Four Lessons MRC should learn from Mahatma Gandhi
“The Mombasa Republican Council is going to form the next government at the south coast and all those willing to switch citizenship; under the Kenyan hinterland turned independent country, should register with the authorities there.” This is the intro that is going to be splashed at the newsstands and electronic broadcasts if the Kenyan government continues to call a bluff, the cessation attempts by this outlawed group.
That sort of eventuality is going to ring back the legacy of Mahatma Gandhi during his Satyagraha campaign during the 20th century in which he advocated for non- violent rebellion to fight against discrimination towards Indians and eventually led to the independence of India from Great Britain. Realistically speaking, we are never going to read such an intro since none of Gandhi’s lessons is being traced by MRC.
Seek emancipation not Independence
MRC has already made it clear that their creed is not to put an end to the longstanding marginalization of the region but to acquire independence instead. What the group’s leaders fail to realize however is that you can only put up a legitimate claim to Independence if you were under chains and had exhausted all the channels of arbitration and supplication.
The coastal people have been discriminated against nonetheless, in terms of economic empowerment and ownership of land. So far, I concede that supplication is a foregone conclusion but surely the option of using other legitimate means like using their elected leaders to drive their equality agenda has barely been scratched.
On the MRC front, an olive branch has been extended to them in the form of an invitation to talks with government to evaluate their demands on condition that they drop their cessation calls. By refusing to these or any other calls for dialogue, the group is now in danger of committing actual seditious acts.
Abscond from acts of violence
Mahatma Gandhi’s creed was to pursue all the channels that led to emancipation without resorting to violent confrontation. In his very words: ‘Non-violence is the first article of my faith. It is also the last article of my creed.’ He always engaged with the British authorities to improve the lives of Indians prior to independence. In contrast, the MRC are all for taking hard-line stances and sending aerial stone missiles against gun- wielding trigger- happy policemen. Several other acts of violent dissent have been associated with the group bringing to question its real intentions.
True Leadership not selfish interests delivered justice
Mahatma was also a true leader in the sense that he fought for all despite their religion or caste in society. In 1932 he fasted to protest against the treatment of people who belonged to no Hindu caste, the Harijans or Untouchables.
Although he was himself a member of the Vaisya (merchant) caste, Gandhi was the great leader of the movement in India dedicated to eradicating the unjust social and economic aspects of the caste system. In 1947, he fasted again and successfully brought an end to violence between Hindus and Muslims in Calcutta (now Kolkata) after India’s independence.
Kenya’s independence was anything but a successful ‘freedom from oppression’ struggle. Instead, something akin to the caste was established where the leaders of the new era engaged in perpetrating injustices by running rampant in the country condemning many as internally displaced people and forging a wide rift between the haves and have-nots.
Mahatma did not ask for the independence of Hindu India from Muslim India, but advocated for unity between Muslims and Hindus. Similarly, MRC should hear this from way back in 1963 where they are currently living a delusion and join other IDPs from all over the country to reclaim their heritage from the greedy mandarins.
Recognize independence when it comes and strive for greater goals
Mahatma knew that independence had come when he saw it and thereafter continued his noble campaign for a just society by keeping his demands issue based.
The fact that MRC has come out in a last gasp attempt to secede at a time when county governments and reforms in every sector including devolution have been assured by the new constitution is proof that opportunistic sadists are at work. Remember them from Kenya’s independence?