It's a common missinterpretation that Ghandi-like approaches, Mahātmā (Maha Atma, "great Ego, great selfishness"), of kind of passive aggressivism goes allong with the good teachings of the Buddha.
For a large he used affliction to "force" people, like with his well known extortion by hunger strike. It's merely unattentive to put exortions and alike under non-violent. Non-violence has it's root in the mind, has being impotent (for becoming and desire) as case. When one acts with big desire, big potence, yet cover one self with the cloak of non-violence one might become the hero of fools, playing with their affections.
Another outwardly indication, as a result if one has rightly developed metta one might prove:
One sleeps easily, wakes easily, dreams no evil dreams. One is dear to human beings, dear to non-human beings. The devas protect one. Neither fire, poison, nor weapons can touch one. One's mind gains concentration quickly. One's complexion is bright. One dies unconfused and — if penetrating no higher — is headed for the Brahma worlds.
Those common views, that "non-violent" aggression and actions of politic and "manipulation", yet most for an opinion, one side, and in opposition, are merely a notion of secular approaches and in Mahayana spheres often accepted "doing evil for a good", which is common tolerated by normal people, given the titel "hero" to one taking side.
There are NO of such "heros" who had not caused a mass on suffering, and if we think on what Maha-Atmas approach caused on wars and death in the following, to what has been giving rise to ripe, it's merely the observation of blind to gratify such as good.
Virtue which is not based on right view can not be real virtue but falls for the most into the frame of just another hypocrisy.
So in this regard it's possible better (althought aggressive as well) to listen more on such as Oshos statements on heros, like Ghandi (not, it's merely vulgar speech or better provoking)
As for the Buddha and his Dhamma, uprooting the flag, the potence, as well as giving up holding to being, becoming and birth (and its effect death) clearly contradicts not only the words but also the conduct of what ever might cover himself with non-violence, yet still on a fight and after win in the world and outwardly.
In somehow it seems in this way merely like a selfreflection, this quote, by him.
Opposing ones leader, father and mother, contemplatives, disrespect toward them, even if covert in "non-violence", leads to violence and to the other extrem on the same coin.
The Pema, love-sutta might explain it well.
It shows the four kind of tools to win fools in politic in detail:
These four things are born. Which four? Affection is born of affection. Aversion is born of affection. Affection is born of aversion. Aversion is born of aversion....
and the notions in levels of having become really non-violent, with the attributs of the Arahat at last:
"And how does a monk not burn? There is the case where a monk's conceit of 'I am' is abandoned, its root destroyed, made like a palmyra stump, deprived of the conditions of development, not destined for future arising. This is how a monk doesn't burn."
To be outardly potent and give birth and becoming, is not the noble intent seen within the Noble Ones, but to uproot and destry the Linga at its root, cut it of, for oneself.
Jesus-like self-sacrify, martyr of all kind, the wise and the Dhamma does not see as prais worthy but merely as "impotence" to be winner over one self and have failed to even trace the cause of suffering in ones own heart.
Understanding the quote in this way in regard of potence, than it fits to the Dhamma, for one who ignores the real enemy within one self, fighting outwardly, has put a cloak of ignorance, with favoring colors above ones ability (potence) to get a real hero.
So to rephrase:
"It is better to accept anatta, if there is mahatma in our hearts, than to put on the cloak of anatta to cover incapacity (to uproot it). Mahatma is any day preferable to incapacity. There is hope for a Mahatma man to realice Anatta. There is no such hope for those incapable to see, those without faith in the path, those not after cutting of Mahatma."
[Note: This is a gift of Dhamma, not meant for commercial use or other lower wordily gains by ways of exchange or trade]