“It is a fact beyond dispute that a petition, without the backing of force, is useless….A petition of an equal is a sign of courtesy; a petition from a slave is a symbol of his slavery. A petition backed by force is a petition from an equal and, when he transmits his demand in the form of a petition, it testifies to his nobility.”
Well, here, by force, Gandhi means, the capacity to say this: “If you do not concede our demand, we will be no longer your petitioners. You can govern us only so long as we remain the governed; we shall no longer have any dealings with you”.
I have myself signed tens of petitions in recent months, but do we have this “force” in us? And still we continue petitioning! YA BASTA!