Heroes of Nonviolent Movements

Posted: January 19, 2011 in News and Views

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday was Celebrated.

Martin Luther King,Jr. day was celebrated on 17th January 2011 in United States and different other parts of the world. There were different ways to honor King; people recognized his achievements, his struggle for the rights of black people and leading a nonviolent struggle. In the United States, in 1986 , it was declared a federal holiday.

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Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi mostly known as Mahatma Gandhi was born on October 2, 1869, at Porbandar, a small town on the western coast of India.

Mahatma Gandhi

Martin Luther King

Gandhi a practitioner of Ahimsa, swore to speak the truth and advocated that do the same. He was modest, vegetarian and always wore dhoti and shawl, woven from yarn that he had spun by hand himself. He pioneered Satyagraha, defined as resistance to tyranny through mass civil disobedience, a philosophy firmly founded upon ahimsa or nonviolence.

Mahatma Gandhi first employed civil disobedience while an expatriate lawyer in South Africa during the local Indian community struggle against their rights. Returned to India in 1915, and organized a nonviolent movement in India. He assumed the leadership of the Indian National Congress in 1921 and led nation-wide movement against British Empire. Gandhi spent a number of years in jail in both South Africa and India.

On 30 January 1948, Gandhi was shot while he was walking to a platform from which he was to address a prayer meeting. The assassin, Nathuram Godse, was a Hindu nationalist with links to the extremist Hindu Mahasabha, who held Gandhi responsible for weakening India by insisting upon a payment to Pakistan. More information please check: http://www.mkgandhi.org/main.htm

Martin Luther King, Jr., was born Michael Luther King, Jr., on January 15, 1929 but later his name changed to Martin. His grandfather began the family’s long tenure as pastors of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. Martin Luther attended segregated public schools in Georgia, graduating from high school at the age of fifteen; he received the B. A. degree in 1948 from Morehouse College, a distinguished Negro institution of Atlanta from which both his father and grandfather had graduated. After three years of theological study at Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania where he was elected president of a predominantly white senior class, he was awarded the B.D. in 1951. With a fellowship won at Crozer, he enrolled in graduate studies at Boston University, completing his residence for the doctorate in 1953 and receiving the degree in 1955. In Boston he met and married Coretta Scott, a young woman of uncommon intellectual and artistic attainments. Two sons and two daughters were born into the family.

In 1954, Martin Luther King became pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. Always a strong worker for civil rights for members of his race, King was, by this time, a member of the executive committee of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the leading organization of its kind in the nation. He was ready, then, early in December, 1955, to accept the leadership of the first great Negro nonviolent demonstration of contemporary times in the United States, the bus boycott described by Gunnar Jahn in his presentation speech in honor of the laureate. The boycott lasted 382 days. On December 21, 1956, after the Supreme Court of the United States had declared unconstitutional the laws requiring segregation on buses, Negroes and whites rode the buses as equals. During these days of boycott, King was arrested, his home was bombed, he was subjected to personal abuse, but at the same time he emerged as a Negro leader of the first rank.

In 1957 he was elected president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, an organization formed to provide new leadership for the now burgeoning civil rights movement. The ideals for this organization he took from Christianity; its operational techniques from Gandhi. In the eleven-year period between 1957 and 1968, King traveled over six million miles and spoke over twenty-five hundred times, appearing wherever there was injustice, protest, and action; and meanwhile he wrote five books as well as numerous articles. In these years, he led a massive protest in Birmingham, Alabama, that caught the attention of the entire world, providing what he called a coalition of conscience. and inspiring his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”, a manifesto of the Negro revolution; he planned the drives in Alabama for the registration of Negroes as voters; he directed the peaceful march on Washington, D.C., of 250,000 people to whom he delivered his address, “l Have a Dream”, he conferred with President John F. Kennedy and campaigned for President Lyndon B. Johnson; he was arrested upwards of twenty times and assaulted at least four times; he was awarded five honorary degrees; was named Man of the Year by Time magazine in 1963; and became not only the symbolic leader of American blacks but also a world figure.  (Reference : http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes

Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan

/peace/laureates/1964/king-bio.html).

Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan Alias Baacha Khan also known as Pakistani Gandhi simple, deep and true humanist and disciplined. Bacha Khan was born in 1890 know one of the nonviolent oppose to the British rule. He was a Pashtun Pakistani. Bacha Khan in Pashto mean “King Khan” and also had other titles like Fakhr-e-Afghan (Pride of Afghan) and Sarhadi Gandhi (frontier Gandhi).

He was initially encouraged by his family to join the British Indian Army; however the treatment of a British Raj officer towards a native offended him, and a family decision for him to study in England was put off after his mother’s intervention.

Having witnessed the repeated failure of revolts against the British Raj, he decided social activism and reform would be more beneficial for Pashtuns. This ultimately led to the formation of the Khudai Khidmatgar movement (Servants of God). The movement’s success triggered a harsh crackdown against him and his supporters and he was sent into exile. It was at this stage in the late 1920s that he formed an alliance with Gandhi and the Indian National Congress. This alliance was to last till the 1947 partition of India.  Once a companion told Baacha Khan about the cruel and torturous handling of Khudai Khidmatgar (servant of God) by the law-enforcing agency of foreign regime.

Baacha Khan consoled his companion and said. Do not loose heart. Go and visit the tortured ones. Attend to the sick, minister to their wants and relate to them of the consolation of religion. Baacha Khan further added that he had often tried this process himself and founded it an effective remedy of the lonely, afflicted and heavy hearts.

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