Gandhi... valores para una propuesta de futuro

22 gandhi... valores para una propuesta de futuro Coolies…continued to defy simple categorizations. In a nation struggling to define slavery and freedom, coolies seemed to fall under neither yet both; they were viewed as a natural advancement from chattel slavery and a means to maintain slavery’s worst features. Coolies confused the boundary between slavery and freedom, between black and white, causing the mass demand for Asian migrant laborers as well as appeals for their exclusion in the postbellum United States (Jung 2006: 6) . In trying to wipe out the ignominy of indenture, he turns to Indianness but sees that it is a hot potato no one wants to claim: I could see that the ‘Indians’ (quotes mine) were divided into different groups. One was that of Mussalman merchants, who would call themselves ‘Arabs.’ Another was that of Hindu and yet another that of Parsi clerks. The Hindu clerks were neither here nor there, unless they cast in their lot with the Arabs. The Parsi clerks would call themselves ‘Persians.’... But by far the largest class was that composed of Tamil, Telegu and North Indian indentured and freed laborers (Gandhi 1927: 89–90). Yet Gandhi sees Indianness as an inevitable construct, an imagined necessity as he faces the reality of the plantation. In the 1890s and early 1900s, Gandhi goes abut refining, defining, selecting, propagating and “creating” the Indian diasporic experience he wrote about everyday. He recognizes the skill and perseverance of the Indian transplanted farmer, the loyalty to folk traditions. He then takes the newly untied “Indian” including Hindu and Muslim, Sikh and Christan, Gujarati, Pathan, Tamil and Telugu, back with him, to define his movement. His important technique was the march. Working with a group that theorists of the working class would call a ‘rag tag’ ‘lumpenproletariat’ group, the march is a powerful technique of mobilization. Bringing people out into the public sphere to assert their rights, give people a sense of their power. Everyone knows Gandhi’s Salt March where he led a protest to the sea, in defiance of the tax against salt. But he first led such a march in South Africa, in defiance of fines and outlawing of Hindu marriages.