|Demand of the question |
Introduction. Contextual Introduction.
Body. How different would have been the independence without Mahatma Gandhi?
Conclusion. Way forward.
The effect of individuals in historical developments can be debatable but the fact of one free India is difficult to imagine without these Mahatma Gandhi. Without Mahatma Gandhi, free India might have been fragmented further. The importance of Mahatma Gandhi in Indian Independence Movement should not be seen with respect to time it took to achieve or the ease with which it achieved the Independence with his philosophy.
Indian Independence without Mahatma Gandhi:
- Free India would have fragmented without Gandhi. Gandhi held no political office, and tended to stay back, and managed to keep the peoples and leaders together. This enabled a Union of India, instead of five or six parts which could have emerged with the powerful provincial leaders in Punjab or Bengal, for instance.
- Although there were many great leaders among the congress. Someone of them would have given the vision and philosophy and leadership needed. And he/they would have succeeded in achieving the independence sooner or later than 1947. But nature of this independence can’t be ascertained.
- The armed revolutionary movement could have become prominent and India might have got independence after a great armed rebellion. This didn’t happen in India because the innovative ways of Gandhiji.
- The path chosen by him included a vast majority of people of India in to the freedom struggle. Simple acts by individuals such as refusing to use foreign goods, refusing to pay taxes, lifting a fistful of salt, quitting government schools and jobs became the weapons of freedom struggle. This gave a feeling of integrity among the people. They embraced the struggle as their own.
- Without Gandhi, there would not have such mass mobilisation in such a short span of time. All the classes of the people would not have united under one banner or leader.The freedom movement could have been violent without Gandhi.
- The communal forces could have dominated the political scene of the country and things could have been different now. Swadeshi and boycott movements wouldn’t have more successful without Gandhi.
- The inclusion of peasants, students, women, industrialist (later after the 1930s) would have taken more time as Congress mass movement was limited in covering region and a certain class.
- As divide and rule was first policy after 1858, inclusion of all religion would have been difficult. (convergence of Khilafat and Non-cooperation, meetings in East Pakistan during partition etc).
There is no doubt that India would have achieved Independence without Gandhiji but the role of Gandhi was very significant in achieving as well as preserving the Independence of India. The contribution of Gandhi ji in the achievement of Indian independence is invaluable.
Earlier the freedom movement was solely restricted to upper educated class. It would not have been the mass based movement. In Such situation, It would have taken longer time for attaining independence, as the pressure on the Britishers would have been lower .