50 years Anniversary Celebration 1959-2009

CMAC was invited to design & curate the exhibition Journey Towards Freedom celebrating 50 years to first and only visit of Martin Luther King Jr. to India.

Mohandas K. Gandhi, known to the world as the Mahatma or ‘Great Soul’, brought a great gift to the modern world. That gift was the light of nonviolence, of service to the community and of social justice. His life served as an example and this light became a torch which illuminated our world and saved us from our own inhumanity to each other.

Martin Luther King, Jr. was born on January 15, 1929. He first came to prominence in the mid-1950s when, as a Baptist preacher in Montgomery, Alabama, he led a 382-day boycott of the public transportation system. He wanted to end the law that required African Americans to ride in the backs of buses, and to stand even if seats were available in the front “white” section.

“While the Montgomery boycott was going on, India’s Gandhi was the guiding light of our technique of nonviolent social change.”

By early 1959, Martin Luther King, Jr. had led the successful Montgomery boycott of buses and businesses in the southern U.S. state of Alabama. He, as well as his colleagues and followers, had been arrested, jailed, convicted, fined, threatened and beaten. And in 1956 they had celebrated the historic U.S. Supreme Court ruling that said laws allocating public resources on the basis of race are unconstitutional.

On 10 Feb 1959 King, his wife, Coretta, and Alabama State College professor Lawrence D. Reddick, King’s biographer, visited Delhi and stayed almost a month before going back to the U.S.

During his stay he visited places like New Delhi, Agra, Ahmedabad, Bombay, Bangalore, Trivandrum, Madurai Madras, Calcutta, Patna, Gaya and met Gandhians, followers of Mahatma Gandhi and said these words “ To other countries I may go as a tourist, but to India I come as a Pilgrim”

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