I think that ‘successful’ is hard to define when it comes to any aim, and that it is healthy to be modest about one’s ability to anticipate and control outcomes even if, or especially if one is followed by many. Own one’s actions and intentions, not the outcomes. That being said, I think that rather than rationalizing one’s purpose is so pure that lack of desired response is an affirmation of one’s purity and that one is more righteous and will get some mystical reward, it’s more healthy and ethical to ask how one can learn an improve intended outcomes for oneself and others. Self discipline can be its own reward, and can build ‘muscles’ and produce insights that will be effective down the road I guess? Lots to balance!

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In Gandhi's case, this was the third (and final) 21-day fast of his life. He'd been incarcerated for the first two, and both times the British had released him unconditionally rather than risk his death in their custody. He must have had some hope that they would do so again, but Prime Minister Winston Churchill absolutely refused to consider the idea, even when the Roosevelt administration suggested it.

Biographer Arthur Herman says that Gandhi's fast made Churchill "callously indifferent" to the 1943 famine in Bengal, which claimed millions of lives. One has to wonder if Gandhi had died in custody, international outrage would have forced Churchill to send relief instead of continuing to export rice for the military.

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