Indian Independence

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Source: The Proudest Day: India’s Long Road to Independence by Anthony Read and David Fisher Excerpt: “Satyagraha….was more than passive resistance. Indeed, Gandhi claimed it was not passive but active. He described it as either ‘soul force’ or ‘truth force’; ‘the method of securing rights by personal suffering; it is the reverse of resistance by arms’…..In 1906, Transvaal government introduced a bill designed to clear Indians out of the colony by stopping immigration and harassing those already there…The Indians objected strongly. Led by Gandhi, they embarked on a peaceful protest, closing their shops in a hartal, organizing petitions, pickets and representations.” (148-149) Paraphrase: Satyagraha, the insistence on truth, is a philosophy and practice associated with a nonviolent resistance. Gandhi developed Satyagraha as the practical extension of ahimsa and love; it meant standing firmly behind one’s ideals, but without hatred. Satyagraha took the form of public disobedience and non-cooperation with evil. Ahimsa is the foundation of Satyagraha, the "complex minimum" to which Satyagraha adheres to. Ahimsa is the practice of nonviolence. When the bill to clear Indians, was introduced, many Indians decided to follow Gandhi and his peaceful ways. Along with Gandhi, the Indians closed their shops and went on “hartals” or strikes and protested peacefully using the ahimsa tactic. Using the Ahimsa tactic was the expression of the deepest love for all humans, including one’s enemy. Gandhi organized a nation-wide Satyagraha which used non-cooperation techniques such as boycotting British products, refusing to work for British employers, pulling one’s children out of British schools, refusing to supply the British with services, and not paying taxes. Historical Background: The Indian Independence Movement began in 1857, and lasted until 1947. Before the beginning of the movement, India had never known political freedom. Foreign rulers had occupied the country for...
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