Non-violent Resistance - Section Eighth: Individual Satyagraha Against War Summary & Analysis

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Section Eighth: Individual Satyagraha Against War Summary and Analysis

Britain enlists India in World War II without its consent in 1939. The country is upset over this because Britain will not promise them independence. They feel that the war is only fought to preserve the British Empire and not for freedom as a result. Therefore, the people want to engage in civil disobedience but Gandhi wants to avoid embarrassing the British during a crisis and wants his people to be more non-violent.

Gandhi is successful for a year and then he has to allow freedom of speech to Satyagrahis. This occurs during 1940 and 1941. Afterward, Britain fails to accede to Indian demands for more autonomy in the Cripps mission of 1942. Gandhi then advocates his "Quit India" slogan. His followers and he are imprisoned. Gandhi is only allowed to publish again in 1946.

Gandhi begins by noting that he does not suppress free speech among the Satyagrahi but that there is too much restraint involved and that hurts his country's cause. Gandhi merely suspends civil resistance. Next Gandhi argues that each Congress Committee should become a Satyagraha Committee and should elect Congressmen that will cultivate a spirit of goodwill to all. They should keep a diary of their work. These are active Satyagrahis. There are also passive Satyagrahis—those imprisoned and suppressed. Gandhi then claims that non-violence can lead to a liberated India.

Civil disobedience, if it is to be civil, must appear in this way to the opponent; he must understand that the resistance does not mean him harm. The English of the day see non-violence as a cloak and so Gandhi emphasizes a genuine civil disobedience. He also expresses pessimism that mass civil disobedience can be organized. Finally Gandhi notes that his writing will be stopped once his is arrested and to not suspend resistance. This is only a test in Satyagraha.

This section contains 320 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
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