As he dug into more research, Prof. Sen found that the influence of Gandhi-led nonviolent movement against the British colonial power for India’s independence would become the guiding light for Rev. King in his own leadership role in nonviolence struggles of the African Americans for their basic rights in America. Arriving in India, Martin Luther King Jr. commented on his remarkable trip to honor his hero. ..... “To other countries I may go as a tourist, but to India I come as a pilgrim,” he told the dozens of gathering reporters.
Prof. Sen also unearthed the fact that Rev. King drew heavily on Gandhian principle of nonviolence in his own civil rights activism, writing that “while the Montgomery boycott was going on, India's Gandhi was the guiding light of our technique of nonviolent social change. Nonviolence is a more than simply agreeing that you won't physically attack your enemy.”
Ironically, even at the end Rev. King’s fate followed that of Gandhi. Gandhi was assassinated by an ultranationalist Nathuram Godse while walking to a prayer meeting in 1948. His parting words were “Hey Ram (Oh, God).” Twenty years later, Dr. King, was assassinated by James Earl Ray, while standing on the balcony outside his second-story room at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. In death, he glorified a previous quote of his “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”