Effective Use Of Non Violence By Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King And Nelson Mandela

859 words - 3 pages

Throughout history, violent reformation movements were traditionally used, but non-violence has been proven just as effective. Non-violence is the clear distinguisher between right and wrong. When violence is followed by non-violence there is only so much fighting that can go on. Mohandas Gandhi was a known pacifist and a spiritual and political leader of India during the Indian Independence Movement. Gandhi studied law in England before returning to India to fight the caste system by doing chores an untouchable would do. He fought the British Salt Tax by initiating "The Salt March". Nelson Mandela fought the government through non-violence to abolish the apartheid laws in South Africa. Mandela spent almost twenty-seven years in prison, where his hunger for the freedom of his own people became a hunger for the freedom of all people, black and white. Martin Luther King Jr. led a civil rights movement in America. He spoke out for justice to African Americans, for an end to racial discrimination, and the laws that embodied it.
These activists used many ways to protest. What made Gandhi's, King's, and Mandela's non-violent protests successful is that they put their opponent's economic profits at risk, willingly accepted punishments, and embraced their enemies. In Dharasana, India in May, 1930, Mohandas Gandhi planned "The Salt March" to fight the British Salt Tax before he was arrested. With three hundred and twenty injured and two dead, The Salt March carried on for as long as possible to protest the tax. On May 24, 1930 a cartoon was released of Gandhi salting the tail of the British lion. This cartoon emphasized Gandhi's protest against the salt tax. In Atlanta, Georgia in October, 1960, Martin Luther King Jr. participated in the lunch counter sit-in with two hundred and eighty students seeking to integrate lunch counters. The sit-in was unsuccessful, but it left a lasting impression. Martin Luther King Jr. held the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on August 28, 1963. He began his famous inspirational speech with "I have a dream..." before the march against racism and discrimination started.
Through non-violence and persistence, there were great accomplishments. However, no one ever said that non-violence didn’t come with a criminal record. Gandhi, King, and Mandela each spent great amounts of time in a jail cell just because of their peaceful opposing of laws they felt were not fair to their people. In March, 1930, Gandhi stated that he could never intentionally hurt anything that lives, much less human...

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