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A Fight For Freedom: Rosa Parks And Mahatma Ghandi

1369 words - 6 pages

Throughout history, there has been injustice caused by discrimination and oppression. But with that unfair treatment comes leaders who fight difficult battles for the rights of the persecuted and downtrodden. Two of the most influential advocates for equality are Rosa Parks and Mohan-das Gandhi. Parks fought for African-American equal rights, which was a crucial step in the bat-tle for integration in the southern United States. Gandhi led thousands of people to peacefully protest the unfair treatment of Indians by the British. Parks and Gandhi helped end discrimination through their participation in boycotts and marches.
Both Rosa Parks and Mohandas Gandhi furthered the end of discrimination through their aid in boycotts. Through the Montgomery Bus Boycott, Parks resisted the Alabama laws dividing buses by race. On December 1, 1955 the boycott began to peacefully combat racial segregation. In the morning, the buses were empty and all throughout Montgomery, African-Americans were walking in the streets. Due to Parks' courageous act of civil disobedience, she became a catalyst for the success of the boycott and the abolition of prejudicial laws. "In November 1956 the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed Browder v. Gayle and struck down laws requiring segregated seating on public buses" (“Montgomery Bus Boycott”). After 381 days, the Supreme Court ruled that the segregation law was unconstitutional and the Montgomery buses were integrated. This was a ma-jor step in creating a world free of African-American inequality. Rosa parks showed that an ordi-nary woman could stand out against injustice and was the key to obtaining civil rights. Compara-bly, Gandhi encouraged Indians to boycott British goods and buy Indian products instead. The British would buy inexpensive cotton from India and export it to Britain. There, the cotton was woven into clothing. These clothes were then brought back to India and sold at unaffordable prices. In reaction to this, Gandhi fought for the right to produce khadi, an Indian homespun cot-ton cloth, by saying, "The mission of khadi is not merely to supply the townspeople with fashion-able khadi that will vie with the mill manufacturers and thus like other industries supply a few artisans with employment, but it is to become a supplementary industry to agriculture. This mis-sion still remains unfulfilled...to fulfill this they must make their own khadi for personal use. The surplus, if any, they may sell" ("Providing a hope for survival"). Gandhi incited many Indians to defy Britain's abusive power over the impoverished. He encouraged people not only to grow cot-ton, but also to create and sell their own khadi. As the British began losing jobs and customers, their economy was undermined. With Gandhi as a leader of this passive resistance, India's econ-omy was revitalized. Both Parks and Gandhi believed that people could peacefully obtain the po-litical and social changes they wanted through boycotts.
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