Mohandas Gandhi vs. Martin Luther King Jr.
People all over the world know that Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. did great things in their life times. But which one was more effective during his time? The answer to this question is somewhat biased, usually depending on your race, geographical location, and if you or someone you know has directly experienced the effects of the actions of these men. An Indian would choose Mohandas Gandhi over Martin Luther King Jr. without even thinking about it. African Americans are going to choose Martin Luther King Jr. because he fought for their rights. Someone living in or near South Africa or India would most likely choose Mohandas Gandhi as the more effective person, whereas a person near or in the United Sates would choose Martin Luther King Jr. Mohandas Gandhi freed an entire country with non-violent protests and changed laws in South Africa; this makes him more effective during his time than Martin Luther King Jr.
Mohandas Gandhi’s brother Lamidas was contacted by Dada Abdulla’s cousin to see if Gandhi would be interested in spending a year in South Africa. According to Coolidge Dada Abdulla was a ship-owner and trader of Durban, the chief port of the British Crown Colony of Natal, South Africa but his intrigue did not end there. Dada Abdulla was interested in Johannesburg, “a gold mining town in the Boer republic of Transvaal” (Coolidge 37). Dada Abdulla was faced with a lawsuit over a large amount of money in Johannesburg with a fellow Indian merchant. Dada Abdulla’s cousin thought that an Indian lawyer would be valuable to the South African lawyers already working on the case. This cousin offered Gandhi first class round trip with all expenses paid. He also offered Gandhi one hundred and five pounds for spending money. Gandhi took the offer and traveled to Durban. Once Gandhi arrived in Durban he met with Dada Abdulla. Dada Abdulla didn’t want Gandhi there, but after seeing Gandhi walk out of the court after being asked to remove his turban by the magistrate, he found that Gandhi had character. This incident grabbed the attention of the Indians in Durban. Dada Abdulla decided to send Gandhi to represent him in the case. Gandhi was given a first class ticket to Pretoria, but there was trouble on the train. Even after Gandhi presented his first class ticket the official told him he had to move and they argued. Once the official got tired of arguing, he got a policeman who then took Gandhi off of the train and threw his luggage on the platform. Then the train left Gandhi with feelings of nervous tension and fury, on the verge of leaving South Africa. That was until he thought of his purpose for coming to Durban and he decided to stay, finish the case, and fight the prejudice of color. The coming morning Gandhi sent two telegrams, one in protest to the railroad manager and the other to Dada Abdulla explaining the events of the previous night. Trains did not travel all the way to Pretoria so in Charlestown he continued the journey by coach. Instantly he saw that in order to get to Pretoria he would have to sit on the outside with the driver. Gandhi was hit on the head and shoved by a Dutchman when he refused to give up his seat. The Dutchman only stopped hitting him when the other passengers yelled at him to stop and they continued on their journey. After arriving in Pretoria, Gandhi called a meeting and pointing out all the faults of the Indians. They realized that the criticism was meant to help them improve themselves. Gandhi soon made many connections because he thought about their community standing and he treated them as parts of a whole (Coolidge 42). The case between Dada Abdulla and his opponent was sent to arbitration after Gandhi persuaded them. After this Gandhi saw a newspaper article stating that a bill would be presented to the colony’s Legislative Assembly, banning Indians from voting in any election. Appalled by this Gandhi arranged meetings to speak...
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