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The Salt March was the beginning of a nationwide campaign to boycott the salt tax. It began on March 12, 1930 when Gandhi and 78 followers marched out from the Sabarmati Ashram and headed to the sea, about 200 miles away. The group of marchers grew larger as the days wore on, building up to approximately two or three thousand. The group marched about 12 miles per day in the scorching sun. When they reached Dandi, a town along the coast, on April 5, the group prayed all night. In the morning, Gandhi made a presentation of picking up a piece of sea salt that lay on the beach. Technically, he had broken the law.
This began a momentous, national endeavor for Indians to make their own salt. Thousands of people went to the beaches to pick up loose salt while others began to evaporate salt water. Indian-made salt was soon sold across the country. The energy created by this protest was contagious and felt all around India. Peaceful picketing and marches were also conducted. The British responded with mass arrests.
When Gandhi announced that he planned a march on the government-owned Dharasana Saltworks, the British arrested Gandhi and imprisoned him without trial. Although the British had hoped that Gandhi’s arrest would stop the march, they had underestimated his followers. The poet Mrs. Sarojini Naidu took over and led the 2,500 marchers. As the group reached the 400 policemen and six British officers who were waiting for them, the marchers approached in a column of 25 at a time. The marchers were beaten with clubs, often being hit on their heads and shoulders. The international press watched as the marchers did not even raise their hands to defend themselves. After the first 25 marchers were beaten to the ground, another column of 25 would approach and be beaten, until all 2,500 had marched forward and been pummeled. The news of the brutal beating by the British of peaceful protesters shocked the world.
Realizing he had to do something to stop the protests, the British viceroy, Lord Irwin, met with Gandhi. The two men agreed on the Gandhi-Irwin Pact, which granted limited salt production and the freeing of all the peaceful protesters from jail as long as Gandhi called off the protests. While many Indians felt that Gandhi had not been granted enough during these negotiations, Gandhi himself viewed it as a sure step on the road to independence.
Indian independence did not come quickly. After the success of the Salt March, Gandhi conducted another fast which only enhanced his image as a holy man or prophet. Concerned and dismayed at such adulation, Gandhi retired from politics in 1934 at age 64. However, Gandhi came out of retirement five years later when the British viceroy brazenly announced that India would side with England during World War II, without having consulted any Indian leaders. The Indian independence movement had been revitalized by this British arrogance.
Many in the British Parliament realized that they were once again facing mass protests in India and began discussing possible ways to create an independent India. Although Prime Minister Winston Churchill steadfastly opposed the idea of losing India as a British colony, the British announced in March 1941 that it would free India at the end of World War II. This was just not enough for Gandhi.
Wanting independence sooner, Gandhi organized a “Quit India” campaign in 1942. In response, the British once again jailed Gandhi.
When Gandhi was released from prison in 1944, Indian independence seemed in sight. Unfortunately, however, huge disagreements between Hindus and Muslims had arisen. Since the majority of Indians were Hindu, the Muslims feared not having any political power if there was an independent India. Thus, the Muslims wanted the six provinces in northwest India, which had a majority population of Muslims, to become an independent country. Gandhi heatedly opposed the idea of a partition of India and did his best to bring all sides together.
The differences between Hindus and Muslims proved too great for even the Mahatma to fix. Massive violence erupted, including raping, slaughter, and the burning of entire towns. Gandhi toured India, hoping his mere presence could curb the violence. Although violence did stop where Gandhi visited, he could not be everywhere.
The British, witnessing what seemed sure to become a violent civil war, decided to leave India in August 1947. Before leaving, the British were able to get the Hindus, against Gandhi’s wishes, to agree to a partition plan. On August 15, 1947, Great Britain granted independence to India and to the newly formed Muslim country of Pakistan.
The violence between the Hindus and Muslims continued as millions of Muslim refugees marched out of India on the long trek to Pakistan and millions of Hindus who found themselves in Pakistan packed up their belongings and walked to India. At no other time have so many people become refugees. The lines of refugees stretched for miles and many died along the way from illness, exposure, and dehydration. As 15 million Indians became uprooted from their homes, Hindus and Muslims attacked each other with vengeance.
