Importance Of Civil Disobedience

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The Importance of Civil Disobedience
Civil disobedience allows people of a group or country to express their needs to a possibly controlling or blind authority through the means of a peaceful protest. Civil disobedience was a large part of Mohandas Gandhi’s life and helped him achieve India’s independence from Britain rule in 1947. Gandhi recognized racial oppression early in his life. As a young lawyer in South Africa, he began to experiment with civil disobedience as a tool for social justice. While imprisoned in South Africa, he read Henry D. Thoreau 's essay on civil disobedience and, upon his release, used those techniques to begin the process of social change in South Africa. Later he would employ those strategies on a larger scale
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He was known for promoting the idea of “satyagraha” which means the firmness of truth. One of his most profound, and well known achievements is the Salt March that happened in 1930. Tens of thousands of Indians walked almost 400 kilometres with Gandhi to produce salt from their sea waters to defy the British salt tax that exploited indians. The idea came from Gandhi and was underestimated by many people including his own comrades. The whole point of the salt march was to protest laws that the British created so that Indians were not allowed to produce or sell salt leading them to having to buy salt from Britain. “We were bewildered and could not fit in a national struggle with common salt,” remembers Jawaharlal Nehru, later India’s first prime minister (Andrews). It can be argued that the fact that it was underestimated enhanced the effect of the march and created a different outcome than if it was taken seriously by authorities. The act attracted the support of an exuberant amount of people and eventually led to the arrest of around 60 thousand Indians, including Gandhi himself. Although India did not gain independence from the salt march, it did gain the attention of the world about the British rule in India. The world was focused on western India where the salt march was happening. "Joy lies in the fight, in the attempt, in the suffering involved, not in the victory itself"…show more content…
Gandhi was a master of civil disobedience and helped gain the equality of many people through his principles. His experience in South Africa with social activism helped mold the foundation he needed in order to continue his path of gaining independence from the controlling British rule in India. Without it he may not have achieved the same impact on India as he did. Gandhi 's Salt March was a large step in gaining independence in India. It was also a precedence for countries who feel they have laws in place that are unjust. It shows that the people of a country can work together to defy laws that takes away a simple freedom such as collecting salt from their own ocean. Beyond Gandhi’s work, are the people in society that he influenced. His work was big enough to have an impact on people across the globe, and helped them begin civil rights movements of their own. Like the domino effect, Gandhi’s principles started in South Africa/India and then affected the entire world. In a world where governments are able to take away the dignity of a people, civil disobedience is something that must be used to defy the unjust governments and laws they place. "Nonviolence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man" (Gandhi). Gandhi
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