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Contextualizing British Imperialism in India (Grade 10)

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Contextualizing British Imperialism in India

It is this consciousness of the inherent superiority of the European which has won for us India. However well educated and clever a native may be, and however brave he may prove himself, I believe that no rank we can bestow upon him would cause him to be considered an equal of the British officer”
– Lord Kitchener

"The Indians were 'packed together so that one bullet would drive through three or four bodies'; the people 'ran madly this way and the other. When fire was directed upon the centre, they ran to the sides. The fire was then directed to the sides. Many threw themselves down on the ground, and the fire was then directed on the ground. This was continued for eight or ten minutes, and it stopped only when the ammunition had reached the point of exhaustion“
- Winston Churchill describing reports of the Amritsar Massacre
Describe how an Indian would react to these feelings and actions of the British imperialists in India.

The Words of Mohandas Gandhi

“It is non-violence only when we love those that hate us. I know how difficult it is to follow this grand Law of Love…Love of the hater is the most difficult of all. But, by the grace of God, even this most difficult thing becomes easy to accomplish if we want to do it.”

“Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.”

?“Nonviolence is a weapon of the strong.”

?“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”

?“Nonviolence is not to be used ever as the shield of the coward. It is the weapon of the brave.”
Using your skills of contextualization, make an argument that many Indians would have a hard time following Gandhi’s message after the words and actions of the British imperialists.

While many Indians would not want to follow a doctrine of non-violence, identify some aspects of Gandhi’s message that would appeal to some Indians at this time in their history.

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