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 Blooming Stars

Civil Resistance of Gandhiji

            Hartals and Strikes – 4 Mohandas Gandhi effectively developed hartals and strikes as practical applications of his powerful concept of civil resistance through Satyagraha (soul-force) to fight the gross injustices and violations of human rights perpetrated on Indian laborers by the British officials in South Africa. Later on reading Henry Thoreau’s essay on civil disobedience he thought his Satyagraha was better described by Thoreau’s civil disobedience than by civil resistance. When after many years he was invited to lead the national struggle for independence in India from the yoke of British colonialism, he fine-tuned hartals, and fashioned after his own unique and rigorous sadhana (ascetic spiritual practices). He foresaw the massive exploitation of hard-working laborers by greedy, self-seeking, and unprincipled politicians for their own selfish interests and hidden agenda in the name of legitimate grievances, violation of human rights, and injustice. It is also important to note that these megalomaniac politicians are truly cowards as they, in the comfort of luxurious settings surrounded by a bunch of goondas (hoodlums) as their bodyguards, incite the unthinking laborers who alone get into the harsh consequences of their own orgy of senseless and purposeless violence.

            Gandhiji considered this to be Duragraha (evil-force). In his journal, Young India, of 1924 he named Politics without Principles as the first of Seven Social Sins or Evils. He established stringent conditions and norms for those who lead and embark on hartals and strikes as he foresaw abuse of these powerful tools and wrote about it in the Young India of 1920. Definitely capital is helpless without labor. No capital can stop labor when it wakes up from its slumber like a giant, and becomes aware of its rights. Then capital will not be able to ride on the back of labor. Interestingly today, September 3, 2012, the first Monday in September, marking the end of Summer and the beginning of the school year, as I drive from Boston to New York, the whole of the USA is celebrating labor day being little aware that the foundation of this nation was built on the sweat and blood slave labor of the African Americans and the decimated, contained, horrendous, rooted-out, and re-settled Native Americans (known as Red Indians in India) in reservations. Labor aware of its rights does not want to self-destruct running amok like a mad elephant led by blind politicians without principles. Gandhiji wrote in the Young India of 1932 that labor instead of sterilizing capital often fails by seizing capital and becoming the worst kind of capitalists themselves. Politicians coming out of abject poverty have become filthy rich in Idukki district and other parts of Kerala (India) riding on the back of labor unions engage quotation teams (hired hoodlums) to do their sinister jobs, and to maintain their privileged status. (To be continued).

 

     
 
 
 
 
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