The world has always witnessed on one hand great oppression, slavery, religious and racial inequality and on the other side, superheroes who have risen against the tyranny in the name of such human rights violations. Here is a list of great people who have devoted their entire life to defending human and civil rights across the world.
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
His efforts began in South Africa and later, he became Mahatma Gandhi of India as he bought independence to India using his principles of non-violence and civil disobedience. Such was his contribution to civil rights and freedom in India that in 2007, the United Nations General Assembly announced the day of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi’s birth that is 2nd October as the ‘International Day of Non-Violence’.
Mandela is known for his great contributions in championing the anti-apartheid revolution in South Africa. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize along with F.W. de Klerk for their effort to end South Africa’s racist apartheid policies. He had spent 27 years in prison for this cause and was later felicitated by titles such as ‘the father of the nation’ and ‘the founding father of democracy’.
14th Dalai Lama
The Buddhist Monk and Spiritual Leader of Tibet have won the 1989’s Nobel Peace Prize for his nonviolent struggle in the liberation of Tibet. His message of peace, nonviolence, inter-religious empathy, universal accountability, and compassion has been greatly acknowledged by over 150 awards, honorary doctorates, and prizes. He also has 110 books to his name as either an author or co-author.
Martin Luther King Jr.
Best recognized for his role in the development of civil rights using nonviolent civil disobedience, Martin Luther King Jr. was the leader in the African-American civil rights movement and an American Clergyman. In 1955, he led the bus boycott African-American nonviolent demonstration, the first of its kind that led to the end of segregation of the buses. For his great contribution to human and civil rights, he was recognized as the youngest person to get the Nobel Peace Prize at the age of 35.
Recognized as the mother of the modern-day civil rights movement in America, Rosa Parks rose to fame when she refused to give her bus seat to a white man in Alabama in 1955 and subsequently got arrested. Parks and her husband, Raymond Parks, were also associated with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). In 1996, President Clinton awarded Rosa Parks the Medal of Freedom for her contributions towards the civil rights of black people.