Difference Between Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.

The history of the earth stands on the pillars of ideologies, thoughts and actions of some powerful souls who enlightened a healthy path of a beautiful future.


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Mahatma Gandhi & Martin Luther King Jr. are two of the most beautiful souls in the history of the earth who carved out the sphere of freedom, rights, and peace with the hatchet of pacifism.

Though, both the mentioned people have done the greatest works for their nation and their people, but there were some differences in their ideologies, and their vision.  

Mahatma Gandhi vs Martin Luther King Jr.

The difference between Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. is that Mahatma Gandhi was fighting for the freedom of the people of India from Great Britain, while Martin Luther King Jr. was fighting against the racism and distribution of unequal rights faced by the African Americans.

Mahatma Gandhi vs Martin Luther King Jr.

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Mahatma Gandhi, born in India, struggled more than half his life to gift the Indians with the freedom of life. His love for the study of law took him to London for his training.

He soon moved to South Africa for 21 years along with his family to further the practice of law.

It was in 1915, after the request of Gopal Krishna Gokhale, Mahatma Gandhi came back to the feet of his motherland; India.

Martin Luther King Jr. dedicated his entire life to providing equal rights to African Americans and eradicating Racism against African Americans.

He led several movements and marches against the social evils bothering the African Americans.

He was not just a spokesman but also a great leader who sparked the fire among African Americans to fight peacefully for their rights.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonMahatma GandhiMartin Luther King Jr.
Place & Date of BirthPorbandar, Gujrat, India 2, October 1869Atlanta, Georgia, USA,
15, January 1929
EducationInner Temple, LondonBoston University, Pennsylvania
Vision for peopleFreedom for the people of IndiaEradicate the racism
Major movementsNon- Cooperation Movement Salt March Khilafat Movement Quit India MovementThe Montgomery Bus Boycott
Famous SpeechQuit India Speech Eve of the Last FastI Have a Dream How Long, Not Long
Death30 January 19484 April 1968

Who was Mahatma Gandhi?

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi or Mahatma Gandhi or The Father of the Nation, India is one of the most influential people in the history of modern India.

He is considered as the major element behind the successful war of independence of India against Great Britain.

He was born on the 2nd of October, 1869 in Porbandar, Gujrat, India. Due to his love for the study of law, he flew to London to pursue law from the college, Inner Temple.

He then decided to move to South Africa for 21 years for the further growth of his career. It was in 1915, he came back to India.

In India, he soon emerged as a powerful speaker and a Political Leader. He made his speech a weapon to slit the rule of Great Britain.

Soon with the help of the people of India he became a powerful leader during the reign of Great Britain. He decided to walk on the path of non – violence to capture his dream for the nation, India.

He lit the fire for the execution of several movements across the nation against Great Britain such as the Khilafat Movement, Non-Cooperation Movement, Salt March, and Quit India Movement.

He used his speech as a medium to evoke the people and make them aware of the pain they are living in.

On the 10th of March, 1922, Mahatma Gandhi was placed behind bars but was released within two years because of his declining health. In jail, He penned down his autobiography named, The Experiments with Truth. After a bloodstained war for freedom, India got its independence on the 15th of August, 1947. On 30th January 1948, Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated on the compound of Birla House, New Delhi.

This news wrapped the entire nation in the breeze of grief.

Who was Martin Luther King Jr ?

Martin Luther King Jr, a powerful speaker, Nobel Peace Prize winner, an activist and a leader in the American Civil Rights Movement became the pillar of the process of eradicating racism and providing the rights of African Americans back to them.

He was a follower of non – violence and asked his followers the same for the American Civil Rights Movement.

During the March on Washington in 1963, he delivered one of the most powerful speeches of the history of humanity; I Have a Dream.

After graduation, Martin Luther King Jr. decided to pursue doctoral studies in systematic theology from Boston University, Pennsylvania.

On October 19, 1960, Martin Luther King Jr. was arrested and was released after the pressure made on the officials by John F. Kennedy.

Soon after his release, In 1961 he launched an unsuccessful peaceful movement; Albany Movement.

In 1963, He launched the famous Birmingham Campaign 1963, which led to the formation of ‘Letter from Birmingham’.

He raised the issue of Racism in each of his movements, which made him walk under the prison 29 times.

Even after a harsh graph of struggle, he didn’t let his vision for the people die.

Even after failures, he led many movements against racism such as March on Washington, St Augustine Movement, the Selma Voting Rights movement, Chicago Open Housing Movement, and the Poor People’s Campaign.

On April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. was shot by James Earl Ray, which led to his death at St. Joseph’s Hospital on the same day. This led to riots across the nation.

Every attempt made to suppress or calm the riots turned out to be a failure. Ray was soon captured at London Heathrow Airport and was sentenced to 99 years of prison.

Difference Between Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.
  1. https://philpapers.org/rec/IYETMA
  2. https://heinonline.org/HOL/LandingPage?handle=hein.journals/davlr26&div=31&id=&page=
  3. https://books.google.co.in/books?hl=en&lr=&id=TU_HozbJSC8C&oi=fnd&pg=PR15&dq=Martin+Luther+King+Jr.&ots=TZq7cEAITU&sig=LMqYwRXl-5h4JXia97wlcV3XePY&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=Martin%20Luther%20King%20Jr.&f=false
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