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Gandhi’s salt march: A parable for universal health care as a national satyagraha Carl Nelson Northeastern University, Boston MA.

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Presentation on theme: "Gandhi’s salt march: A parable for universal health care as a national satyagraha Carl Nelson Northeastern University, Boston MA."— Presentation transcript:

1 Gandhi’s salt march: A parable for universal health care as a national satyagraha Carl Nelson Northeastern University, Boston MA

2 Outline Brief Synopsis of Events of 1930 Brief Synopsis of Events of 1930 Choice of Symbol Choice of Symbol Outcomes-Practical and Psychological Outcomes-Practical and Psychological The Salt March, Strategic Nonviolent Conflict and Universal Health Care The Salt March, Strategic Nonviolent Conflict and Universal Health Care

3 “A Force More Powerful” Satyagraha: reliance on truth: The Gandhian method of achieving social and political reform by means of tolerance and active goodwill coupled with a firmness in one’s cause expressed through nonviolent passive resistance and noncooperation. Satyagraha: reliance on truth: The Gandhian method of achieving social and political reform by means of tolerance and active goodwill coupled with a firmness in one’s cause expressed through nonviolent passive resistance and noncooperation. Webster’s Third New International Webster’s Third New International Dictionary, Dictionary, 1963.

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7 Importance of Symbol Historic Historic Economic Economic Religious Religious Cultural Cultural Medical Medical

8 Psychological Outcomes “psychological change, almost as if some expert in psychoanalytic methods had probed deep into the patient’s past, found out the origins of his complexes, exposed them to his view, and thus rid him of that burden.” Nehru what Gandhi ultimately accomplished was to give back Indians their “Identity” …. “…a process ‘located’ in the core of the individual and yet also in the core of his communal culture, a process which establishes, in fact, the identity of those two identities.” Erikson “When a man really wants freedom and to live in a democratic Society he may not be able to free the whole world...but he can to a large extent at least free himself by behaving as a rational and moral being, and if he can do this, others around him can do the same, and these again will spread freedom by their example.” Roy “When a man really wants freedom and to live in a democratic Society he may not be able to free the whole world...but he can to a large extent at least free himself by behaving as a rational and moral being, and if he can do this, others around him can do the same, and these again will spread freedom by their example.” Roy

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10 Classification of Strategic Nonviolent Weapons: Applications to Achieving Universal Health Care Essential- indispensable persuasive tactics, small or large in scope or scale, guaranteed to arouse attention, solidarity, consciousness, and reaction…benefits usually easily outweigh costs of application Essential- indispensable persuasive tactics, small or large in scope or scale, guaranteed to arouse attention, solidarity, consciousness, and reaction…benefits usually easily outweigh costs of application Useful-often situation specific, costs and benefits of application frequently hard to judge Useful-often situation specific, costs and benefits of application frequently hard to judge Avoid-tendency to alienate otherwise supportive constituencies Avoid-tendency to alienate otherwise supportive constituencies Not Applicable: possibly of use in other protest movements but not in the struggle for universal health care. Not Applicable: possibly of use in other protest movements but not in the struggle for universal health care.

11 Canadian Experience “It wasn’t like we sat down over afternoon tea and crumpets and said please pass the health care bill so we can sign it and get on with the day. We fought, we threatened, the doctors went on strike, refused patients, people held rallies and signed petitions for and against it, burned effigies of government leaders, hissed, jeered, and booed at the doctors or the Premier depending on whose side they were on. In a nutshell, we weren’t the stereotypical nice polite Canadians.” Karen S. Palmer. “A Brief History: Universal Health Care Efforts in the U.S. Late 1800's to Medicare”) San Francisco, Spring, 1999 PNHP Meeting


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