Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Great Tax Protestors of History:

Mahatma Gandhi

So often, advocates of bigger, more oppressive government position their cause as “good” versus the “evil” of those seeking more liberty and more limited government. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth, but with a massive government public relations machine, a complicit media, a massive dependent non-profit sector, and rapacious politicians and bureaucrats backing this theory, it becomes an uphill battle to fight.

So, in this edition of COAST news, we highlight one of the many heros of limited government and lower taxes: Mahatma Gandhi.

Mahatma Gandhi in 1930 on the Salt March

protesting the British Salt Tax

Read here how Ghandi started the decline of oppressive British rule in India with the Salt March of 1930, opposing none other than the British Salt Tax.

In 1930, Ghandi launched the first act of organized opposition to British rule, and the start of his campaign of non-violence with a march protesting the 1882 British Salt Act. The 1882 Salt Act gave the British a monopoly on the collection and manufacture of salt, limiting its handling to government salt depots and levying a salt tax. Violation of the Salt Act was a criminal offense. Even though salt was freely available to those living on the coast (by evaporation of sea water), Indians were forced to purchase it from the colonial government.

Here is the declaration of the Indian National Congress, headed by Ghandi, before the start of the Salt March

We believe that it is the inalienable right of the Indian people, as of any other people, to have freedom and to enjoy the fruits of their toil and have the necessities of life, so that they may have full opportunities of growth. We believe also that if any government deprives a people of these rights and oppresses them the people have a further right to alter it or abolish it. The British government in India has not only deprived the Indian people of their freedom but has based itself on the xploitation of the masses, and has ruined India economically, politically, culturally and spiritually. We believe therefore, that India must sever the British connection and attain Purna Swaraj or complete independence.

The Salt March drew worldwide attention to the Indian independence movement through extensive newspaper and newsreel coverage. Protests against the salt tax continued for almost a year, ending with Gandhi's release from jail and negotiations with Viceroy Lord Irwin at the Second Round Table Conference.[2] Over 80,000 Indians were jailed as a result of the Salt Tax protests. The campaign had a significant effect on changing world and British attitudes toward Indian independence, and caused large numbers of Indians to actively join the fight for the first time, but failed to win major concessions from the British.

Read more about Ghandi’s Salt Tax protests here.

1 comment:

  1. For all of the good Ghandi did in this world he never received a Nobel Peace Prize, unlike Dear Leader Obama.


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