Communication Arts 470 Rhetoric of Modern Democratic Revolutions Week 4 ? Lecture Notes February 10th, 2009 - - Mahatma Gandhi: Satyagraha, South Africa & the ?Black Act? Introduction Question: How does Gandhi?s understanding of, and approach to, British colonialism change from his time in South Africa to the successful conclusion of India?s fight for independence? From Rizal to Gandhi Rizal took a position of fighting for reform instead of fighting for revolution, more specifically fighting for independence All revolutions come from reform movements Condemns revolutionary violence and terror showing further than he rejected armed revolution Also knew that a nation was an inevitability; by the time of his death an armed revolution was already mobilized Does not offer any ideas or plans about non-violence Rizal?s basic principle: even with your own death you can defeat a state?s violence Does not celebrate violence, but is not afraid of the violence directed at him In his own death, he refuses to die face down Gandhi picks up where Rizal leaves off, becoming his intellectual successor Conceives the idea of using non-violence to defeat empires Mohandas Gandhi: Brief Bio 1869-11948 First employed civil obedience using non-violence in South Africa Born into a wealthy family in the Modh Baniyas (merchant class), father served as Prime Minister; family was deeply loyal to the British Conspired with his cousin to protest their lack of independence as children by threatening suicide Was taught religious tolerance and ahimsa (Sanskrit: code of conduct; literally, ?avoidance of violence,? but in practice much broader) Religious background: Hinduism, Islam, and Jainism Truth was his sole objective ?Guiding principle? became the Gujarat precept: ?Return good for evil? First trip to England in 1888 Defies the dictates of his caste by living abroad while also abstaining form wine, women and meat Caste expelled him and his voyage caused controversy and a division amongst his caste Passed the bar in 1891; upon return to India realized he did not have enough knowledge of Indian law to practice Tried to become an English gentleman First trip to South Africa 1893 Practiced law with a Muslim firm In South Africa, not England or India, Gandhi ?obtained full experience of the conditions of Indians? under colonialism (including race-based codes and hierarchies) Was forced to go to 3rd class due to pre-apartheid discrimination, has trouble getting hotel rooms, issues with courts Why South Africa rather than India? India: indirect rule via the British East India Company and via relationships with the Maharajas More direct rule from 1858, but still only over parts of India Though elaborate caste system in India, no open, systemic discrimination against all people of specific ethnicity or skin color, as in South Africa and the US Colonial rule and its repressive aspects in South Africa, by contrast, more visible, showing colonialism to be not just a system of administration and tax collection, but also the outward realization of an underlying belief system based on assumptions about hierarchy and competence All of European colonization lived on this principle Gandhi?s recognition of this belief system as more intransigent as a barrier to reform, than i.e. bureaucratic or economic barriers Gandhi wanted Indians to demonstrate their worthiness to show their equal status with the British; better clothes, better sanitation, better English Satyagraha & It?s Precursors Gandhi?s third form of protest installs the ideals of non-violence Precursors to Satyagraha from Hardiman reading: Humiliation, dhanduk, Rajastan sit-ins, migration (hirat), moral pressure/social shame from self-inflicted suffering Ahimsa: code of conduct; literally, ?avoidance of violence,? but in practice much broader Foundational religious tenet of Hinduism and Buddhism that bars the killing or injury of living beings ?Guiding principle? became the Gujarat precept: ?return good for evil? These earlier forms effective in their own communities, but later, British colonials redefine ?legitimate protest? Satyagraha (from 2 words) Satya (truth) and agraha (great enthusiasm and interest) Gandhi?s Definition describes Satyagraha as ?force which is born of truth and love or non-violence?; but common misconceptions on how use of this force works British found self-inflicted suffering to be black mail and banned it from use This caused the recreation and changing of types of reform and practice of revolution Found that non-violence was a powerful force, more effective than violence Sublime forgiveness Creative Confrontation Create a confrontation or situation that cannot be ignored As a result you may/will/want to face violence, but you must maintain code of non-violence as a standard of moral authority Non-violence is not a passive resistance South Africa: Resistance to the ?Black Act? First fight over Indian Francise Bill in Natal: launches Natal Indian Congress 1907: Asiatic Registration Law Mandated registration and fingerprinting of all Indians in South Africa Gave police the power to enter Indian houses at will to enforce compliance Gandhi called fellow leaders and Indians to resist and protest the new law Public meeting (1907) to organize protest Plan Gandhi lays out: Participants must never yield a cowardly submission to the degrading legislation, regardless of the consequences Warning to signatories of oath/resolution; sticking to the plan might lead to physical abuse, confiscation of land, death Taking the oath was more serious than regular resolutions; it is a grave resolution and their very existence depends on it Resolutions of this nature cannot be passed by a majority vote; only those who pledge to it Emphasis: the ultimate success of the struggle as independent of the number who persevere Eventual protests involved: Picketing, burning registration cards, willing accepting arrest and police harassment Prices people paid: Thousands of Indians went to jail, even Gandhi Many were shot, but government still had problems using violence and arrest to repress the protests Final Outcome Connection to forms of resistance? Took 7 years to bear results Public outcry and peaceful protest finally forced the government to negotiate a compromise with Gandhi First non-violent, unarmed, protest February 12th, 2009 - - Gandhi and Revolutionary Nonviolence: The Non-Cooperation Movement & the 1930 Salt March Introduction Question: Why does non-violent resistance work, and why are there cases where it does not? Passive in place of or with non-violence is misleading If you are going to use this form of protest, must find a way that gives you leverage If they can kill you, ignore you, or put you in jail with impunity (without consequences