Being a Good Citizen Essay

967 Words Feb 26th, 2008 4 Pages
Does good citizenship necessitate following the laws despite some kind of injustice within them? Are good citizens obliged to blindly follow the government policies? It follows then, what is good citizenship? Henry David Thoreau provides an adequate definition of good citizenship within his essay, Civil Disobedience; Thoreau discusses certain characteristics of a good citizen. Examples of Thoreau's definition exist in both the ancient and contemporary culture. Sophocles describes Antigone as a good citizen by Thoreau's definition. Within the play, Antigone, Sophocles utilizes the character of Antigone to epitomize the proper role of citizens within a society. Currently in India, economic growth has given rise to the need for good citizens …show more content…
Good citizenship, however, does not necessitate that one must break the laws; citizens can legally demonstrate against the government like Gudiya Bai, who initiated a public march for land rights within India. The New York Times discusses the hardship that Bai underwent as a result of an unjust system that accommodated developers due to India's economic growth. The article, "India's Peasants Protest for Land Rights" by Saher Mahmood and Somini Sengupta, recount Bai's story: Bai lost her land to a limestone mine, began a legal march, and soon others, who experienced similar hardships due to India's economic growth, accompanied her. The biggest challenge for the Indian government is "balance[ing] the needs of a vulnerable countryside with the demands of economic expansion" (Mahmood and Sengupta A9). Because of the growing number of peasant protests, some of which are so violent that certain projects have been indefinitely postponed, the Indian government is forced to revise its Special Economic Zone policy, which endows developers with generous tax breaks. The government is now formulating a policy that will compensate the lost land and livelihood. Bai, like Antigone, exemplifies good citizenship. She saw unfairness in the industrial corporations' seizing peasant lands and demonstrated against the injustice. Good

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