During the early 1940s, most colonized countries were involved in struggles to end the colonization. These struggles differed from one country to another, in India, for example, Mohandas Gandhi was at the forefront of the fight to gain self-rule. The struggle to gain independence in India had begun earlier dating to the Indian Mutiny of 1857. In 1916, the struggle for independence was under the leadership of Mohandas Gandhi. He was a western trained lawyer, spiritual Hindu theologian and a philosopher. His ideologies were for the people to embrace non-violence in their struggle for independence. He held wide notions of faith among various religions in the country. Mohandas led the people in the search for truth and simplicity. His leadership skills were important in making India an independent state in the year 1947.
In Africa, the struggle for independence first gained root mostly in West Africa where there were several political parties formed. In the British Gold Coast Colony (Ghana) there were much more organized anti-colonial activities led by the Kwame Nkrumah, a western trained leader who was among the organizers of the pan African Congress of 1945. The parties in West Africa were more organized and had mass followings both in the rural and urban areas. In Ghana, Kwame led the CCP, a political party that was to lead the people in attaining self-rule from the colonialists. According to Kwame’s “I speak of Freedom: A statement of African Ideology,” Kwame was involved in various anti-colonial activities throughout the country, he held rallies, wrote articles that were meant to reach out to the people of Ghana urging them to come together and fight for their freedom. “Day after day, in various ways, I hammered home the message of full self-government, not in the shortest possible time but now, NOW”
In South Africa, Nelson Mandela was also involved in this struggle to end the minority rule and fight for the rights of blacks in the country. During his speech in the before sentencing in 1962, he cried for the rights that Africans wanted to be accorded within the state. He decried the inhuman apartheid laws that the country was imposing on the people and cried for all South Africans to be given similar rights to those given to the whites. He was sentenced to prison where he stayed for 27 years before being released and becoming the first democratically elected president of South Africa in the year 1994.
Jean S. Canale, A. Adu Boahen, 1993: West Africa, 1945-1960
Kwame Nkrumah, I Speak of Freedom: A statement of African Ideology, New York: Prager, 1961
Mohandas Gandhi, (1947) Hind Swaraj or Indian Home Rule (1910) and Message to Chinese Women. Madras: G.A. Natesn, 1921.
Nelson Mandela, “Statement from the dock at the Rivonia trial” Pretoria Supreme Court, 20th April, 1964.