Identifying the key factors for success in anti-colonial movements : Hind-Swaraj and Indian civil rights in South Africa compared


Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi contributed both to the Indian civil rights movement in South Africa and India's hind-swaraj (Indian home-rule) movement as a charismatic leader and spiritual warrior. In both cases Gandhi employed satyagraha, often translated as ‘soul force', as his community organizing and mobilizing strategy against the British Empire. Used to great effect this non-violent method of protest accomplished tangible victories in both movements. However, the success enjoyed by Gandhi's social movements varied wildly. In South Africa, Gandhi mobilized Indians against local legislative measures designed to strip them of their voting rights. Throughout this period Gandhi underwent a significant ideological shift, from Aryan supremacist, to humanitarian spiritualist. His appeal spread throughout the Indian world, and soon even English were contributing to his movement. Yet, victories never amounted to the democratization of the colony, let alone equal rights for Indian laborers. In India1 wee see Gandhi’s mobilization of Indians in the name of hind-swaraj lead to the withdrawal of British power from the nation. However, I speculate that this success had as much to do with Indian nationalist Subhas Chandra Bose, as it did Mohandas Gandhi. Bose and Gandhi each led hind-swaraj movements that conflicted deeply on an ideological and strategic basis. While Gandhi focused on the power of nonviolent civil disobedience within a state, Bose focused on diplomacy with Britain's enemies and the use of international pressures. The cumulative pressure of both movements during the British Empire's weakest moment. WWII, resulted in hind-swaraj.


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Thesis Completion





Jacques, Peter


Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)


College of Sciences

Degree Program

Political Science


Arts and Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic;Dissertations, Academic -- Arts and Sciences







Access Status

Open Access

Length of Campus-only Access


Document Type

Honors in the Major Thesis

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