HIST 2312 Lecture 6: Themes of Freedom and Nationalism Lecture Notes Over Gandhi, Nehru, Nkrumah, and Kenyatta
Course CodeHIST 2312
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Themes of Freedom and Nationalism
These four documents, Indian Home Rule or Hind Swaraj by Mohandas K. Gandhi,
Speech On the Granting of Indian Independence of Jawaharlal Nehru, The Kenya Africa
Union is Not the Mau Mau by Jomo Kenyatta and I Speak of Freedom by Kwame Nkrumah,
address to different parts of the world (India and the African continent), periods of time and
issues. Their authors also have different points of view to the mentioned topics like the
nationalism or freedom. But, despite of these variations in opinions, all documents have
common central accents.
The common theme in all four texts is the issue of the freedom and unity in the
mentioned regions (the country or parts of the continent). All authors agree on the fact that
the collaboration on different social levels is needed to achieve these goals. At least none of
them directly said phrases like “destroy this group to achieve freedom and prosperity”. They
also address the issue of the European domination on their lands and do not support violent
methods in the way to their goals. Additionally, at least two of the four authors (Gandhi and
Nkrumah) believe in the big, but the unused potential of their regions. “The condition of
India is unique. Its strength is immeasurable”
stated Gandhi, and Nkrumah claimed Africa is
rich in natural sources, which its populations do not get benefits from.
Addressing to the issue of freedom and independence, authors use different
approaches to this topic. Kenyatta shows the most practical and international attitude.
Speaking about the role of the Kenya Africa Union, he focused on low salaries, comparing to
the European level, abuse of alcohol and the necessity not to transfer the negative experience
of the Mau Mau’s actions on the new union. The author proclaimed the equal attitude to
people, despite of their race or other features: “true democracy has no colour distinction. It
. Mohandas K. Gandhi, Indian Home Rule or Hind Swaraj (Ahmedabad: Navajivan
Publishing House, 1938), 48.
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