or escalating consequences) then you do not have leverage Are you winning a war or are you winning an argument? Overview of India?s Independence Movement Goes back before Gandhi, incorporating regional and national campaigns Included military and violent methods End of WWI, Gandhi?s movement was growing and the Indian National Congress began to adopt his policies of civil disobedience and nonviolent agitation Began with his return to India in 1915 Organized peasants, farmers, urban workers; emphasis on lower caste backgrounds to protest discrimination and excessive taxes Making the Invisible Visible (Realities of British Rule) South Africa revealed the systemic nature of the inequalities and exploitative arrangements in British colonial laws Disadvantaged and degraded Indian colonial subjects Laws were nearly invisible because of the small present of the British administration as well as the role of the maharajahs by insolating Indians from direct contact to the British state Maharajahs were loyal to the British and profited greatly from the relationship Maharajahs collected heavy taxes and forced cheap labor; took a cut from the revenue while being backed up by the British to quell resistance Took a toll on the common Indians; Gandhi saw that to challenge the system he would first have to make the hidden realities visible A formal protest that confronted the maharajahs would just cause more issues; need to actual show the influence of the British hand and force the British state into a direct confrontation Had to find a part of the economy controlled directly by the British, and defy a law made by the British (Salt March) The Rowlatt Act of 1919 First nationwide movement of nonviolent resistance and civil disobedience in India: to get the Rowlatt Act appealed Followed a depression and rising inflation, British then impose heavy taxes Drafted by new ?Sedition Committee,? chaired by the English judge, Sydney Rowlatt Gave the British government powers to quell sedition, such as the power to: Silence the press Detain activists without trial Make arrests without a warrant Deny Indians the right to a fair trial Put India under martial law and sparked massive outrage Mass protests led to the Amristar Massacre of April 1919 (also called Jallianwala Bagh Massacre) led by Brigadier-General Reginald Dyer Vivid manifestation of the brutality of British forces in the face of nonviolent protests, exposing the possibility of British reaction Dyer ordered soldiers to open fire on an unarmed gathering women, children, men, even those running away 1,000 dead and 2,000 wounded Dyer expressed no remorse and some in the British government applauded his actions, while others like Churchill condemned him; caused international outrage causing Dyer to be censured Catalyst that launched a new phase of the Indian Independence Movement Exposure of the brutality of the British empire Gandhi called for a protest, starting the Non-Cooperation Movement The Non-Cooperation Movement Gandhi?s larger agenda: equal rights, full democratic citizenship for all Indians What was the Non-Cooperation Movement? The first nationwide movement of nonviolent resistance and civil disobedience in India Aimed at forcing the repeal of the Rowlatt Act Actions by movement supporters included: Shutting down offices and factories Taking children out of British sponsored schools Withdrawing from British military Withdrawing from the practice of law in British courts Boycotting public transportation, the buying of British clothes Outcome Paralyzed much of English leverage Key Principle: the goals and methods of social/political movements determine the form and character of their outcome The Rowlatt Act (1919) The Amritsar Massacre (1919) The violence at Chauri Chaura Gandhi?s halt to the Non-Cooperation Movement Gandhi calls for halt to Non-Cooperation Movement after the Chauri Chaura incident, why? Police shot 3 protestors and rest of the protestors trapped 22 officers in town hall and burned it down Gandhi was soon arrested for sedition and sent to jail for two years Many followers felt betrayed by the halt since the Rowlatt Act was about to be repealed ?If the means employed are impure the change will not be in the direction of progress, but very likely in the opposite. Only a change brought about in our political condition by pure means can leach a real progress.? Halt was called once protestors engaged in brutal violence; set back was actually the violence itself The 1930 Salt March (Dandi March) Prior elite-led movements (i.e., led by high-caste Indians and British colonial officers) some success in gaining concessions to stave off larger eruption of dissent Had used practical moral arguments Contrast: Gandhi had a larger agenda: Did not want token reforms or concessions, but equal rights for all citizens Economic advantages for colonizers and Maharajas as barrier to equal rights, equal citizenship Salt monopoly and salt tax 1882: British declared a monopoly on the collection and manufacturing of salt, forcing Indians to purchase from the British and pay a tax Substantial share of British and Maharajah revenue Salt March to defy the Salt Act (10s of millions join) Brought world?s attention to India?s fight for independence Challenge to a revenue base of the British system and provoked confrontation Gandhi chose to organize mass defiance of the Salt Act for several reasons: The salt tax was a deeply symbolic choice, since salt was used by nearly everyone in India It represented nearly a tenth of the British Raj tax revenue It hurt the poorest Indians the most, and would make the larger non-violent reform movement meaningful to Indians down to the lowest levels Similarly, protesting the tax would build unity between Hindus and Muslims both angered by a tax that affected them equally Perhaps most importantly, however, mass defiance of the tax would force the British to get involved directly rather than contract suppression out to the Maharajahs, who were not really affected by the defiance Gandhi arrested after organizing the next Satyagraha action: a raid on the Dharasana Salt works 80,000+ others went to jail as salt tax movement continued for almost a year The Impact of the Salt Tax Movement and larger Satyagraha Movement Brought world?s attention to India?s fight for independence Nationalists won concessions from the British The Government of India Act of 1935 Modern States and the Impact of Nonviolent vs. Violent Opposition Contrast to impact of violent forms of opposition on modern states Nonviolent mobilization effective only in states that claim to conform to the ?rule of law?? Differences between high profile and relatively unknown reform leaders
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