Comparing Gandhi And Martin Luther King Jr.

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Michelle Smith HSC 1102 (Midterm paper Gandhi vs. King) March 18, 2013 Both Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. used a policy of nonviolent resistance to campaign for change. Instead of countering violence with violence against their aggressors, they chose to resist unfair laws and call for collective social reform by nonviolent methods such as boycotting. After the British forced the Indians to become dependent on British cloth imports, Gandhi led a complete Indian boycott of British clothes. Similarly, King later organized a complete boycott of buses to promote his cause until the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that segregation on public buses was unconstitutional. A major difference was that Gandhi campaigned against unjust laws of the British government, while Martin Luther King Jr. campaigned for rights that "colored" people were already lawfully supposed to have. For instance, according to the U.S. government, all people, regardless of skin color, had the equal right of suffrage, but many racists refused to accept this and attacked non-whites when they attempted to vote. Gandhi fought British oppression with…show more content…
By never striking back, both Gandhi and King portrayed their causes as civilized and just, capturing the sympathy of onlookers and even their oppressors. In Gandhi's case, he made the British look like the ones who were uncultured and cruel, beating and even killing Indians who never used a fist back. In King's case, he too exemplified the Christian doctrine of "turning the other cheek" and "loving your enemies," gathering the sympathy of bystanders and drawing people's attention on the urgency for change. The weakness of nonviolence, however, is that many of the people promoting the cause nonviolently will have to take in blows and suffer great losses, risking their own lives as well as that of their families' and
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