Mohandas Ghandi was the source of many changes throughout, India, Britain, and the world. With all that Ghandi has done in our world it becomes overwhelming when I think about his life. What Ghandi did in terms of opening the minds of the people of India is almost analogous to what Christ did to open the minds of the people around him. With all that can be said about Ghandi, I would like to focus upon his economic impact in Britain and India.
Britain’s self-glorifying empire building was a great hindrance on the Indian economy. Britain employed the “Mother Country” system in Indian. This is where the raw materials of the colony (i.e. India) are harvested and shipped to the Mother country (i.e. Britain.) The raw materials are manufactured into goods that are shipped back to the colony where they can be sold for a great profit. Britain had a firm grasp on the cotton market in India. The Indians were forced to sell their raw cotton to the British, and the British would manufacture it into clothes that were sold back to the Indians. Ghandi saw how England was able to railroad the Indian population with its strangle hold on the cotton market. Ghandi hand-spun his own cloth and inspired others to do as well. By making and using their own cotton the Indian people were protesting the British way of doing things. Ghandi, and his followers, rejected Western style clothing because they had strong feelings of nationalism and proclaimed they were not westerners, thus they would not wear their style of clothing.
The Western style of clothing was just one of many things Ghandi rejected while he was developing into the man that we remember. Had Ghandi accepted the traditional Western style clothing he would not have been able to reach all Indians since a large number of Indians could not afford British clothes.
Ghandi’s policy of non-cooperation and peaceful disobedience is one that would be very difficult to follow through with. I don’t think I could be able to do what Ghandi did. I do believe that peaceful protest is a very effective means of getting what you want. When people see a group protesting in a non-violent fashion and then they see that group beaten to the ground by police, it tends to build public support for those in protest.
Ghandi’s defiance towards British rule brought forward a primal emotion that exists in all people, fear. Ghandi undoubtedly had some fear of might come of him because of his actions, but that did not stop him from pursuing his goal. Ghandi’s ability to inspire the Indian nation certainly caused fear in the British. Approximately 50,000 British were in a foreign land trying to control 300 million Indians, those are not good odds when the people you are controlling start to rebel. Ghandi’s would not let his fears stop him, and I hope my fears won’t stop me.