Leaders Are Important Factors In Revolutions Which Use Violence To Achieve Their Aims. To What Extent Are Leaders An Integral Part Of 'peaceful Revolutions.'

2086 words - 8 pages

Peace is defined as: 'prevention or refrain from strife . Customarily, the purpose of conflict is to achieve this 'prevention of strife,' but to reach such a state of calm, often violence and brutality is employed. Politically orientated movements such as the Cultural Revolution in China, and the Killing Fields of Cambodia are both examples of violence used to establish change. History's pages are soaked with the blood of those who have tried to effect change through violent means, some successful others not. But lurking in this ever increasing volume are those who have tried to procure a similar change, without the excess of carnage. 'Passive resistance' or peaceful protest is where the afore mentioned concept of accord is used to bring about a change, without the brute force that characterizes many a revolution. However, much like Mao and Pol Pot were instrumental in the success of their respective revolutions, even a revolution centered upon passive principles needs a leader. India is a good illustration of a country which used peaceful protest to bring about dramatic political change, success largely due to the leader its, Mahatma Gandhi . Likewise, the remarkable situation which unfolded in the wake of a snap election in the Philippines is a demonstration of peaceful protest only made successful because of strong leadership. Corazon Aquino amazed the world when she led over 10,000 Filipinos to democracy, peacefully opposing the brutal Marcos regime of the Philippines. Similarly, in Poland, Lech Walesa an anti-government union activist, almost single handedly led the Poles out of communism and into democracy, without shedding a drop of blood. The element most common to each of these revolutions is the enormous part the respective leaders played in them. By looking closely at these three situations it becomes clear that leadership is as integral to a peaceful revolution, as to any revolution.The human rights abuses prevalent in India during the rule of British played an important part in persuading religious leader Gandhi to peacefully challenge this repression. Since the 18th century India had been a British colony, during this time the government continually battling with the resentment over the country's colonial status. In the closing years of the 19th century and the first decade of the 20th, social and political ferment flooded India, at the crest of this wave was Mahatma Gandhi. Born in 1869, Gandhi was not in any sense influenced in later life by deficiencies experienced in childhood. Aged nineteen he travelled to England and after a tertiary education journeyed to South Africa where he became a solicitor. During this time Gandhi began to realise the inequity of British rule "My first contact with the British authority in that country was not happy...I discovered that I had no rights as a man because I was Indian. " In January 1915, Gandhi returned home to an India seething with discontent against the British. Gandhi never attempted to...

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