In analyzing Gandhi's Non-Violence speech, what are the significant points to note?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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When analyzing any speech on nonviolence from Gandhi, one of the most significant elements is the idea that the call to nonviolence is both a spiritual and political end.  Gandhi made it clear that the transformation of India from one of subjugation to one of freedom must be seen in both lights.  Those participating in this revolution have to undertake change in both realms.  This is where Gandhi's call to nonviolence has a transformative effect on both the nation and those who partake in its liberation.  There is a transformation of self that Gandhi embraced in his call for nonviolent protest that has to be noted.  At the same time, I would stress that Gandhi's call to nonviolent action is one that demonstrated the disarming power of civil disobedience.  Gandhi made very clear that while taking up arms was not his intent, it was equally not his intent to treat the issue of India's liberation in a passive sense.  I think it would be worthy to note the instances in his speech where he forcefully claims this.  Little in Gandhi's writing on the issue of nonviolence is passive and while many claim him to be so, it is evident that his position of nonviolent resistance is struck from a position of strength and absolute determination that this is the path India must forge in order to find her freedom and voice apart from the British.


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