Gandhi and Chauri Chaura

Time Man of the Year 1930It is my belief that Gandhism has a template that can be used to resolve many of the long-standing, seemingly intractable disputes raging around the world – the Palestinian struggle, the Sri Lankan Tamil queston, and yes, even Kashmir. It requires strong, principled leadership which goes beyond paying lip service to ‘peace processes’ and is able to stand down its violent, extremist components.

Gandhi did so – and the best example is Chauri Chaura. After a violent mob razed a colonial police station, he had no hesitation in calling the entire non-cooperation movement off, setting back the entire freedom struggle by a decade according to some. Niranjan Ramakrishnan has a great piece in Counter Punch, titled The Great Trial of 1922: Gandhi’s Vision of Responsibility

Stopping the non-cooperation movement following Chauri Chaura was one of Gandhi’s most significant acts — a cleansing of the body politic, in effect. Years later, despite several heapings of criticism, from being called a confused man to being called a British lackey, he did not waver on the correctness of the decision. Writing in 1928, he said, “[to] this date I have felt that I have served the country by calling off the non-co-operation movement. I am confident that history will look upon it as a form of perfect satyagraha and not as an act of cowardice.” [CounterPunch]

From court records

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