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Comparing and Contrasting – Gandhi and King

Both Gandhi and Martin Luther King used passive resistance to fight for social justice and equality but their individual use of it varies immensely.

In the early 1900s, Gandhi inspired a successful nonviolence movement to end the British Raj in India. Gandhi strongly believed that nonviolence – or Satyagraha – was the most influential way to fight unjust laws and discrimination.

Following Gandhi’s movement, in the late 1950s and 1960s was a similar movement sparked by renowned leader, Martin Luther King, Jr. King mimicked Gandhi’s utilization of Gandhi’s nonviolence for the purpose of liberating the discriminated black community in America. The most potent difference between the two leaders was their cause for employing nonviolence and the unforgiving situations and opposers they fought. In Gandhi’s era, he was battling the minority, but brutal force of the British Empire, but King fought the racial injustice and inequality that plagued American society, lurking on every street corner. Both tasks are no easy feat, but time and time again, one sees the tactic of nonviolence defeating even the most noble militia. Although King’s use of nonviolence is very similar to Gandhi’s, there are a few critical differences in how Gandhi executed Satyagraha compared to Dr. King’s use of adopted nonviolence because of the difference in situations that they were faced with.

Since many of King’s tactics were based on Gandhi’s, the two influential leaders shared a very similar viewpoint on nonviolent resistance including the use of tactics such as civil disobedience and noncooperation. Both leaders used the powerful nonviolent force to fight social injustices of their time. Their methods for successfully utilizing nonviolence were civil disobedience and noncooperation. In April 1930, Gandhi successfully lead the Salt March from Sabarmati, and traveled over 240 miles to Dandi where thousands of Indians produced salt from their Ocean, defying the British salt monopoly.This act of civil disobedience was to combat the unjust law of British Salt taxes.

Similarly, King lead civil disobedience demonstrations with lunch counter sit-ins where black students would try to fight the unjust laws of segregation by sitting at an all white lunch counter. Gandhi also used noncooperation to boycott British

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