Effective Use of Non-Violence by Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela

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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 ...

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...eace. In March, 1956, Martin Luther King Jr. and many boycotters were voluntarily arrested. People rushed down to get arrested and many were disappointed when they weren’t. They were proud to be arrested for the cause of freedom. In June, 1964, Nelson Mandela informed his counsel that he would accept his sentence, even the death sentence, and he would not appeal. He felt this would undermine the moral stand he had taken. Mandela felt that he would not die in vain, that if anything he might serve the greater cause in death as a martyr than he ever could in life. Each man felt that their message was that no sacrifice was too great in the struggle for freedom. Despite the different time periods, situations, and places, these men all saw how economic pressure, accepting sacrifice for their cause, and embracing their enemy would lead them to the outcomes that they wanted.

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