Do you believe Gandhi forced the British to leave? Many people including Shashi Tharoor say that India snatched/seized independence from the British and they were forced to do that. I am disagreeing with it and explaining the “why”.
Gandhi and the Indian independence movement only opened a door for the British to walk out of the situation while retaining their dignity and honour in the world stage without making themselves look like monsters. Gandhi has mentioned multiple times that he is appealing to the conscience of the British. After committing centuries of violence and cruelty motivated by racial hatred, British were offered an opportunity to walk out of the Indian situation without looking like absolute monsters in hindsight (we today think they are partial monsters instead of total monsters only because of this mutual respect that existed between the Indian leaders and the British of that time). They saw themselves as civilized gentlemen and that is how they wished the world too would view them. In other words it was an exchange. While you might believe that the British had India’s freedom to offer and India had nothing else on her side to bargain with, Gandhi was the genius who figured that there was indeed something India could offer in return. It was the moral face of the British. Those oppressors who think that they don’t owe anything to the weaker side are actually wrong. It is the law of the universe that something can only be moved from one place to another and nothing can be created or destroyed.
In other words he should create this situation where he is in a place to negotiate with the British where he, on India’s side has something to negotiate with.
When someone chooses to exercise power over someone else there is debt incurred on both sides. Cold is the absence of heat and every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Gandhi was a genius who saw social intricacies which only a few were able to see. He understood that India does have the power to bargain with the British using this and possibly get independence. What he had to do was to create a situation in which this fine moral substance is brought to the forefront for the world to see. In other words he should create this situation where he is in a place to negotiate with the British where he, on India’s side has something to negotiate with. That is what he executed over the course of his lifetime. The whole Freedom struggle was nothing but India telling the British that we will forget whatever you have done to us and treat you with respect if you give us our freedom in return. This is not something you can execute by simply making a statement or telling them. He had to rally millions of people behind him, start a movement, make himself seen on the global stage in order for him to achieve this end. It amazes me how he held on to this idea and executed it over a period of many decades which probably nobody else understood except his close inner circle.
Gandhi was a genius. Not everyone can understand the intricate math of social dynamics he could compute inside his head.
People who do not understand this are confused how and why did the British decide to leave. They come up with alternate hypothesis like that this was only because of Subhash Chandra Bose and his armed rebellion and Gandhi was delusional. I will not fully disagree to the first part of it but it was not the main reason. Yes there were economic reasons too for the British to leave. While armed revolutionaries like Subhash Chandra Bose created practical difficulties for the British to maintain a local army which was the most important requirement to rule over India, Gandhi’s independence struggle did play a major role in making the British feel it is a good idea to leave. Gandhi was a genius. Not everyone can understand the intricate math of social dynamics he could compute inside his head. He, like all such personalities, will be continued to be misunderstood for generations.