Why Is Gandhi Important In Civil Disobedience

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Civil Disobedience During the 1950s and before, it was a crime to be different in the United States; one was hated for being so. Simply sitting at a lunch counter or on a bus could result in a person’s arrest. Throughout history and continuing to this day, peaceful protest has effectively resulted in positive change in society. Injustice has best been remedied through nonviolent tactics than through violent ones, as violence almost always leads to just more violence. Social activists such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi have led groups of oppressed peoples to liberation through demonstrations of civil disobedience. Peaceful resistance to laws has positively impacted free societies for generations as corruptions are highlighted…show more content…
When Gandhi was arrested for protesting racial discrimination against Indians in South Africa, he had read Henry David Thoreau’s “Civil Disobedience” which influenced his methods of nonviolent resistance to laws (Gandhi and Civil Disobedience). His civil disobedience against the unjust British government in India inspired others both locally and around the world to lead protests in peaceful ways instead of the traditional violent resistance, which would rarely ever achieve the desired results. Gandhi’s demonstrations of peaceful resistance to the British tyranny in India, such as non-cooperation and fasting, eventually led to the destruction of the Indian caste system and independence from England for the Indian people. In the evolution of civil disobedience of law, Gandhi was pivotal in inspiring new generations of activists around the globe that would later permanently change the world in which we live. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was influenced by Gandhi, he wrote that he was, “operating through the Gandhian method of nonviolence” and described the method as “one of the most potent weapons available to an oppressed people” this statement proves that Gandhi had an influence on future social activists like Dr. King (King, Stride 79; Papers 5:422). Through the actions of Gandhi, India became free from the oppressive British government, and he gained the status of…show more content…
is the Civil Rights Movement led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. King revealed that his reading of Thoreau’s “Civil Disobedience” was his “First intellectual contact with the theory of nonviolence and resistance” which influenced his adoption of nonviolent tactics in an attempt to gain racial equality in the U.S (Gregg Blakely). Gandhi’s tactics then influenced him when he visited India in 1959 and he examined the true nature of nonviolent resistance. Although he never met Gandhi personally, he spoke with Indian officials, which deepened his understanding of nonviolent resistance. In addition to visiting India, King also read many of Gandhi’s books. Through King’s leadership, many African Americans participated in sit-ins, boycotts, bus rides, and marches. All of these forms of protest were intended to be peaceful and mostly were until the people being protested against created violence. When a group of Freedom Riders arrived in Anniston Alabama on May 14, 1961, a group of White protesters set fire to the bus and beat the Blacks that were trying to escape. While the actions of King and his supporters indirectly created violence and chaos, they were never intended to cause harm. The violence that was created was only temporary, and the benefits outweigh the detriments. Through the bus boycotts, to the Freedom Rides, to the march on Selma, which were all reported on television,
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