Tag Archives: British

Rebel Without A Gun

via Daily Prompt: Rebel

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James Dean? Che Guevara? Arafat, Mobutu, who?

Mohanda Karamchand Gandhi, the quiet revolutionary, and was living proof that violence isn’t requisite for societal, especially political change.

Trained in law in London from 1888, then he initially served the Indian expatriate community in South Africa for twenty-one years, and it is during this time that he formed his social and political views. He opposed the race laws that affected his people, which brought physical and political retribution against him, but he persevered, and peacefully, influencing people and decisions where he could.

But in 1915 he returned to India. There he immediately threw himself into the fight for independence from Britain. Gandhi used law, legislation, and commincation to take the fight through the people for Indian sovereignty. He harnessed the people and the process. Again he was gaoled, and targeted by the British administration. Yet his response was always peaceful protest. He organised peaceful protests, trade boycots, local product fidelity, and more. He hit the British economically, administratively and politically, a very astute leader. One high point was the famous Salt March in 1930 where Ghandi organised a boycot against the British salt tax, he and thousands who joined him along the way, marched 388 kms from Ahmedabad to Dandi on the coast, it captured the nation and wounded the British image irreparably. The administration loathed Gandhi, and Churchill branded him as seditious and dangerous, a Hindu Mussolini! He was a true rebel, but without a gun.

Indian independence arrived August 15, 1947. It was tainted for Gandhi by the seprate agreement of the British to allow the partition of India to include East and West Pakistan as separate states for Muslims. Gandhi opposed the move. Many died in the process, but civil war did not erupt.

Gandhi believed that love could win over hate. His life is testimony that it can, and it can bring down empires and open the door to new visions. His patience won out in the end.

Sadly he was assasinated on January 30 1948, but his life was clearly not in vain. He has been a model for many others of many cultures and beliefs, and an inspiration for peaceful protest for change (Aung San Suu Kyi and Benazir Bhutto come to mind). But he, I’m sure would be the first to acknowledge that what mattered was that he’d managed to inspire his own people, that’s my kind of rebel, peaceful, loving, grass-roots based.

Two quotes of his that I love are:

“the true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable members.”

“You can chain me, you can torture me, you can even destroy this body, but you will never imprison my mind.”

Paul,

pvcann.com

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Filed under community, Economics, history, life, mindfulness, Philosophy/Theology, politics

Genius

via Daily Prompt: Genius

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When I got up close to this I could only think of The Robinson family and Dr. Smith, and the cry goes up “Warning, Warning, Warning!” Lost in Space began in 1965 on US TV, the item in the photo began life in 1964 as part of British/Australian exercise on behalf of the European Launcher Development Organisation (ELDO), Β out of Woomera to test rockets.

This is the remnant of the first (de Havilland Propellers) Blue Streak Rocket launched at Woomera. Originally Blue Streak began life as an independent British program to develop an anti-nuclear missile. Some genius in Whitehall believed that a nuclear deterrent was needed to protect against Soviet threat. To cut a very long story short, the program was discontinued due to cost. It was then picked up between the British and several European countries in parnership with Australia, to be developed instead as a rocket base for launching missiles.

This remnant of the first was one of only ten trial rockets. The first failed and the last five also failed (echoes of Monty Python’s ‘The Holy Grail’ and the interchange between The King of the Swamp and his son Prince Herbert), so maybe not so genius afterall. The program was moved to French Guiana in South America for better positioning, but again, cost and design problems ended the project.

It’s been a long time since the last attempt to launch Blue streak in 1971. ELDO was then merged with the European Space Research Organisation to become the European Space Agency. Only this year it was announced that Australia was going to have its own Space Agency.

This remnant from 64 was only found in 1980, 50 kms south of Giles Weather Station, which is where it is now housed for all to see. I see it more as an abstract sculpture, that’s genius.

Paul,

pvcann.com

 

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Filed under life, Space