Martin Luther King Jr – UPSC Ethics Thinkers

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s ideas for a more inclusive society and polity assume significance amid the persisting racial discrimination in the US that resulted in the Black Lives Matter movement.
What were the ideas Dr. King presented in his speech?
Amid the persisting racial discrimination, he dreamt of an inclusive America and turned it into a movement in the 1950s and 1960s.
  • In 1963, he gave his most remembered “I have a dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial. There he expressed his vision for an inclusive and equitable America.
  • In his speech, he expressed his desire that one day America will live out the true meaning of its creed that all men are created equal. 
Importance of DR. king’s contribution to the Civil Rights Movement
Dr. King’s involvement in the Civil Rights Movement was extraordinary. He was a unique leader among the ones who propagated freedom and dignity.
  • First, the Uniqueness of Dr. King’s movement lies in reforming the architecture of movements. He propagated his ideas by a relentless and nonviolent movement.
  • Second, the civil rights movement adopted ideas from India’s civil disobedience. For instance, the 381-day Montgomery bus boycott validated the potential of nonviolent mass protest and stimulated the Civil Rights Movement.
  • Third, his ideas renewed the benchmarks of equality, justice, and dignity in the US society and provided African-Americans with a better version of it.
  • Fourth, his movements ultimately resulted in path-breaking laws such as Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which ended several residues of racial discrimination and led to the empowerment of African Americans.
Lesson from his life:
Martin Luther King devoted his entire life to his dream of a better and inclusive America.  He was imprisoned almost 30 times, his house was bombed, he was stabbed once, and was finally assassinated, but he still remains an inspiration for America.
India should also draw inspiration from his ideas and try making its society more inclusive, equal, and just because there is continuing violence on the SC/STs and minority communities due to a hierarchical social structure.


Martin Luther King Jr. believed that a life worth living should include a principle worth dying for. Do you stand for any such principles in life and explain why they are so important for you? (150 Words)

There are principles worth dying for but not a single one worth killing for. Martin Luther King Jr. and other great personalities of world had some genuine principle or other for which they lived and for which they did not afraid even the death.
Certain principles are larger than life and giving away life for saving those is just pouring a drop in the ocean. However these principles should always be accompanied by a rational explanation and deep justification which bring societal justice and collective
I believe in the patriotism and the love for country but that is not just a fanatic feeling but an examined one. Patriotism not only includes love for country but its larger perspective gives the meaning of love for mankind, working for them, caring them, removing inequality which I believe my life is for. I never want my country to be the most powerful nation but always want it to be the prosperous one. When we want ourselves to be powerful than others , It will surely someday create catastrophe against us.
The rising communal forces in the world have threatened the stability of entire societal fabric. Dehumanizing massacres, undignified exploitation and subversion of just and fair society through brute force brings an ambiance of fear, pain, acrimony and injustice. And living in such gross misconduct of one group against other is intolerable and undesirable. My only duty in this regard lies in germinating brotherhood and interfaith among religion to foster peace as Vivekananda enlightened. And, during my course ofaction if I have to lay down my life, I would consider it a blessing than curse.
Other examples:
The life of Kailash Satyarthi: Protecting Children



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