In his essay, Thoreau observes that only a very few people — heroes, martyrs, patriots, reformers in the best sense — serve their society with their consciences, and so necessarily resist society for the most part, and are commonly treated by it as enemies. Thoreau, for his part, spent time in jail for his protest. Many after him have proudly identified their protests as acts of civil disobedience and have been treated by their societies — sometimes temporarily, sometimes indefinitely — as its enemies. The ultimate impact of more recent acts of civil disobedience — anti-abortion trespass demonstrations or acts of disobedience taken as part of the environmental movement and animal rights movement — remains to be seen.
Gandhi and Civil Disobedience Mohandas K. Wikimedia Commons Mohandas K. Gandhi, often referred to as Mahatma, the Great Soul, was born into a Hindu merchant family in He was heavily influenced by the Hinduism and Jainism of his devoutly religious mother.
She impressed on him beliefs in non-violence, vegetarianism, fasting for purification, and respect for all religions. InGandhi sailed to England and studied to become a lawyer. His first job for an Indian company required that he move to South Africa. The ruling white Boers descendants of Dutch Civil disobedience influence discriminated against all people of color.
When railroad officials made Gandhi sit in a third-class coach even though he had purchased a first-class ticket, Gandhi refused and police forced him off the train.
This event changed his life. When the Boer legislature passed a law requiring that all Indians register with the police and be fingerprinted, Gandhi, along with many other Indians, refused to obey the law. He was arrested and put in jail, the first of many times he would be imprisoned for disobeying what he believed to be unjust laws.
Following his release, he continued to protest the registration law by supporting labor strikes and organizing a massive non-violent march. Finally, the Boer government agreed to end the most objectionable parts of the registration law.
After 20 years in South Africa, Gandhi went home to India in When Gandhi returned, he was already a hero. Gandhi devoted the rest of his life struggling against what he considered three great evils afflicting India. One was British rule, which Gandhi believed impoverished the Indian people.
The second evil was Hindu-Muslim disunity caused by years of religious hatred. When it did not happen, Gandhi called for strikes and other acts of peaceful civil disobedience. The British sometimes struck back with violence, but Gandhi insisted Indians remain non-violent.
But as the movement spread, Indians started rioting in some places. Gandhi called for order and canceled protests. He drew heavy criticism from fellow nationalists, but Gandhi would only lead a non-violent movement. Gandhi was jailed many times.
When India finally gained independence, the problem became how Hindus and Muslims would share power. Distrust spilled over into violence. Gandhi spoke out for peace and forgiveness. He opposed dividing the country into Hindu and Muslim nations, believing in one unified India.
In MayBritish, Hindu, and Muslim political leaders, but not Gandhi, reached an agreement for independence that created a Hindu-dominated India and a Muslim Pakistan. As Independence Day August 15, approached, an explosion of Hindu and Muslim looting, rape, and murder erupted throughout the land.
Millions of Hindus and Muslims fled their homes, crossing the borders into India or Pakistan. An old man, he weakened rapidly, but he did not break his fast until Hindu and Muslim leaders came to him pledging peace.
Days later, an assassin shot and killed Gandhi. The assassin was a Hindu who believed Gandhi had sold out to the Muslims. Gandhi and others like Martin Luther King Jr. The Story of My Experiments with Truth.One of the most significant and tangible effects India has had on life in the United States was Mahatma Gandhi’s influence on the Civil Rights leader, Martin Luther King, who adapted Gandhi’s idea of civil disobedience to the civil rights movement in the United States.
Civil Disobedience Civil disobedience is defined as the refusal to obey certain laws or governmental demands for the purpose of influencing legislation or government policy. It is characterized by the employment of nonviolent techniques such as boycotting, picketing, and nonpayment of taxes.
1. Definitions. The term ‘civil disobedience’ was coined by Henry David Thoreau in his essay to describe his refusal to pay the state poll tax implemented by the American government to prosecute a war in Mexico and to enforce the Fugitive Slave Law.
Civil disobedience has been a major tactic and philosophy of nationalist movements in Africa and India, in the American civil rights movement, and of labour, anti-war, and other social movements in . Civil Disobedience enjoyed widespread influence, both in the United States and abroad. Most famously, the work inspired Russia's Leo Tolstoy and India's Mahatma Gandhi.
Later, it lent force to the American Civil Rights Movement. Thoreau's essay Civil Disobedience, originally titled "Resistance to Civil Government", has had a wide influence on many later practitioners of civil disobedience.
The driving idea behind the essay is that citizens are morally responsible for their support of aggressors, .