Passive May Be Better Than Active

By Masterwordsmith

Mandela served 27 years in prison, spending many of these years on Robben Island. After he was released from prison on 11 February 1990, Mandela led his party in the negotiations that led to multi-racial democracy in 1994. As president, he frequently gave priority to reconciliation, while introducing policies aimed at combating poverty and inequality in South Africa. Since then, Mandela has received more than 250 awards over four decades, including the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize.

If there had been no hartal and if Mandela and his fellow countrymen had not persevered for the cause, would South Africa have been liberated? For sure, we need brave Malaysians to blaze the trail for change in our beloved country!

In his article Cure the Cause, Not the Symptoms yesterday, Raja Petra said:

If the political parties prove they are incapable of bringing about change then maybe we should forget about political parties (and therefore about seeing change through the electoral process — which without reforms is not going to see a change of government anyway). Maybe it requires a different form of action to bring about change.

And what alternative form of action do you think this will require?

That is what we may need to talk about now.

Now, I wonder what he meant by that. Could he probably have meant taking a passive rather than active stance?
Passive resistance may be a better option than active action seeing that many Malaysians can be perceived as gutless and scared of civil action such as taking to the streets because they fear the police, arrest, water cannons, etc.
Well, how about you DON’T take to the streets? Instead, you stay home and do nothing. Imagine a scenario where 28 million Malaysians stay home and don’t go to work or school. Public transport such as buses, train and taxis don’t run. How long do you think a government can last. Is this what RPK meant? Was he referring to ‘hartal – the power of silent protests?
Hartal is a word derived from Gujurati that literally translates to “closing down shops” or “locking doors”refers to the act of closing shops or suspending work, esp in political protest. To be fair, while hartal by virtue is the political and constitutional right of citizens to protest the failure of their government at keeping promises and/or making decisions or taking actions contrary to people’s interest, hartal can negatively impact the economy and daily activities of people.
Historically, it has been more than a century since the first hartal was staged in South Africa. Led by Ghandi who conceived the idea of civil disobedience because of his methodology of satyagraha (devotion to the truth) against colonialism , it was organized to protest The Black Act in 1906 in 1906.
It is inspiring to see how the amendment of the ‘Black Act’ mobilized more Indian people in the Transvaal into joining Gandhi’s Satyagraha campaign. South African History Online says: