Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. were two prominent figures in the history of India and the US respectively. At this point, it is worth mentioning the fact that their life and work contributed to a considerable change in the life of their peoples. They led their countries to almost revolutionary changes and to change of the ideology of the ruling elite. At the same time, in spite of the fact that Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. lived and worked in different parts of the world they were, to a significant extent similar, although they had substantial differences determined by their cultural background and different traditions and history of their countries.
On comparing Gandhi and King were true leaders. Martin Luther King Jr. was the prominent leader of the Civil Rights movement in the US. His work contributed to the rise of the Civil Rights movement. Similarly, Gandhi headed the struggle of Indian people for a better life. He headed the struggle of democratic forces oriented on the protection of interests of average people in India against the ruling party (Corbridge and Harris, 109). Martin Luther King Jr. headed the African American community in the struggle of African Americans for equal rights and liberties compared to the white majority.
At the same time, both Gandhi and King supported the non-violent method. In this respect, it is worth mentioning the fact that Gandhi was a prominent supporter of the non-violent method of struggle. He argued that the civil action is strong enough to force the ruling elite to change their policies or to give in their power to a new political force headed by Gandhi. Similarly, Martin Luther King Jr. also denied the use of violence (Blauner, 192). Instead, he stimulated the rise of the Civil Rights movement. In such a way, Martin Luther King focused on the development of the Civil Rights movement and stimulated the development of non-violent methods, the rise of protests and other non-violent methods.However, in spite of obvious similarities, Martin Luther King Jr. and Mohandas Gandhi haв some substantial differences. To put it more precisely, Martin Luther King struggled a lot because he had to ruin racial biases and stereotypes and change the entire society making Americans one nation (Douglass, 76). At this point, it is worth mentioning the fact that Martin Luther King Jr. had to struggle for his position and raise the public to support his views.
In contrast, Gandhi struggled against the ruling party solely, whereas the entire nation supported him. He just showed the way his nation should pass to reach the unity and prosperity and to overthrow the ruling elite, which oppressed the population of India (Bondurant, 52). In such a way, Gandhi had the abundant support of the entire nation. The support at the national level contributed to the development of the strong political power headed by Gandhi (Ashman, 104). He did not need to unite large masses of people like Martin Luther King. In such a way, he relied on the support of the entire nation, whereas Martin Luther King Jr. started the Civil Rights movement.
Thus, taking into account all above mentioned, it is important to place emphasis on the fact that Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. were true leaders of their communities, who reached a tremendous success but had the tragic ending of their lives.
Ashman, S. “India: Imperialism, partition and resistance”. International Socialism, December 1997, 77.
Blauner, B. Black Lives, White Lives. New York: Routledge, 2005.
Bondurant, J. V. Conquest of Violence: The Gandhian Philosophy of Conflict. Princeton UP, 1988.
Corbridge, S. and Harris, J. Reinventing India. LA: Blackwell. 2000.
Douglass, J. The Martin Luther King Conspiracy: Exposed in Memphis. Probe Magazine, 18, 2000.