They stand silently in front of armed policemen. They intend to protest peacefully. They will be beaten back and bashed up but they will not retaliate. They will fall to the ground, bleeding and with broken bones. Their places will be taken by others.
Richard Attenborough’s biopic Gandhi (1982) is filled with goose bump moments from the life of the Great Man, whose ideas of non-violence and passive political resistance remain relevant all these years after the Indian freedom struggle. One of the movie’s greatest scenes is the one that proves that the Mahatma’s message has percolated to his followers. Scores of nameless Indians protest the unjust Salt Tax in Gujarat, and willingly endure state violence for the greater cause of freedom. The culture of non-violent opposition to injustice lives on in India even after independence, and has been witnessed most recently in the outpouring of protests against the National Register of Citizens and the Citizenship Amendment Act.
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