Revolution, the 20's, The Great Depression, and anti-colonialism - Essay Example

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Name Institution Course Date 1. How did the events unfurling in India and globally together with Gandhi’s own evolving philosophy and career lead him to leadership of the Independence movement in India? What were the tragedies of his last years? How did Gandhi go from these tragedies to being one of the most revered persons in Indian history?…
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Revolution, the 20s, The Great Depression, and anti-colonialism
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They were motivated by resentment against Britain and France’s lack of recognition of their contribution to World War II and the League of Nations’ rejection of racial equality and inspired by Japan’s economic success. By 1930, India was caught up in a nationalist movement aimed at ending British rule. Gandhi started his career as a lawyer in South Africa. The apartheid he witnessed there instigated his political activism and made him a champion of Indian rights in South Africa. Gandhi adopted a new political ideology, which reconciled Indian religious values of non-violence and meditation with western socialism, spiritualism and civil disobedience. On his return to India in 1915, Gandhi gradually evolved into the leader of the nations’ independence movement and of the National Congress. Gandhi’s inspirational leadership gave him a huge mass base. He organized the non-cooperation movement, urging people to wear home-spun cotton, boycott British goods and strictly abjure violence. The tragedy of Gandhi’s final years was the destruction of his “vision of a secular, multiethnic, nation state of all inhabitants of the Indian subcontinent” (Lecture 10). Over his objections, India achieved independence only at the cost of partition. Despite his efforts, Gandhi’s former ability to make the masses adhere to non-violence failed to stem the communal riots that raged during partition. His perceived support of Muslims led to his assassination at the hands of a Hindu fanatic. Gandhi’s martyrdom in the cause of religious unity, his unswerving devotion to non-violent protest and his sterling contribution to India’s independence made him the ‘Father of the Nation’ to all Indians and the ‘Mahatma.’ To the world, he remains the enduring icon of non-violent protest. 2. Do the 20’s deserve the name “roaring”? Why or why not? Do you think that the post war period was too complex and varied to describe in one word? Why or why not? The 1920’s does not deserve the name “roaring” as it was a only a decade of superficial ease and its “sense of cultural release masked serious problems in the postwar era” (Lecture 8). The traumatic experience of the war left permanent scars on the body and psyche of all participants: especially the war veterans. These veterans encountered great difficulty in being assimilated once more into ‘normal’ society, as the society they returned to had changed drastically. The horror of the war demolished the foundation of traditional beliefs, debunked the myth of European civilization’s superiority and produced an anxious, uncertain “lost generation” which was outside the confined circle of jazz, speakeasies and emancipated women which defined the supposedly “roaring” 20’s. The post-war period was too complex to be described in one word. The decade may be considered “roaring” in terms of female emancipation, with women of most Western nations gaining substantial personal freedom and the right to vote. Again, the “roaring 20’s” witnessed significant increase in tolerance towards sexual minorities and openness towards sex. Films, dance, clubs and dress indicated “a progressive, modern new age” (Lecture 8). However, there was another, darker side to the decade which contradicted the word “roaring.” Read More
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