NEW DELHI: The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a resolution recognising the 50th anniversary of the visit of legendary civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. to India and the positive influence of Mahatma Gandhi’s teachings on his work during the American Civil Rights Movement.
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According to information made available by the office of Jim McDermott, co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian-Americans, he made a brief intervention before the resolution was adopted.
Stating that there was much to be learnt from the lives of Dr. King and Mahatma Gandhi, he said: “We need them more than ever. And this resolution and our upcoming journey to India will honour their contributions to mankind and rekindle their spirit to seek peace by living in peace.”
According to Mr. McDermott, these two people changed their countries and the world for the better, and the world today would benefit from a new King or Gandhi. “They taught us that violence begets more violence and, as Gandhi said, ‘an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind’.”
This week Dr. King’s son, Martin Luther King III, will commemorate his parents’ historic journey to India, walking down nostalgia lane with the successors of the people they met.
Organised by the U.S. Department of State, he will be accompanied by members of U.S. Congress, including John Lewis, the last surviving speaker from the 1963 March on Washington; Clayborne Carson, editor of King’s papers; and jazz musician Herbie Hancock.