Experiments With Gandhi in Russia
Mr. Putin is projecting protesters as city-bred “idlers” in contrast to the ‘real Russian people’ from the provinces. Demonstrators at an anti-Putin rally in Moscow, in February 2012
Non-violent protests against the Russian President refuse to die down
“After the death of Mahatma Gandhi, there’s nobody left to talk to,” Russia’s leader Vladimir Putin sarcastically joked five years ago commenting on the violations of human rights and freedoms in the West. The Kremlin’s reaction to recent peaceful protests in Moscow has recalled Mr. Putin’s remark.
“It seems that Gandhi has come back to haunt Putin,” the daily Vedomosti said. Indeed, it may be no exaggeration to say the anti-Putin protests that began in December with mass rallies and demonstrations against Mr. Putin’s return as President are increasingly reminiscent of Gandhi’s satyagraha against the British Raj.
Russian protesters have been on the streets and setting up Occupy-type camps in the Russian capital, dispersing at the first police order and offering no resistance when detained. Writers and artists have organised peaceful “strolls” along Moscow boulevards in support of the protests.
“Gandhi successfully used nonviolent resistance to drive the British out of India,” the newspaper noted.