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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Culture of resistance

While illusions of reform is creating a ground for revolutionary environment, one needs to see the relation between establishment and the unprivileged ones. Everywhere in the world, people are not suffering from an excess of civil disobedience, infact suffering from an excess of civil obedience of few elites. The case of protest and violence are heavily related.  As Johann Hari mentioned about effects of protest in the UK that has far reaching effect and it is true for all over the world : -
"There is a cost to this chilling of protest. Every British citizen is the beneficiary of a long line of protesters stretching back through the centuries. Every woman reading this can vote and open her own bank account and choose her own husband and have a career because protesters demanded it. Every worker gets at least £5.93 an hour, and paid holidays, and paid sick leave, because protesters demanded it. Every pensioner gets enough to survive because protesters demand it. What what your life would be like if all those protesters through all those years had been frightened into inactivity? If you block the right to protest, you block the path to progress. You are left instead at the whim of an elite, whose priority is tax cuts for themselves, paid for with spending cuts for the poor."
In a recent address Akbar Ganji, a representative of the Green Movement in Iran, characterized history thus: “Human history has been interpreted in many ways. I read this history as a sustained course of struggle for liberty—the struggle of slaves, women, people of color, the poor, the disenfranchised, of religious minorities and dissidents of various sorts, to rid themselves of the tyranny they have endured.” In a history of the revolutions in Paris, there is a provocative phrase: “The time of the oppressed is by nature discontinuous” – apparently there is more truth in it than any statement made about victims of power

Often war/violence is assumed as the last resort of the problem, but the first approach that the establishment prefers. The authority of state lies in the allowance of violence given to the state by the people. When the state tend to use violence against its own people, it loses that sanction and trust of masses. The opposite violence born due to the protest catch society between two poles. History has shown us that US authorities have started to talk with Martin Luther King, Jr. because Dr. King’s alternative appear moderate by comparison across all the political spectrum, stretching from Malcolm X and the Black Panthers.
Violence is not some abstract or theoretical question to be puzzled through. It’s simply part of life and protest also. And that doesn’t mean you participate or don’t participate. It just means that you deal with it.  A decision to resort to violence is not something to be undertaken without great care—and stated in terms that were addressed to reasonable people. Great  leaders like Nehru and Mandela have felt the historic obligation to make a stand and to define it. That is why once an independence  or prime aim of revolution was achieved, most of the sensible leaders elope with the peaceful democratic movements. Arundhuti Roy recently quote an apt statement about nature of violence  : It would be immoral of me to preach violence unless I’m prepared to pick up arms myself. It is equally immoral for me to preach nonviolence when I’m not bearing the brunt of the attack.  

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