Tuesday 15 November 2011

Gandhi - The Salt Marches

In the 2005 movie War of the Worlds directed by Stephen Spielberg and starring (though not shining) Tom Cruise, it takes under twelve hours to reduce the mobile TV crew from studio cosmetic aficionados to wrecked plane scavengers hauling the ready meals off an open fuselage and scoffing away like they were auditioning for Lord of the Flies in a lean period. 

I mention that movie because it's done so badly yet the point is still concrete. When push comes to shove humans or their institutions will react dramatically as in the Gandhi movie when a country that runs on salt and water is immediately threatened by the very people who need it against those who control it. Here the people choose to ignore their colonial masters and take charge of the salt business themselves thus rejecting the taxation of salt. It's a classic example of strategic and effective protest but not without its pain.

If there's one scene in the Ben Kingsley movie of Gandhi that has remained with me from the moment I first watched, it's this scene for it's approach to non violent action that overcame greed and unfairness by the British, in a manner that is brutal and hard to forget.