NO PREVIOUS century in the long and eventful history of the Indian sub-continent has witnessed such dynamic change in the political, social and economic life of the people as the century that opened with Gandhi's birth and has now drawn to its close. When he was born the British rule had been firmly established in India. The uprising of 1857, variously called the Sepoy Mutiny, the Great Rebellion, or the First War of Independence, had merely served to consolidate a commercial adventure into an empire. The subjection was not merely political. It was so effectively reinforced by intellectual and cultural domination that the new generation of educated Indians was eager to subject themselves to its 'civilizing mission'. No subjection is so absolute as that which is willingly offered. No chains bind so hard as those which are hugged. So complete was the tutelage and so servile the surrender that it seemed that the British Empire in India was divinely ordained and had come to stay.
When Gandhi died, it was as a free nation that India mourned the loss. The dispossessed had recovered the lost heritage and the dumb had found a voice. Those who had shrunk in fear could now hold their heads high. The disarmed had forged a weapon against which the British bayonet was powerless. It was a weapon unique in the world's armory. It could win without killing.
The story of this miracle is also the story of Gandhi's life, for he more than any other individual was the architect as well as engineer of this historic phenomenon. It is not for nothing that his grateful countrymen have called him the Father of the Nation.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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