Yesterday, Secretary Clinton sent off Martin Luther King, III, U.S. Representative John Lewis, U.S. Representative Spencer Bachus, and Herbie Hancock on their cultural delegation to India. The delegation will commemorate the tour made by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his wife, Coretta Scott King, 50 years ago to study the life and works of Mahatma Gandhi. Dr. King and other leaders of the civil rights movement drew on Gandhi’s ideas to transform American society.
Secretary Clinton said: "As we celebrate Black History Month here at home, the 50th Anniversary of Dr. King’s trip to India is a reminder that the struggle for civil rights and justice has always been and continues to be a global mission; it knows no borders. As Dr. King told us, 'Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.'
Now Dr. King was just 30 years old when he traveled to India in 1959, but he had already led the Montgomery bus boycott, and understood the wisdom and power of the nonviolent protest movement pioneered by the great Mahatma Gandhi. Dr. King toured the country for a month, studying Gandhi’s philosophy, meeting with Prime Minister Nehru. He met with other Indian leaders in politics and government, in academia and the professions in business and across the society. And he talked with citizens and young people at every opportunity. He brought the lessons he learned there back to the United States, and renewed his own faith in the unmatched moral force of nonviolent resistance and its ability to achieve meaningful social change."