Maybe the British did leave India only because their economic backbone was broken in World War 2. Maybe the mass movement of millions of non-violent protesters and the sensational aspects of such a movement being possible were really of no consequence to our exploiters and to the fawning media from around the world. I don't really care and neither do I care to investigate because whatever may be the historical facts, there are some things on which there can be no argument.
We did not violate our oppressor's women as a way of payback, dance around their decapitated bodies celebrating our victory and laugh about how many lives were taken by each of our 'heroes' singlehandedly. We did not succumb to the madness of the blood-lust and rapacious destruction that is inevitable at the end of every other form of revolution, nor did we under the guise of patriotism engage in every kind of activity that satisfied our baser instincts. The world stood agape at the strength of our hearts and our unwavering faith in the humanity that is present in us all. There were other great men from India who took up the fight in a more conventional way, gouging eye-for-an-eye. They too could've brought the Brits to their knees. But the way their end came shall be remembered in the halls of history forever and it put India up on a pedestal it was always worthy of. All thanks to a wiry, little man who managed to charm the heart of an entire nation into doing the impossible.
I can only laugh at the ignorance of those who call him a coward and an impractical man. He showed us the path to evolution, the inevitable next step for all of us humans. There is nothing more practical than truth (it simplifies everything to an unimaginable extent) and nothing more courageous than pro-active non-violence (two wrongs do not a right make). It's a very very unfair world out there so only the bravest can proceed on this path, but success is assured for those who make the journey. And it is the only kind of victory that brings true peace of mind and happiness to both the warring parties.
I disagree with a lot of Gandhiji's views especially on abstention and industrialization (Not to say that I am anyone special and my opinion on either of those topics is of any consequence. NO, NOT AT ALL). But even with the quaintness of some of his views and the inherent difficulties in living out his ideals, I can say this without any hesitation. Greatest man to have ever walked this earth? Yes, for sure. Greatest man who will ever walk this earth? Very likely!