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Mahatma Gandhi directed his speech, “Quit India”, toward an Indian population that was plagued by British tyranny. Gandhi spoke to all groups of individuals, although he directly addressed the Hindus and Muslims. At the time of the speech, there were many critical conflicts between the two religious groups. Differences in beliefs and values catalyzed the growth of the hatred. Gandhi wanted peace and unity among these groups in order to face the British. The Hindus and Muslims finally started to cooperate with each other because they realized that they were working together as Indians for a bigger cause, not as their respective groups.
Throughout India, Gandhi promoted his values of peace and nonviolence not only with the British, but within these two religious groups as well. Gandhi’s status as a highly educated man made him a trustworthy figure in the community. Gandhi encouraged his people to follow him in his values of nonviolence as a stand to fight for their freedom (n.
pag.). To advance peace, Gandhi constructed a persuading ethos, pathos, and logos through cautious utilization of an abundance of rhetorical strategies.
Gandhi employed pathos to persuade the audience to find peace with each other. There had been much dispute between Hindus and Muslims for decades, but he tried to give them a reason to cooperate with each other. For example, Gandhi said, “Once you realize this you will forget the differences between the Hindus and Muslims, and think of yourselves as Indians only, engaged in the common struggle for independence” (n.
pag.). Gandhi tried to touch on their innermost feelings of anger, emptiness, loss, etc. and spark their fears of losing their country. Toward the beginning of his speech, Gandhi illustrated the earth in ruin and used vivid imagery to present the mass destruction created by violence (n. pag.). “If in the present crisis, when the earth is being scorched by the flames of Himsa and crying for deliverance, I failed to make use of the God given talent, God will not forgive me and I shall be judged unwrongly of the great gift” (Gandhi). Gandhi’s usage of imagery, “scorched by the flames,” served to worry the audience about the true nature of the problem presented by the British (n. pag.). He personified the earth as “crying” to provide a hostile effect of violence and also to reflect on to the similar levels of human suffering within India (n. pag.). Looking at the quotes mentioned in the paragraph, there is a clear contrast between their central ideas. At first, Gandhi directly appeals to his audience’s emotions by touching on senses of unity and pride. Furthermore, the quote of Himsa used more of a negative emotional appeal by striking fear in the audience to persuade them to compromise for a greater cause. Gandhi effectively used his speech to portray pathos by engaging with the audience as well as using extravagant diction.
Credibility is something formed over time and Mahatma Gandhi gained this through his actions during the British tyranny. Gandhi embedded ethos into his speech through repetition and multiple religious implications. For example he stated, “God has vouchsafed to me a priceless gift in the weapon of Ahimsa. I and my Ahimsa are on our trail today.” He referenced to God providing him with sanction as well as a mission to help others (n. pag.). This added to his credibility because the population he addressed, specifically his audience, was very religious. Adding “God” into the speech made him credible in the eyes of those who valued religious beliefs as well as portrayed him as a holy man to both Hindus and Muslims. He states ethos in the quote, “I am the same Gandhi as I was in 1920. I have not changed in any fundamental respect. I attach the same importance to nonviolence that I did then. If at all, my emphasis on it has grown stronger” (n. pag.). The point made signified how he had not changed and remains the same “common man” as he was before he became a historical figure. A noteworthy portion of the quote comes in his comparison because it speaks to how he values everything similarly as others and the audience may be able to relate to him as someone who is fighting for freedom. Gandhi was more focused on strengthening his beliefs as well as reinforcing their importance. Gandhi presents values that he is passionate about and that adds to his appeal as a leader as his followers can find similar traits with him.
Logical claims may be supported by statistics and other types of quantitative date, but logic does not necessarily have to come from those things. Logos is the last standing rhetorical technique that Gandhi uses to influence Indians towards nonviolence and more passive resistance. Gandhi used his logical reasoning to express his concerns on the correction of violence as well as his deductive reasoning skills. In the first few paragraphs, Gandhi attempted to persuade the audience that the Ahimsa, or peace, was the greatest asset that an individual had. The following quote,” The draft resolution of the Working Committee is based on Ahimsa, the contemplated struggle similarly has its roots in Ahimsa. If, therefore, there is any among you who has lost faith in Ahimsa or is wearied of it, let him not vote for this resolution,” spoke to the foundation of their cause being from peace (Gandhi). The foundation of the resolution proved to be a conflict, due to a portion of the population wanting to lash out towards the British for their ruling. Gandhi built his argument on peace being a universal solution. (n. pag.). Gandhi provided an out to those that do not believe in peaceful reform. Mahatma Gandhi’s use of logic allowed him to promote his values of nonviolence and show how effective it could be.
In Gandhi’s “Quit India” speech, he gained the trust from his audience through a particularly refined ethos, pathos, and logos. As a result, he inspired the audience to find a nonviolent path to equality and in extension their freedom. Gandhi cautiously used rhetorical devices/techniques throughout his speech. His demands for the beliefs of nonviolence and equality sparked many similar civil rights movements around the world. Today, his words still find the same influence as they did in the 1900s and ultimately those words shaped an ideal state for the country of India.
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