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The Fight for Freedom in India One of the most inspiring and influential men of the twentieth century Mohandas Gandhi is a prime example of Thoreaus theory of civil disobedience Not only did Gandhi almost single-handedly free India and its five hundred million people from their long subjection to the British Empire but also he did so without raising an army without firing a gun or taking a hostage and without ever holding a political office How could one slight soft-spoken man accomplish such a remarkable feat Let us examine the answer which lies in the overpowering force of his character and his ability to lead others in civil disobedience Gandhi knew that he could never defeat British colonial power in armed confrontation and at the same time he had no interest in waging a logistical war that would outlast British forces wearing them down to the point of relinquishing power It was not in Gandhis nature to contemplate military resistance in any form His interests and talents lay in the area of personal diplomacy and he instinctively sought to oppose the British on humane moral and even spiritual grounds He believed that an entrenched political and economical system could only be revolutionized by spiritual ideas Thus he borrowed ideas on passive resistance from the Bible Thoreaus Civil Disobedience and Tolstoys The Kingdom of God is Within You Collins Lapierre Over a period of years Gandhi used those ideas to develop and implement his own style of civil disobedience what he called satyagraha a nobly principled highly disciplined courageously ethical strategy of non-violent passive resistance Kirsey Gandhi demonstrated non-violent passive resistance to further Indias cause in numerous ways Clothing was mainly manufactured in Britain and then imported to India destroying Indian industry and countless jobs Gandhi encouraged Indians to spin cloth on their own time and on one symbolic day he asked his followers
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