Martin Luther King Jr.

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 Martin Luther King ranks among the greatest political strategists of all time. 
He was indeed one of the most influential men of recent times. The basic goal that dominated his life was: substantial equality for Americans. From the mid 1950s until late 60s, he was the most important leader of a non violent civil rights movement that transformed the American politics and inspired oppressed people throughout the world. His philosophy of non violence was a mix of the teachings of Jesus Christ and M K Gandhi.

Born on January. 15, 1929,  in Georgia, Atlanta, in the United States, King came from a family steeped in the tradition of the Southern black ministry. Both his father and maternal grandfather were Baptist preachers. Just at the age of 15 he entered Morehouse College, Atlanta, under a special program for gifted students. It was in 1948 he did his graduation. Though as an undergraduate he was interested in medicine and law, he finally decided to enter the ministry, as his father had urged him to do.

King was a die-hard campaigner for humanity with great concern for people. He seemed to naturally inspire people and lead a mass following, a natural leaded. He selected the protest strike in a careful way. He also used the media in a creative way that was hardly observed before. And with all these he compelled his opponents to make reforms in the interest of justice. 

Some of his greatest achievements include the enactment of Civil Rights Act('64), and the Voting Rights Act('65) for all Americans. Non violent protests recorded its greatest triumphs from '63 to '65. Thanks to the undaunted efforts of King and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), a protest organization, which exposed the brutality of Southern racism.
But it was not only the black civil rights movement to which King kept himself confined. Starting from there, he broadened his gamut to a range of human rights activities. These rights include employment generation, quality education, housing and health care for all. Within years of his appointment he established a reputation as a well educated minister with extraordinary oratorical skills.

The gory ghetto riots, the escalating Vietnam conflict - all had created the greatest crisis since the Civil War. King saw these developments as a moral sickness afflicting the nation. And he was confident that the remedy lied only in radical changes of political, social, and economic structure. On April 4,1968 this great leader was killed by an assassinator in Memphis, Tennessee. During the final year, and for a half of his life, King challenged the nation to undertake radical reforms. He wanted to set up a social system that would provide 
for the needs of all individuals, regardless of race. 

Most Americans remember King as a dreamer. For, he has been identified with the theme that pervades his most famous speech:" I have a dream", which he delivered under the statue of George Washington. 

But King was not a mere dreamer, and/or setting ideals for humanity. He led and inspired many to take practical steps toward the attainment of their ideals. His so many achievements in the short span of 12 years point to the fact that his dream was deeply rooted in reality. He was indeed a doer. A drum-major for freedom, justice and equality. In 1983, Congress voted to establish the 3rd Monday in January as a National holiday to commemorate King's day. Other than George Washington no other American has been accorded such an honor.

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