To stop this wide-spread violence, Gandhi once again went on a fast. He would only eat again, he stated, once he saw clear plans to stop the violence. The fast began on January 13, 1948. Realizing that the frail and aged Gandhi could not withstand a long fast, both sides worked together to create a peace. On January 18, a group of more than a hundred representatives approached Gandhi with a promise for peace, thus ending Gandhi’s fast.
Scene from the movie “Gandhi” in which the Indian pacifier speaks about the unity of Muslims and Hindus.
Salman Rushdie’s thought on India (Hindus) and Pakistan (Muslims)
Simple explanation of Hinduism and Islam
Content for the test, “Postmodernism – Dec. 4”
Indian-Pakistani conflict explained
Born on June 19, 1947, into a middle-class Muslim family in Bombay, India, Rushdie attended the Cathedral Boys’ High School. His education continued in England at the Rugby School and later at King’s College, Cambridge. After earning an M.A. with honors in 1968, he performed for one year at an experimental theater and then worked as a freelance advertising copywriter during the 1970s. His first novel, Grimus, was published in 1975, and was followed by Midnight’s Children (1981). The latter received wide critical praise and earned Rushdie the Booker McConnell Prize. Rushdie gained international notoriety in 1988 with the publication of The Satanic Verses. Devout Muslims, outraged by a perceived belittling of the Islamic faith within the novel, staged public demonstrations and placed bans on its importation. Eventually, a fatwa, or death sentence, was issued by Iranian leader Ayatollah Ruholiah Khomeini, calling for the execution of Rushdie. It was not until a public pardon of sorts was issued by the Iranian government in 1995 that Rushdie felt he could safely emerge from hiding. Despite lingering death-threats, the author returned to the public stage with a determination to use his work as a platform for the exposure and denouncement of institutional violence and intolerance. Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children was named the best novel to win the Booker Prize during the award’s first quarter century. The Satanic Verses and The Moor’s Last Sigh (1995) both received the Whitbread Prize and were also short-listed for the Booker Prize. In 2003 Midnight’s Children was voted by the British public as one of the nation’s 100 best-loved novels.
PLOT AND MAJOR CHARACTERS
Likely inspired in part by such enduring works of children’s literature as The Book of One Thousand and One Nights, Gulliver’s Travels, and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Haroun and the Sea of Stories is an allegorical fable infused with Rushdie’s trademark magic realism. The story surrounds the teenaged Haroun and his quest to heal his father’s lost gift for storytelling. Haroun lives in an ancient city that is so sad and somber that its people have forgotten its name. Haroun lives in this dispirited place with his father, Rashid Khalifa, a professional storyteller who is better known as Rashid the Ocean of Notions or, more disparagingly, as the Shah of Blah. Rashid’s wife Soraya runs off with their dour neighbor, the unimaginative Mr. Sengupta, who is far too sensible to see the value in fiction. Dismayed at the damage his mother’s betrayal has wrought upon his father, Haroun confronts him, asking “What’s the use of stories that aren’t even true?” Utterly deflated by his son’s loss of confidence in him, Rashid loses his gift for communication. Haroun immediately regrets hurting his father so deeply and seeks to restore his father’s desire and creativity by venturing out on a quest to Kahani, the Earth’s other moon, where the Sea of Stories is located. Assisted by Iff, a water genie, and a hoopoe bird named Butt, Haroun searches for Walrus, the Chief of the Eggheads and Comptroller of the P2C2Es (Processes too Complicated to Explain) who might be able to restore his father’s spring of story water. However, along the way, Haroun learns that Khattam-Shud, the ruler of the city of Chup, has been poisoning the Sea of Stories. Khattam-Shud has long desired to control the universe, but his goals have been blocked by his inability to control the fictions born of imagination and the endless body of stories that spring forth from its unlimited power. To circumvent that power, he has been destroying the Sea of Stories, from which all inspiration is created, with the inadvertent help of Walrus who has been hoarding sunlight, thus starving the Sea of Stories. Haroun enlists the aid of the people of Gup, whose society is organized like a book, with soldiers—called pages—dressed in laminated squares and organized into groups of Chapters, all under the command of General Kitab. The people of Gup are constantly engaged in a cacophony of voices and opinions, in direct contrast to the people of Khattam-Shud’s city of Chupwala, who are renowned for their silence. Haroun worries about the ability of the Guppees to defeat the Chupwala, until he sees that the debates between the Guppees have united them into a whole, while the deathly quiet Chupwala are disorganized and weak in the face of the now-harmonious Gup army. Ultimately, Khattam-Shud is defeated by a rising sun that decimates the frozen dark sterility of Chup. Having restored the spring of the Sea of Stories, Haroun is granted a wish, and he wishes for a happy ending for his city. Returning home, he learns that his city has remembered its name, Kahani, and that his mother has reunited with his father. Most importantly, however, Rashid, with his son’s faith in him restored and the spring repaired, has rediscovered the power of stories.
