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Sharpeville Massacre - Essay Example

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Summary
Between the anvil of united mass action and the hammer of the armed struggle we shall crush apartheid and white minority racist rule" was the conviction Nelson Mandela showed in his book The Struggle is My Life.
The story of freedom does not start from Sharpeville massacre, neither it is the case that a single incident can set the wheels in motion, it is always a sequence of events which builds up and a final push causes the dominoes to fall.
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Sharpeville Massacre
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Sharpeville Massacre

Download file to see previous pages... Although this event in itself acted as a turning point in the struggle of black South Africans towards restoring dignity, but there were certain events which happened before Sharpeville massacre that caused widespread frustration and resentment in the black African community.
This antipathy, hatred, bitterness, resentment, frustration and loss of self-determination mustered up slowly and gradually and was the cause that strengthened the will and determination of black Africans and helped them to fight tirelessly after the incident of Sharpeville, this incident in a way helped them to open up and made them realize that this cannot go on forever. It is a natural instinct that when all is lost, courage is regained.
To what went on in South Africa, Jawaharlal Nehru,the Indianprime minister commented in his speech to Lok-Sabha that "There is the racial policy of the Union of South Africa, which is in no sense different from the racial policy of Hitler, except that they have not gone to those extremes that Hitler went to."
In my view the events that happened before Sharpeville massacre were the ones which caused Sharpeville incident to act as a turning point of South African history, although there were many efforts made after the incident which eventually led to liberation, but it were the events of the past which gave them the drive to carry on with their effort and face obstacles head on. In this light, we'll look at two incidents or decisions of the past which hold significance importance and are a key factor in massacre that happened on 1960.
Pass laws
The story starts way back in 1760, when the first pass laws in South Africa was introduced in an attempt to exclude all natives from the Cape Colony. Later on, the Native Urban Areas Act 1923 deemed urban areas in South Africa as white and forced all black African men in cities and towns to carry permits called passes. The black South Africans were required to carry these passbooks ("dom pas", meaning dumb pass) all the time whenever they went outside their designated areas or compounds as a permit or a proof that they were authorized to move or live in white South Africa. Anyone found without a pass would be arrested immediately and sent to a rural area.
These laws were designed to segregate the population among black and white people and severely limit the movements of the non-white populace in urban areas. Another one of its clause stated that black Africans could not hold a higher business position within a company than the lowest white employee. This legislation was one of the dominant features of the country's apartheid system, which we will discuss shortly.
These laws also affected other non-Caucasian populace like Indian people who were also barred from moving in the white South Africa.
It is obvious that these discriminatory regulations were bound to spark outrage from the black population, consequence to which many demonstrations, acts of passive resistance, and uprisings were directed at the pass system. In 1930, for example, the Communist Party organized a mass burning of passes on Dingane's Day, a day celebrated in honour of the Zulu chief Dingane. A major anti-pass campaign was mounted in 1944 also. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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