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The Gandhi Quote

Somehow, this evaporated from my blog, so I’m reposting it to make searching for it easier.

The Gandhi Quote

For a year or so now I’ve had this quote as my .sig:

"Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the act of depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest." — Mahatma Gandhi

I have been asked many times for the source, and just as many times I have been challenged on the accuracy of the quote. Surely this is taken out of context, people ask. To end the debate once and for all, here is the complete quote:

GANDHI: An autobiography. The story of my experiments with Truth

Page 446, on which Gandhi is relating his struggles raising volunteers to fight for the Crown in World War I:

I used to issue leaflets asking people to enlist as recruits. One of the arguments I had used was distasteful to the Commissioner: ‘Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the Act of depriving a whole nation of arms as the blackest. If we want the Arms Act to be repealed, if we want to learn the use of arms, here is a golden opportunity. If the middle classes render voluntary help to Government in the hour of its trial, distrust will disappear, and the ban on possessing arms will be withdrawn.’ The Commissioner refereed to this and said that he appreciated my presence in the conference in spite of the differences between us. And I had to justify my standpoint as courteously as I could.

In this wonderful book (go and buy it now, it covers everything from gun control to home schooling to constipation (a lot on this last topic, actually) Gandhi repudiates his views when they have changed, and calls out very clearly even minor errors he has made. Never in this book does he step back from condemning gun control; in fact, on page 477 he touches on the classic "when is it time to shut up and shoot the bastards" argument:

As I proceeded further and further with my inquiry into the atrocities that had been committed on the people, I came across tales of Government’s tyranny and the arbitrary despotism of it’s officers such as I was hardly prepared for, and they filled me with deep pain. What surprised me then, and what still continues to fill me with surprise, was the fact that a province that had furnished the largest number of soldiers to the British Government during the war, should have taken all these brutal excesses lying down.

Written by Ry Jones

29 November 2008 at 1:19

4 Responses

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  1. Awesome quote…

    Now Gandhi has two of my favorite quotes.

    nugun

    2 December 2008 at 6:53

  2. […] Nicht jeder interessierte Leser dürfte es kennen, aber unter amerikanischen Waffenbesitzern hat es einige Verbreitung […]

  3. […] Nicht jeder interessierte Leser dürfte es kennen, aber unter amerikanischen Waffenbesitzern hat es einige Verbreitung […]

  4. […] look upon the act of depriving a whole nation of arms, as the blackest." Mahatma Gandhi The Gandhi Quote Outrageous Malfunction I used to issue leaflets asking people to enlist as recruits. One of the arguments I had used was […]


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