Zembla, Zenda, Xanadu:
All our dream-worlds may come true.
Fairy lands are fearsome too.
As I wander far from view
Read, and bring me home to you.
Haroun is dedicated to Rushdie’s son who was around ten when Rushdie wrote the book. The first letter of each line if read down the page spell out his son’s name. The “poem” touches on a number to the novel’s themes: “magical places” (Zembla, Zenda, Xanadu); the importance of “wishing” (All our dream-worlds may come true); The connection between the dream world and “reality” (Fairy lands are fearsome too); the power and importance of books (As I wander far from view/ Read, and bring me home to you). In some ways the book seems to serve not only as a link between the exiled Rushdie and his son, but between him and a more innocent time. It is also an affirmation of his craft.
Rushdie and the Romantics: Intertextual
Politics in Haroun and the Sea of Stories
Daniel Roberts (extract)
“At this point I would like to draw upon the second of the Romantic texts which I adduced in relation to Haroun, as a link that brings us yet closer to the themes of nationhood and empire that speak across the periodized divide between Romantic and postcolonial literatures. None of the commentators on Haroun I have come across so far seem to have noticed that Rushdie’s second chapter of Haroun entitled “The Mail-Coach” is in fact a fairly elaborate reworking of Thomas De Quincey’s celebrated essay of 1849, “The English Mail-Coach.” De Quincey’s retrospective
celebration of the English mail-coach system as the means by which news of the great English military victories during the Napoleonic wars were “distributed over the face of the land, like the opening of apocalyptic vials” (409) is at first glance a strongly imperialistic and therefore
unusual text for a postcolonial writer like Rushdie to absorb into his work. Rushdie’s use of the outmoded mail-coach—a form of transport that had already been superseded by the railway by the time De Quincey wrote his essay—in Haroun, a text that has been seen as science-fictional
in some respects, could be even more surprising unless it is explained in terms of Rushdie’s fascination with De Quincey’s text. In his essay De Quincey recounts his experiences as an Oxford undergraduate riding the crest of a wave of national sympathy and fervour on the mail-coaches
of the day. It was the English mail-coaches, as De Quincey recalls, that distributed “over the face of the land, like the opening of apocalyptic vials, the heart-shaking news of Trafalgar, of Salamanca, of Vittoria, of Waterloo” (16: 409). They thus represented “a central intellect, that, in the midst of vast distances, of storms, of darkness, of night, overruled all obstacles into one steady co-operation in a national result” (16: 409). The remembrance of the mail-coaches evokes in De Quincey an extraordinary paean to the glory days of English triumphalism:
Heads of every age crowd to the windows—
young and old understand the language of our victorious symbols—
and rolling volleys of sympathising cheers run along behind and before our
course. The beggar, rearing himself against the wall, forgets his
lameness—real or assumed—thinks not of his whining trade,
but stands erect, with bold exulting smiles, as we pass him. The
victory has healed him, and says—Be thou whole! Women and
children, from garrets and cellars, look down or look up with
loving eyes upon our gay ribbons and martial laurels—sometimes
kiss their hands, sometimes hang out, as signals of affection,
pocket handkerchiefs, aprons, dusters, anything that lies
ready to their hands. (16: 425–26)
Gender, class, and age differences are blithely elided as the national symbol of glory, the English mail-coach, rolls by. the beggar’s lameness is miraculously healed through a secularized, nationalized agency arrogating to itself supernatural powers such as those reflected by the
traditional beliefs in Christ’s miraculous powers and the laying of royal hands. The rationalist scepticism of the post-Kantian critic is passed over parenthetically as the real or assumed nature of the beggar’s infirmity seems hardly to matter in the moment of victory. As he surveys the joyful scene De Quincey is ready to arrogate to himself these evident displays of national unity, reading the semiotics of “pocket handkerchiefs, aprons, dusters, anything” as personal “signals of affection” for himself, placing himself at the centre of what Benedict Anderson has rewardingly described as the “imagined community” of the nation. Britain’s imperial destiny is matched, in the strongly Evangelical terms of De Quincey’s own upbringing, by his own election as the apostle of such news”.
