Assign European Union negotiation countries.
Brief introduction to the European Union negotiation assignment.
Look over Writing Well Virtual Handout.
Number and kinds of rulers: democratic, authoritarian, totalitarian?
Political culture: community beliefs and values?
Political development: modern, charismatic, traditional?
Economic development: developed, developing?
Economic system: capitalist, socialist, mixed?
Number and type of rulers: democratic, authoritarian, totalitarian? Democratic. People have a say, rights and freedoms are protected.
Political culture: community-held beliefs that affect politics. Caste.
Beneath the caste system: Untouchables/Outcastes (Pariah)
Political development: modern, charismatic, traditional? Mix: Modern at national and state levels but also traditional, influence of caste leaders, tribal leaders.
Economic development: developed, developing? Developing. Urbanization 29%, Life expectancy 70, TFR 2.72, Literacy 61%, GDP per capita US$ PPP 2,800, Agriculture as share of GDP 17.2%, as share of labor force 60%.
Economic system: capitalist, socialist, mixed? Arch-frame is capitalist but practice has been so statist as to make it difficult for capitalists to operate. Pre-1990s tax rates on some profits 98%, rules limiting firing, rules on what you can produce, rules on what you can buy abroad. Reforms since 1991 have freed economy to make it a "tiger" today.
The Indian Independence Movement and Non-Violent Resistance
to learn how British colonialism transformed India,
to familiarize ourselves with the means by which India attained its independence from the British (including the thought and tactics of Gandhi),
to understand implications of the independence movement for the development of India’s political and economic system (how history matters for subsequent politics).
If time remains, to understand the contemporary political system and the linked issues of communal conflict, terrorism, and relations with Pakistan.
Mohandas Gandhi (known as the Mahatma, "Great Soul"):
Gandhi gives the independence movement unity of purpose and a successful program of action.
He widens the movement to include the broad masses of the population.
He also came to personify the movement.
There was a man, clad only in a small white cloth, standing up against the most widespread global empire the world had ever seen.
Interestingly, the ideas that Gandhi eventually developed represent a marriage of both Eastern and Western thought.
The targets of Gandhi’s attacks also include elements of both the East and the West.
Gandhi's Personal Background: Gujarat, trader caste-ejected for going overseas, family history of serving as ministers in princely state. London trained to be a lawyer.
South Africa for twenty years-developed ideas on how to struggle and philosophical basis for the struggle.
Midway between liberal reformers desiring gradual reform and extremists favoring violence. He wanted independence achieved without violence.
For Gandhi, controlling someone else was wrong and it did damage to the person doing the controlling as much as it did to the person suffering from oppression.
Colonialism was a manifestation of oppression and denial of autonomy.
In Gandhi’s words (1930-letter to the British Viceroy in India):
“My ambition is no less than to convert the British People through non-violence, and thus make them see the wrong they have done to India. I do not seek to harm your people. I want to serve them even as I want to serve my own . . . . If the [Indian] people join me as I expect they will, the sufferings they will undergo, unless the British nation sooner retraces its steps, will be enough to melt the stoniest hearts." (emphasis added)
For Gandhi, perhaps his supreme value would have been ahimsa-love, love of all people.
Confronting a more powerful oppressor, the answer for Gandhi was in non-violent struggle, satyagraha ("truth force," which Gandhi translated as "soul force").
Gandhi’s ideas on this developed from a variety of sources: American Henry David Thoreau’s Civil Disobedience (1849, not support an unjust government with tax over issues of slavery and Mexican-American War) and the then-current pacifist ideas of Russian Leo Tolstoy.
The idea of not doing harm also had a great resonance with Indian tradition. To do violence, would be to harm one’s own karma, condemn one to further rebirths. Gandhi called the Bhagavad Gita (Song of the Blessed One, perhaps 5th C BC-1st C AD) his “infallible guide of conduct.”
The Bhagavad Gita:
Essence of Hinduism in the Gita, to let go, let go of self into sea of unity of oneness of all creatures. Do duty but let go of desire for the fruits of action.
Some stanzas from the Gita:
However men try to reach me,
I return their love with my love,
Whatever path they may travel,
It leads to me in the end.
Others, on the path of knowledge,
know me as the many, the One;
behind the faces of a million
gods, they can see my face.
* Gives Gandhi a highly tolerant and open-minded approach to religion: Jainism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Christianity—all ways to come closer to God. All gods one God.
Wise men regard all beings
as equal: a learned priest,
a cow, an elephant, a rat,
or a filthy rat-eating outcaste.
* Gandhi’s acceptance of all people, work with the untouchables.
Pleasures from external objects
are wombs of suffering, Arjuna.
They have their beginnings and their ends;
no wise man seeks joy among them.
So, the Gita inspires Gandhi to struggle: Arjuna’s duty (he is a warrior) is to fight, as is Gandhi’s. But it inspires Gandhi to fight in a way that is non-violent.
Non-cooperation "the Salt March" of 1930/Accepting punishment for violation of laws
Hunger strikes (used against the British and fellow Indians like untouchable leader Ambedkar)
Doing the dirty work of untouchables (harijans "children of God"/dalits "oppressed" or "broken to pieces")
Encouraging spinning of khadi cloth (self-reliance/strike at British)
Live the talk (ashram, communal living, abstain from sex, material goods)
Note on dalits: Radical dalits today view Gandhi negatively. They see his work with untouchables as "patronizing charity" and find the term harijan offensive. They deplore his lack of support for reserved dalit electoral constituencies, which to their mind kept the dalits behind for decades, and do not acknowledge his support of affirmative action programs which have worked to improve dalits' conditions dramatically.
Gandhi would not live to see much of independence, achieved in August 1947. In fact, he marked independence as a day of mourning because of all the partition violence which accompanied it. Gandhi was killed soon after independence (early 1948) by a Hindu extremist who felt that Gandhi was "giving away the store" to Muslim Indians and who favored a Hindu, rather than a plural/secular India.
How did India’s independence movement matter for the subsequent development of the political and economic systems?
(from SoniaGandhi.org) (from TribuneIndia.com)
Indian Politics Today
See, Indian Politics Since Independence.
Feature of Contemporary Politics: Communal Conflict
Babri Masjid (Mosque) Left, BEFORE 1992 Destruction, from Wikipedia. Right, DURING from BBC.
Terrorism. A number of attacks in the 2000s: May 2008 Rajasthan, August 2008 Ahmedabad, November 2008 Mumbai (@200 killed). Related to Pakistan but also to indigenous grievances of Muslims in India.
September 27. 2011.
Return to Dr. Tan's homepage: http://people.uncw.edu/tanp/