American Rhetoric: Movie Speech

"Gandhi" (1982)

 

Mahandas K. Gandhi Tells British Authorities To Leave India

Audio mp3 delivered principally by Ben Kingsley

Lord Chelmsford: Forgive me, gentlemen, but you must understand that His Majesty's government and the British people repudiate both the massacre and the philosophy that prompted it. Now, what I would like to do is to come to some compromise over the new civil legis --

Gandhi: If you will excuse me, Your Excellency, it is our view that matters have gone beyond legislation. We think it is time you recognized that you are masters in someone else's home. Despite the best intentions of the best of you, you must, in the nature of things, humiliate us to control us. General Dyer is but an extreme example of the principle. It is time you left.

Kinnoch: With respect, Mr. Gandhi, without British administration, this country would be reduced to chaos.

Gandhi: Mr. Kinnoch, I beg you to accept that there is no people on earth who would not prefer their own bad government to the good government of an alien power.

British Officer #1: Oh, my dear sir, India is British. We're hardly an alien power.

Lord Chelmsford: Mr. Gandhi, even if His Majesty could wave all other considerations, he has a duty to the millions of his Muslim subjects who are a minority in this realm. And experience suggests that his troops and his administration are essential in order to secure the peace.

Gandhi: All nations contain religious minorities. Like other countries, ours will have its problems. But they will be ours -- not yours.

British Officer #2: How do you propose to make them yours? You don't think we're just going to walk out of India?

Gandhi: Yes. In the end, you will walk out, because 100,000 Englishmen simply cannot control 350,000,000 Indians if those Indians refuse to cooperate. And that is what we intend to achieve: peaceful, nonviolent, non-cooperation -- till you, yourselves, see the wisdom of leaving, Your Excellency.

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HTML transcription by Michael E. Eidenmuller.