due to some decisions he made, India split into three, India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. Also resulting acts threats of terrorism to each on of the three countries. This again shows what an impact Gandhi still has today due to his work and the methods he picked to free India. This may have had an influence on some famous figures in History such as Martin Luther King, but then again, it resulted in Millions of people losing their lives due to Gandhi not being successful in one of his main goals, such as uniting India.

When the Rowlatt Act came into law, Gandhi proposed that the entire country observe a hartal, a day of fasting, prayer, and abstention from physical labor, in protest against the injustice of the repressive new law. Millions of Indians followed Gandhi’s words and started to fight back against the British, they simply didn’t go to work; almost the whole of India came to a halt for the whole day. Following the words of Gandhi, some Indians came together in groups, which was against the Rowlatt act law. A General in the British army in India named General Dyer became furious and decided to “teach the Indians a lesson” and so he went to the meeting in Amritsar and massacred nearly all the Indians that simply came together to listen to each other. All eyes were on Gandhi, because it was his words that led to this massacre. Even though Gandhi knew that his instructions to Indians would cause agony for the British, but also for India, but he took the risk anyway. Again this shows that Gandhi’s words proved to be futile, because the British would always respond back to the actions made by Gandhi and the Indian people. Even though Gandhi knew that, he would still continue his...
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