Culture and Society

How did Mahatma Gandhi use civil disobedience?
Answered by Discovery Channel
  • Discovery Channel

    Discovery Channel

  1. The person who brought civil disobedience to its complete realization was Mahatma Gandhi, a lawyer who worked in South Africa, where he met discrimination against Indians. Guided by Thoreau, Tolstoy and Jesus, he fought for Indian rights. Returning to India to gather support against English rule and the caste system, he brought Thoreau's civil disobedience a step forward. He preached individual noncompliance and passive resistance, bringing millions of Indians to his cause and arranging huge protests against the British. In 1919, British soldiers fired on demonstrators, and 379 people were killed, an event known as the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre. The Indian people weren't goaded into violence, instead inspired by Gandhi to nonviolent resistance. They would lie in the streets and refuse to move even if beaten. Gandhi's call for noncompliance was answered by mass resignations of public officials and the boycott of all British goods and services. In 1947, British rule finally ended.

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