Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Rosa Lee Parks - 1913-2005

Rosa Parks is dead. She died on monday Oct 24th 2005.

Intrestingly only yesterday i had posted some story on Mahatma Gandhi. I dont think she had heard about Mahatma Gandhi, like Martin Luther King had. But her simple act of disobedience, helped ignite a spark, in the ongoing civil rights struggle in the United States. In 1955, she refused to get up from her seat in the bus and move to the back of the bus. In some respect like Gandhi who when thrown out of the train in South Africa, began his experiment with Satyagraha, she began hers when she was asked to move to the back and refused, and went to jail because of it.

Rosa Parks defied a law, a racist law that allowed the whites to sit in front of the bus near the door. Blacks had to walk to the back of the bus. She was arrested for her defiance to sit in a seat reserved for the whites. This lead to a bus boycott, and eventually the law was declared unconstitutional. As is typical of the US, then and even today, they let the law take its course. Even though law is most times, one-side, unjust and discriminatory.

Many people in the world think that the US was always a vibrant democracy from when it started in 1776. It was not. The democracy evolved in the US, over the many years, with a struggle for women voting rights, freedom from slavery, voting rights for the blacks (rather should i say non-white), and the break down of segregation. The great 'founding fathers' as they are lovingly called in the US, didnt have the foresight to grant these to its citizens. The citizens had to always struggle and fight to get its freedom and liberty.

May her soul rest in peace.

naianam chindanti shastrani nainam dahanti pavakah |
na chai anam kledayanti apo no shoshyati marutah ||


Read more about Rosa Parks in these sites below:
Rosa Parks Library and Museum
The Mother of the Modern-day Civil Rights Movement

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