Ackerman on the “mild Hindu”

Peter Ackerman and Christopher Kruegler, Strategic Nonviolent Conflict: The Dynamics of People Power in the Twentieth Century, Westport: Praeger, 1994, 158:

The stereotype of the “mild Hindu” is persistent but utterly misleading.  A common misperception is that “successful nonviolent action bust be culturally specific, since only people with a predisposition to submissive behavior could face guns and abuse without retaliating, as the Indians did..”  The nonviolent movement in India was by no means exclusively Hindu.  Those Muslims who participated most actively came from a tradition which glorified personal and collective violence.  Whatever Indian submissiveness may have been observed by European commentators is far more likely to have arisen from prolonged conquest and colonization rather than from anything endemic in Hindu or any other Indian culture.


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