I.- Text 1
JUNE 11, 2013
So Are We Living in 1984?
Since last week’s revelations of the scope of the United States’ domestic surveillance operations, George Orwell’s “Nineteen Eighty-Four,” which was published sixty-four years ago this past Saturday, has enjoyed a massive spike in sales. The book has been invoked by voices as disparate as Nicholas Kristof and Glenn Beck. Even Edward Snowden, the twenty-nine-year-old former intelligence contractor turned leaker, sounded, in the Guardian interview in which he came forward, like he’d been guided by Orwell’s pen. But what will all the new readers and rereaders of Orwell’s classic find when their copy arrives? Is Obama Big Brother, at once omnipresent and opaque? And are we doomed to either submit to the safety of unthinking orthodoxy or endure re-education and face what horrors lie within the dreaded Room 101? With Orwell once again joining a culture-wide consideration of communication, privacy, and security, it seemed worthwhile to take another look at his most influential novel.
“Nineteen Eighty-Four” begins on a cold April morning in a deteriorated London, the major city of Airstrip One, a province of Oceania, where, despite advances in technology, the weather is still lousy and residents endure a seemingly endless austerity. The narrator introduces Winston, a thirty-nine-year-old man beset by the fatigue of someone older, who lives in an apartment building that smells of “boiled cabbage” and works as a drone in the Ministry of Truth, which spreads public falsehoods. The first few pages contain all the political realities of this future society: the Police Patrol snoops in people’s windows, and Thought Police, with more insidious power, linger elsewhere. Big Brother, the totalitarian figurehead, stares out from posters plastered throughout the city, and private telescreens broadcast the Party’s platform and its constant stream of infotainment. Everyone simply assumes that they are always being watched, and most no longer know to care. Except for Winston, who is different, compelled as if by muscle memory to court danger by writing longhand in a real paper journal.
Thinking about Edward Snowden on Sunday, it wasn’t much of a leap to imagine him and his colleagues working in some version of Oceania’s Ministry of Truth, gliding through banal office gigs whose veneer of nine-to-five technocratic normality helped to hide their more sinister reality. Holed up in a hotel room in Hong Kong, Snowden seemed, if you squinted a bit, like Orwell’s protagonist-hero Winston, had he been a bit more ambitious, and considerably more lucky, and managed to defect from Oceania to its enemy Eastasia and sneak a message to the telescreens back home. In fact, at one point in his interview with the Guardian, Snowden could be channelling the novel’s narrator, or at least delivering a spirited synopsis of the book:
If living unfreely but comfortably is something you’re willing to accept, and I think many of us are, it’s the human nature, you can get up every day, you can go to work, you can collect your large paycheck for relatively little work against the public interest, and go to sleep at night after watching your shows. But if you realize that’s the world that you helped create, and it’s going to get worse with the next generation, and the next generation, who extend the capabilities of this sort of architecture of oppression, you realize that you might be willing to accept any risk, and it doesn’t matter what the outcome is, so long as the public gets to make their own decisions about how that’s applied.
Are we living in “Nineteen Eighty-Four”? The technological possibilities of surveillance and data collection and storage surely surpass what Orwell imagined. Oceania’s surveillance state operates out in the open, since total power has removed any need for subterfuge: “As for sending a letter through the mails, it was out of the question. By a routine that was not even secret, all letters were opened in transit,” the narrator explains. This sounds like an analogue version of what Snowden describes: “The N.S.A., specifically, targets the communications of everyone. It ingests them by default.” That seems like a safe operating assumption about e-mails, texts, or telephone calls—even if a person is not saying anything interesting or controversial, and even if no one is actually monitoring our communication, the notion that one’s personal digital messages would remain inviolably private forever, or that they would not be saved or stored, was probably naïve. Regardless of the actual scope of the government’s snooping programs, the notion of digital privacy must now, finally and forever, seem a mostly quaint one.
