Gandhi has confused activists for what now is generations. Look at the American War for Independence and the Civil War. Should these have been non-violent movements. That’s false moral nonsense. Gandhi’s nonviolence has usurped the whole spectrum of tactics on the left. All the great struggles for freedom involved revolutionary means. India could have achieved independence in the twenties with a regiment armed with rifles.
His efforts did not in the end liberate India in the context of England’s receding tide of imperialism. The most absurd aspect of his thinking is his total confusion over the Bhagavad Gita, a text that explicitly challenges non-violence as with the injunction to Khrishna to fight. One has to wonder if Gandhi could read. Non-violence is a complex doctrine that was very strong in Jainism, but as with the Gita, not at all.
Non-violence was a tactic that actually had a first success with MLK in the special circumstances of the Civil Rights movement. But even there in the background was an armed faction of Black resistance, most unknown now.
Non-violence is an innovation that has never been properly founded. But the fact remains that non-violence could never have achieved modern demoracy or abolition.
The movement led by Gandhi is a touchstone for advocates of non-violent resistance today. But the conventional view overlooks the limitations of Gandhi’s political philosophy, and the importance of insurrectionary struggles that he opposed in the fight for Indian independence.