Gandhi and Martin Luther King Essay

Gandhi / Martin Luther King Essay
Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. both had very similar beliefs. They both believed in Civil Disobedience and the power of love. Civil Disobedience says that if a law is evil or unjust, it is ok not to obey it. They both believed that it is ones duty to stand up against unjust laws using Ahimsa (the belief of non-violence toward all living things) and Satyagraha (passive resistance, soul force). Gandhi also strongly opposed the treatment of the untouchables in the Indian caste system, and believed in religious unity. He strived for Indian independence from the British Empire, while Kind strived for the equal treatment of African-Americans in the United States.

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When Gandhi was in South Africa, he protested the law stating that Indians in South Africa had to cary passes by burning his pass and the passes of others. This was his first well known act of civil disobedience. In 1921, when Gandhi was back in India, he protested British made goods, especially cloth, by burning all British textiles in a huge fire. He did this to show the British and others that India was not dependent on anybody else for anything. Gandhi’s most famous act of Civil Disobedience was the Salt March in 1930. Gandhi and his followers walked 240 miles to the India ocean to peacefully protest the British monopoly on Indian salt.

Over 80,000 Indians protested the British by making salt without paying the tax. In 1955 Rosa Parks was arrested for not giving up her seat to a white man on a bus. King, along with the help of the Birmingham African-American community, boycotted Montgomery buses for 385 days until a US district court ruling ended racial segregation on montgomery public buses. Later in 1963, King and others organized a march on Washington for jobs and freedom for blacks. This was known as The Great March on Washington, and it was where King

gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. The Selma to Montgomery marches took place in 1965. When King and other protesters attempted to march, they were brutally attacked by mobs and police, making the march known as “Bloody Sunday”.

Both Matin Luther King and Gandhi were successful in their work. On August 14, 1947, India was declared an Independent nation. Gandhi’s main goal of indian independence was completed on this day. Gandhi was not 100% successful though, because India was partitioned into India and Pakistan. The partition opposed Gandhi’s views of religious unity. Also, Gandhi did not achieve his goal of changing the treatment of untouchables in the caste system. Although India was partitioned, India and Pakistan both became independent nations from the British Empire.

On July 2, the Civil RIghts Act of 1964 was put into effect. It outlawed discrimination against racial, ethnic, national and religious minorities, and women. Martin Luther King’s dream had finally come true. He had worked for years trying to stop the unequal treatment of blacks in the US, and he completed that goal in 1964 when this act was put into place. Both Gandhi and King completed their main goals in life, and worked hard to achieve them. Although their goals may have been different, they both had the same morals and many similar beliefs.

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