Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Assignment on Rhetoric - Shruthi, II BA English

Shruthi, M.T, writes..:

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi:

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi or Mahatma Gandhi, The Father of our Nation was one of the greatest leaders and greatest speakers. His speeches were strong enough to inspire the nation and imply the importance and strength of non-violence. He lived a life, holding out to his principles of truth, non-violence, simplicity, faith and vegetarianism. He sets out an example to the world with his life.

The Quit India speech was made by Gandhi on August 8th, 1942, on the eve of the Quit India Movement. He called for determined, but passive resistance the signified the certitude that Gandhi foresaw for the movement is best described by his call to Do or Die. His speech was issued at the Gowalia Tank Maidan in Bombay, since re-named August Kranti Maidan (August Revolution Ground). However, almost the entire Congress leadership, and not merely at the national level, was put into confinement less than twenty-four hours after Gandhi’s speech, and the greater number of the Congress leaders were to spend the rest of the war in jail.

Rhetorics or oratory may be simply defineds as speaking. Gandhi’s Quit India Movement speech is a good example of Good rhetorics. The speech is strong enough to appeal to the logical, ethical and emotional sense. Gandhi was able to impart his thoughts, beliefs and something of his own personality through the speech. Even while doing this, we see that his tone is humble. His daily habits of reading, conversation and literary instinct are reflected in his speech. His great knowledge, experiences and feeling can be seen in his speech. His style appeals to all and is not confined to any particular class of people. That’s a very important point in rhetorics. The language should be easily understood by all. Gandhi’s language has the capacity to captivate his readers and get them to absorb what he’s trying to convey. Gandhi has invented a style to represent himself. He was able to present his ideas and convictions fully and naturally, without disadvantage from an imperfect medium of communication. He is perfectly fluent and natural in conversation. His power over expression has been developed by culture and his words are a spontaneous reflection of his mind’s working.

It is important for a good speaker to choose his words carefully. He should take care, patience and minuteness in the study and choice of words. In this speech, we can see that Gandhi has taken great care in the words he chose to speak. He was able to convey and impress his ideas and yet not leave his humbleness. He has spoken the words with exactness and used language to impart his thoughts rightly.

Gandhi was able to impart the value of non-violence. He taught people to fight Himsa (Violence) with Ahimsa (Non-violence). He could make people believe that Ahimsa was more powerful than Himsa and always had better results. The power of his speech was thus, that people could accept all this and do accordingly. It was not simply, that Mahatma Gandhi’s speeches are described as motivational, persuasive and inspirational speeches.


The Quite India Movement (Bharat Chhodo Andolan, August Kranti) was the final call, the definitive organized movement of civil disobedience for immediate independence of India from British rule issued by Mahatma Gandhi on August 8, 1942 and made famous by his slogan Do or Die. Unlike the other Gandhi-led movements, Quit India was more controversial, and specifically designed to obtain the exit of the British from the Indian shores.

In 1942, Indians were divided over World War II, as the British had unilaterally and without consultation entered India into the war. Some wanted to support the British during the Battle of Britain, hoping for eventual independence through this support. Others were enraged by the British disregard for Indian intelligence and civil rights and were unsympathetic to the travails of the British people, which they saw as rightful revenge for the enslavement of Indians.

On August 8, 1942 the Quit India resolution was passed at the Bombay session of the All India Congress Committee (AICC). At Gowalia Tank, Bombay, Gandhi urged Indians to follow a non-violent civil disobedience. Gandhi told the masses to act as an independent nation and not to follow the orders of the British. Hundreds of thousands of people all over the country responded to the call. Many thousands of revolutionaries who employed violent means were outside the Congress rallied to the call of their non-violent resister brothers and sisters.

Though the revolt shook the foundations of British rule, its forceful and quick suppression did reduce the force of the revolt. By early 1944, India was mostly peaceful again, while the entire Congress leadership was incarcerated. But, the movement in fact had succeeded. The war had sapped a lot of economic, political and military life-blood of the Empire, but the powerful Indian resistance had shattered the spirit and will of the British government, and had made it clear that after the war, even a greater, larger movement would be launched an would succeed, as no excuse or distraction from the issue would remain.

A young, new generation of nationalists had heeded Mahatma Gandhi’s call, suffered trials and tribulations in an extremely critical time, and came out victorious. Being “Quit India graduates,” was a matter of great prestige, the Congress Party had sown the seeds here of a new generation of nationalists who would become the first generation of independent Indians Quit India graduates used to great discipline and spirit they imbibed to brave the tragedy and travails of the Partition of India, and establishing a Constitution of the Republic and developing the strongest enduring tradition of democracy and freedom in post-colonial Africa and Asia, giving birth to the World’s Largest Democracy.

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