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Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. were civil right activists who took a form of action to obtain equal rights amongst their society. Gandhi moved to South Africa in 1893 to serve the Indian population after failing to establish a legal practice in Bombay. Subsequent to moving to South Africa, he recognized many laws that discriminated against Indians and initiated a change by taking action. Gandhi developed his theory of satyagraba ("soul force"), which implicates social justice through love as well as suffering the consequences. After meeting with a group of Indian nationalists he wrote down his theories in a pamphlet called "Hind Swarf" or "Indian Home Rule".
Martin Luther King Jr. did a non-violent campaign in Birmingham Alabama. Birmingham was one of the few cities where the fourth step in King's non-violent campaign theory called "direct action" was necessary. Unfortunately, King was jailed on April 12-20, 1963 for violating a court injunction by leading a protest march in Birmingham. While King was in jail, eight Alabama clergymen published a statement criticizing the use of "direct action" and referred to this approach as "unwise and untimely". While incarcerated, King politely responded to their statement in a letter titled "Letter from Birmingham City Jail."
Martin Luther King Jr. and Mohandas Gandhi developed theories that linked to a system that surpassed governmental laws. King and Gandhi had educational as well as logical reasoning for taking each approach towards unjust laws. Mohandas Gandhi based his document on defining the true meaning of civilization where as Martin Luther King Jr. based his document on recognizing the reason he wanted to cease injustice. Both Gandhi and King discussed reasons regarding the use of non-violent actions to fight for their rights.
Gandhi differentiates the definition the word "civilization" between the British and India. According to Gandhi, the British progressed their civilization by the advancement of technology. Instead of using and gaining their own knowledge, they rely on objects such as machinery and electronics. "Its true test lies in the fact that people living in it make bodily welfare the object of life (Gandhi, 434)." This definition says that without material advancement, one will never survive which implies that the British has misled the term "civilization". In the world today many rely on technology for example, instead of writing one will type and instead of going to the library to research by books, one will go on the Internet. Despite the advantages of technology, technology has disadvantages for instance; typing on a computer with the attributes such as grammar check will cause one to be indolent and not attempt to write to their best ability.
According to Gandhi, the India's definition of the term "civilization" is "the mode of conduct which points out to man the path of duty (Gandhi 434)", meaning civilizatio
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Names referenced in this essay
Martin Luther King jr., Mohandas Gandhi,
Locations referenced in this essay
Birmingham, Alabama, King, the Indians,
Keywords included in this essay
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