There exist societal paths which differ based on time and place. These paths may have similar topography and may frequently converge, but each creates a separate journey. The belief in passive resistance is defined through the life choices of two great emancipators: Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi. Passive resistance is a means of bringing about the end to legally executed injustice, specifically through peaceful resistance. Scholars have noted connections between the nonviolent movement of Martin Luther King and the philosophies of Gandhi. The two are closely related and share common and obvious themes. While King and Gandhi concur on the courage nonviolence requires, the deplorable nature of cowardly behavior and the necessity of nonviolence as retaliation to oppressors, their beliefs are also defined by quite distinct divergences. They are giant figures in 20th century history; their views on the speed of change and the degree of suffering which is necessary during revolutions and movements are relatively different. These disparities and similarities form elements of their philosophies and the rather successful outcomes to King and Gandhi’s life purposes.
Martin Luther King is one of the most renowned activists in American history, most legendarily for standing up for racial equality through the seemingly new technique of nonviolence. His notoriety spread beyond our shores and Reverend King gained world fame. Many now consider him nothing short of a martyr in the cause of racial equity. Other activists sharing King’s plight (enduring racism and hypocrisy in a modern western democracy) during this time were quick to use violence to fight violence and thus King’s process was not always accepted with much zeal. The Black Panthers and the Black Muslim movement incited the passions of frustrated and abused minorities. For a time, the more militant political movements created the type of