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Gandhi and King

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When you think of civil rights movements two powerful leaders often come to mind, Martin Luther King Jr. and Mohandas Gandhi. Although they lived in two different places and in two different times, they were similar in many ways. They were both educated, men of God, and believed that non-violence was the paramount way to acquire the civil liberties that all humans deserve. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born on October 2, 1869 in a small town named Porbander in British India. Gandhi was married at age thirteen and fathered five children, the first died after only a few days after birth. Gandhi went to London to pursue a degree in law and was enamored with the people that shared in his disenchantment with the Enlightenment thinkers and the industrialized society. After one year of an unsuccessful law practice he accepted a job in South Africa as a legal advisor for a firm of Muslims. It is here that he becomes aware of the discrimination towards the Indian people. Gandhi was thrown off of a train after refusing to move to third class while he was holding a first class ticket. He continued his journey by stagecoach where he was beaten by a driver for refusing to make room for a European passenger; he considered this his political and social injustice awakening. Gandhi lengthened his stay in South Africa to help halt the passage of a bill that would deny Indians the right to vote. Although he was unsuccessful he helped to draw attention to the injustice that was happening in South Africa. He stayed in South Africa from 1893-1914 where he became highly involved in the civil rights movement that was occurring. Shortly after the train incident he called the first meeting of the Indians of Pretoria where they attacked racial discrimination by whites; this launched his campaign for improved legal rights for Indians in South Africa. On September 11, 1906 at a meeting in Johannesburg protesting a new Act requiring all of the Indian population to register with...

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