Meanwhile, words, as Amy Davidson points out, are manipulated by the three branches of government to make what might seem illegal legal—leading to something of a parallel language that rivals Orwell’s Newspeak for its soulless, obfuscated meaning. And, indeed, there has been a hint of something vaguely Big Brotherian in Obama’s response to the public outcry about domestic surveillance, as though, by his calm manner and clear intelligence, the President is asking the people to merely trust his beneficence—which many of us might be inclined to do. Even Winston, after all, learns to love Big Brother in the end.
Still, all but the most outré of political thinkers would have to grant that we are far from the crushing, violent, single-party totalitarian regime of Orwell’s imagination. In one of the more chilling passages in the novel, the evil Party hack O’Brien explains, “We are not interested in those stupid crimes that you have committed. The Party is not interested in the overt act: the thought is all we care about.” The N.S.A., on the other hand, is primarily interested in overt acts, of terrorism and its threats, and presumably—or at least hopefully—less so in the thoughts themselves. The war on terror has been compared to Orwell’s critique of “the special mental atmosphere” created by perpetual war, but recently Obama made gestures toward bringing it to an end. That is not to say, of course, that we should not be troubled by the government’s means, nor is it clear that the ends will remain as generally benevolent as they seem today. But Orwell’s central image of unrestrained political power, a “boot stamping on a human face—forever,” is not the reality of our age.
While it’s tempting to hold the present moment up beside Orwell’s 1984, the book is more than a political totem, and overlooking its profound expressions of emotion robs it of most of its real power. Some novels have both the good and bad fortune of being given over to wider history, inspiring idiomatic phrases that instantly communicate a commonly understood idea. Through this transformation, books become blunt and unsubtle, losing something of their art. We might call it the Catch-22 of “Catch-22,” or, in this case, of “Nineteen Eighty-Four.”
“Nineteen Eighty-Four” is not simply a cold counterfactual. Instead, it is a love story between Winston and Julia, a younger member of the civil service, and, like many great novels, some of its high points can be found in the minor moments shared between these two characters. Their first real meeting, because of its implicit danger, is one of the more breathtakingly romantic scenes in modern literature—a mixture of lust and decorum like something out of Austen. In the office hallway, Julia slips Winston a piece of paper, a dangerous act. Filled with nervous excitement, he returns to his desk and waits a full eight minutes to look at it. When he does, the words appear as a jolt: “I love you.” They arrange to meet in a crowd in order to remain anonymous. Among a mass of people, standing close, their hands touch. A love affair follows—they go to the countryside, like Adam and Eve attempting to push their way back into Eden. Later, they keep a small flat. The Party’s stamping out of sex is an essential mode of control. But love, it seems, may exist in a place beyond the government’s reach:
They could lay bare in the utmost detail everything that you had done or said or thought; but the inner heart, whose workings were mysterious even to yourself, remained impregnable.
But, in the end, even that place can be found—love is also a political act, and so it must be destroyed, and Orwell uses its dissolution as final, terrible evidence of the scope of oppression. Winston and Julia are broken by the Party, forced to inform on each other and, later, made to live on with the memory of having done so. The two meet a final time, and share a muted exchange, akin to one of the clipped, inarticulate breakup scenes from Hemingway, in which, bruised by heartache, no one can quite think of the right thing to say. Julia explains that by denouncing Winston, she has somehow obliterated him:
“And after that, you don’t feel the same toward the other person any longer.”
“No,” he said, “you don’t feel the same.”
Were this just a novel, rather than ideological novel with an aim to warn and instruct, it might have ended here, in ambivalence, leaving out the clever and rather heavy-handed turn of Winston’s final conversion. If so, its political utility might be less clear, but we would be left instead with its artistic force and mysterious inner workings.
II.- Text 2
Renowned critic and always MIT linguist Noam Chomsky, one of the classic voices of intellectual dissent in the last decade, has compiled a list of the ten most common and effective strategies resorted to by the agendas “hidden” to establish a manipulation of the population through the media.Historically the media have proven highly efficient to mold public opinion. Thanks to the media paraphernalia and propaganda, have been created or destroyed social movements, justified wars, tempered financial crisis, spurred on some other ideological currents, and even given the phenomenon of media as producers of reality within the collective psyche. But how to detect the most common strategies for understanding these psychosocial tools which, surely, we participate? Fortunately Chomsky has been given the task of synthesizing and expose these practices, some more obvious and more sophisticated, but apparently all equally effective and, from a certain point of view, demeaning. Encourage stupidity, promote a sense of guilt, promote distraction, or construct artificial problems and then magically, solve them, are just some of these tactics.
