A main Congressional committee passed a bill on Wednesday to uphold the legacies of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., written by the civil rights leader John Lewis.
The House Foreign Affairs Committee approved the Gandhi-King Exchange Act, co-sponsored by the Indian-American Congressman Ami Bera. The bill would establish a US-India exchange initiative to study the work and legacies of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.
“John Lewis was not only a champion of civil rights in the United States but globally. John has advocated for human rights, justice and equality, and for freedom for everyone. Unlike Gandhi and Dr. King, Congressman Lewis influenced the world through his non-violent acts, and his message about life will reverberate throughout history, “Mr. Bera said.
The law authorizes the U.S. State Department to establish an annual educational forum for scholars from both countries, in cooperation with the Indian government, focusing on the legacies of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.
It also seeks to develop a conflict resolution professional development training program focused on the principles of nonviolence; and to create a framework for addressing financial, environmental and health priorities in India.
Congressman John Lewis led a delegation visit to India in 2009 to commemorate Dr. King’s 50th anniversary of his pilgrimage to India.
Inspired by his visit, Congressman Lewis created the Gandhi-King Exchange Act to try to extend Gandhi and Dr. King Jr’s principles to attempts to resolve disputes and to current policy issues.