Dual Sovereignty and Parallel Government

Non-Violence as a road to social change is a way of eliminating conflicts. It helps to foster peaceful co-existence instead of passive acceptance of a government. The use of parallel governments is sometimes used in regions where racial or ethnic differences have caused a rift in society. In these regions, one side feels the necessity to separate from the main government into sovereign self rule. People who live under the control of parallel governments are subject to the law and rules of both the local and federal governments. But, sometimes with a loss of civil rights.

In parts of the world where countries have deep divisions among its ethnic groups, the rights of some groups are denied by the ruling majority. A parallel government can give groups self determination within their country without having a civil war. The new governing body usually expresses the regional populist view that addresses the needs of the citizens. The Prati Sarkar was formed in Satara, Inda after its liberation from the British. The local sovereign power ruled for about five years, and, it became efficient in protecting and providing for the needs of tis citizens.But, when parallel governance is used to solve racial or ethnic conflict, it sometimes meets with disapproval. In the Untied States, in a 2009 letter regarding the Alaska Bill, the Commission of Civil Rights protested a move by congress to “reorganize” racial groups into dependent sovereign nations unless they have had a long history of self governing. In Hawaii, the 2010 Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, a bill for separate governance for people of native descent is meeting with disapproval. The bill would set-aside a race based governing body to represent Hawaiians in the state and federal government. The bill does have a downside for Hawaiians. It would mean a loss of state laws and rules that protect their health and safety.The use of parallel governments and dual sovereign nations is a peaceful solution for the conflict between groups in a country. These measures often meet with disapproval from constitutional purist. And, dual sovereignty could mean the loss of some rights. For some groups, it is their still their best chance for self determination.

Continue reading the 198 Methods of Nonviolent Action.

Also check out The Politics of Nonviolent Action Part One / Part Two / Part Three.

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