The strategy of distraction
The primary element of social control is the strategy of distraction which is to divert public attention from important issues and changes determined by the political and economic elites, by the technique of flood or flooding continuous distractions and insignificant information. distraction strategy is also essential to prevent the public interest in the essential knowledge in the area of the science, economics, psychology, neurobiology and cybernetics. “Maintaining public attention diverted away from the real social problems, captivated by matters of no real importance. Keep the public busy, busy, busy, no time to think, back to farm and other animals (quote from text Silent Weapons for Quiet War ).”
Create problems, then offer solutions
This method is also called “problem -reaction- solution. “It creates a problem, a “situation” referred to cause some reaction in the audience, so this is the principal of the steps that you want to accept. For example: let it unfold and intensify urban violence, or arrange for bloody attacks in order that the public is the applicant‟s security laws and policies to the detriment of freedom. Or: create an economic crisis to accept as a necessary evil retreat of social rights and the dismantling of public services.
The gradual strategy
acceptance to an unacceptable degree, just apply it gradually, dropper, for consecutive years. That is how they radically new socioeconomic conditions ( neoliberalism ) were imposed during the 1980s and 1990s: the minimal state, privatization, precariousness, flexibility, massive unemployment, wages, and do not guarantee a decent income, so many changes that have brought about a revolution if they had been applied once.
The strategy of deferring
Another way to accept an unpopular decision is to present it as “painful and necessary”, gaining public acceptance, at the time for future application. It is easier to accept that a future sacrifice of immediate slaughter. First, because the effort is not used immediately. Then, because the public, masses, is always the tendency to expect naively that “everything will be better tomorrow” and that the sacrifice required may be avoided. This gives the public more time to get used to the idea of change and accept it with resignation when the time comes.
Go to the public as a little child
Most of the advertising to the general public uses speech, argument, people and particularly children‟s intonation, often close to the weakness, as if the viewer were a little child or a mentally deficient. The harder one tries to deceive the viewer look, the more it tends to adopt a tone infantilising. Why? “If one goes to a person as if she had the age of 12 years or less, then, because of suggestion, she tends with a certain probability that a response or reaction also devoid of a critical sense as a person 12 years or younger (see Silent Weapons for Quiet War ).”
Use the emotional side more than the reflection
Making use of the emotional aspect is a classic technique for causing a short circuit on rational analysis , and finally to the critical sense of the individual. Furthermore, the use of emotional register to open the door to the unconscious for implantation or grafting ideas , desires, fears and anxieties , compulsions, or induce behaviors …
Keep the public in ignorance and mediocrity
Making the public incapable of understanding the technologies and methods used to control and enslavement. “The quality of education given to the lower social classes must be the poor and mediocre as possible so that the gap of ignorance it plans among the lower classes and upper classes is and remains impossible to attain for the lower classes (See „ Silent Weapons for Quiet War ).”
To encourage the public to be complacent with mediocrity
Promote the public to believe that the fact is fashionable to be stupid, vulgar and uneducated…
To let individual blame for their misfortune, because of the failure of their intelligence, their abilities, or their efforts. So, instead of rebelling against the economic system, the individual auto-devaluate and guilt, which creates a depression, one of whose effects is to inhibit its action. And, without action, there is no revolution!
Getting to know the individuals better than they know themselves
Over the past 50 years, advances of accelerated science has generated a growing gap between public knowledge and those owned and operated by dominant elites. Thanks to biology, neurobiology and applied psychology, the “system” has enjoyed a sophisticated understanding of human beings, both physically and psychologically. The system has gotten better acquainted with the common man more than he knows himself. This means that, in most cases, the system exerts greater control and great power over individuals, greater than that of individuals about themselves.
For an example of an article, refer to the following link: http://sibupla.upla.cl/test/revistas/index.php/NRP/article/view/8/14