Rules for Civil Disobedience Movement, as per Gandhi.

Rules for Civil Disobedience Movement, as per Gandhi.

The American author Henry David Thoreau pioneered the modern theory behind the practice of civil disobedience in his 1849 essay, Civil Disobedience. The idea behind this essay is that one has a morally good standing as long as one can 'get off another man's back'. One does not have to use physical force, but the efforts should not be aimed to bias others for or against the government.

Passivity and non-violence are the main characteristics of any such movement.


People planning to protest using the Civil Disobedience method usually get some training beforehand about how to react if they get arrested or attacked, so that they will be able to handle any situation on the field.

For example, Mahatma Gandhi outlined the following rules:

1. A civil resister (or satyagrahi in Hindi) should not keep any anger within

2. He should be ready to bear the anger of the opponent

3. He will have to take in the assaults from the opponent without striking back, but he will not even submit himself to any fear or to any order given by the opponent

4. If any authority of the opposite party comes to arrest a civil resister, the latter should readily submit to the arrest, and not resist even the confiscation of any of his own property, if any

5. But if a civil resister is a trustee to any property, he will have to save it from confiscation at any cost, even if he runs the risk of losing his life

6. Retaliation can include only swearing and cursing. Any insultingly or outrageously worded slogans are also not allowed to be uttered by a resister.

7. A civil resister will not salute the Union Jack but he will also not insult it or any officials, English or Indian

8. If anyone insults or attacks any official during the struggle, a civil resister is supposed to protect such official or officials even at the risk of his life

Gandhi's rules were put down specifically for the Indian independence movement, but many of them have been used by resisters practicing civil disobedience all around the world.
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