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Decolonization
is the withdrawal from a colonial power by ensuring economic and political
independence. This leads to the dominated territory rejecting the colonialist
mindset and in extreme situations, it might result to a war of independence. In
rare cases, actions leading to independence are characterized by nonviolence
for example the Indian Independence Movement. The British reign over India
ended due to notable efforts by Mohandas Gandhi who inspired civil rights
movements in the world through his leadership in non-violent protests. He
used tactics such as urging Indians not to use the British goods, resign from
government employment and to stop studying in the British institutions.  On the contrary, the British presence in Kenya
was marked with violence. The British rule resulted in the Mau Mau uprising, a
revolt against colonial rule in Kenya which lasted from 1952 through to 1960.  This study focuses on finding out the views
of Kenyatta and Gandhi on decolonization and the geographic and racial.

            The British Empire colonized
both India and Kenya and its history is a complex one. The Empire was initially
shaped by acquiring of land and creation of colonies. More also, there was an
expansion of the Empire through royal charters both for land and companies such
as the Royal African Company. During 1776, Britain suffered the loss of the
Thirteen American colonies and therefore had to expand its attention to the
Pacific, Africa, and Asia. Slave trade was abolished in 1807 through the Slave
Trade Act. In addition, exploration and missionary work commenced in Africa
with missionaries and explorers tasked with ensuring the spread of civilization
and Christianity and exploration of Africa. On the other hand, the Indian
Mutiny, opium wars between India and China and the decline of East India
Company all led to the direct control of India by the British government in
late 1850’s.

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 Kenyatta was among those charged with
organizing the Mau Mau movement and hence sentenced to imprisonment. The Mau
Mau emergence was notable because of the violence perpetrated by both the colonial
government and the tribal groups. The controversial issues included the loss of
land to the white settlers, poverty and the expulsion of Kikuyu tenants from
the settler farms. The Mau Mau attacked and killed white landowners forcing
Britain to pushback through use of detainment camps. The more the British
government continued to abuse Kenyans and restrict their access to land, the
more desire for self-determination increased. Large numbers of natives were
killed and tortured and the idea of freedom became a pressing issue. 

Gandhi’s View on Decolonization

India
is defined by its diversity; it is the home to a variety of cultures,
ethnicities, religions, and polities. One of the most notable movements in
India is Gandhi’s who is up to date regarded as a saintly figure and a father
of free India. Mohandas Gandhi thrust himself into politics in 1917 and became
the leader of a nonviolent movement. Gandhi campaigned against the wealthiest empires
and won independence for India. Their struggle became a model for all people in
the world including the Civil Rights Movements in the United States. Gandhi
advocated for a purely nonviolent fight towards India’s independence. More
also, he championed the rights and welfare of the women, peasants, and farmers
who were ranked as lower castes. The peaceful protests organized by Gandhi led
to the birth of the independence movement by World War II. Though the view of
Gandhi on decolonization was a peaceful one, the evolutionary Hindu groups
challenged his approach by waging armed struggle against the British.

Racial and Geographic Differences

The European exploration of Kenya
began in the 19th century. This led to the establishment of East
Africa Protectorate in 1895 and from 1920 referred to as the Kenya colony. Racism
was practiced in Africa during the white rule which ensured there was a clear
line between the “superior” white man and the “inferior”
black man. Racism was a distinct factor and greatly contributed to the
decolonization. The British felt the need to civilize Africans and particularly
in Kenya the black man was forced to carry kipande for identification. Kenyatta
was the leading figure as the president of the Kenya African Union (KAU) and
very vigorous in calling for Kenya’s independence from Great Britain. In 1952,
Kenyatta denounced the Mau Mau and insisted that independence had to be
attained through peaceful means. 
Kenyatta urged his followers to be hard working as well as abandon theft
and crime. He also insisted that in an independent Kenya all racial groups will
be safeguarded.

Similarly,
the British segregated the Indians by use of the caste system. Indians were
placed on different levels of caste depending on their Varna which meant color
or Jati meaning birth. The administrative jobs and senior appointments were
granted to the upper castes. Those on the lower castes were denied access to
public institutions such as schools, roads, and courts. More also, they were
restricted from enjoying certain services such as those offered by restaurants
and theatres. Much of India’s history after the 1500s
was dominated by British influence resulting in permanent trading stations in Chennai,
Kolkata, and Mumbai. The British influence then continued to expand and by
1850s most of India was controlled by the British. By late 1800s, India started
to work towards its independence and in January 1950 India became a member of
the British Commonwealth.

Effects of
Decolonization

The weak leadership in Kenya paved way for
the British to easily divide and rule. Once the British took over they stripped
leaders of any power they had hence creating a layer which would eventually
leave Kenya in a political and economic distress.  The resources were taken advantage of which
led to Mau Mau uprising to fight for freedom hence adding on to the political
and economic distress.  When the British
left, the country’s was left with no structure and waning resources. Despite
the annual growth rate, the number of jobs kept depreciating since the lands
that Kenyans used to cultivate and build wealth had been taken by British. The world today is divided into first and third world
countries due to the actions of colonialism and imperialism taken over 150
years ago.  The effects of British rule
left India as a third world country.  The
Indians under British rule were required to produce products for trade and
never allowed to harvest hence leaving Indians at risk of starvation and
disease. However, the British ensured a higher education in India as well as an
improved system.

Conclusion

            Every
year the Indians celebrate the date of birth of Gandhi as the International day
of nonviolence. Gandhi was instrumental in liberating India from the British.
He asked every Indian to take a pledge that they would not rest until they
attained their freedom. He had a strong view that the fighting for freedom was
not for the coward. Likewise, Kenyatta played a significant role in the
transformation of Kenya into an independent country.  He strongly believed that the European colonial
rule in Africa should end. Kenyatta had a strong view that under colonialism
Africa’s human and natural resources were being used for the benefit of
European and not to benefit African population. 
He shared the philosophy that all men ought to have the right to develop
peacefully and in accordance with their wishes. He advocated for the human
dignity in freedom and for the values of tolerance and peace.

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