Washington, Feb 12: The US House of Representative unanimously passed a resolution recognising the influence Mahatma Gandhi on Martin Luther King Jr, the great civil rights leader of America who is a source of inspiration to President Barack Obama.
Passed by a roll call vote of 406 to 0, with 26 abstaining, the resolution commemorates the 50th anniversary of King's visit to India in 1959.
The resolution recalls how King's study of Gandhian philosophy helped shape the Civil Rights Movement.
"The trip to India impacted Dr King in a profound way, and inspired him to use non-violence as an instrument of social change to end segregation and racial discrimination in America throughout the rest of his work during the Civil Rights Movement," it says.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will send off a cultural delegation on Thursday, Feb 12 comprising Martin Luther King III, and US House representatives John Lewis, Spencer Bachus and Herbie Hancock to India to commemorate King's tour.
It will begin in New Delhi and travel around India to some of the principal sites associated with Gandhi's work. Lewis, often called "one of the most courageous persons the Civil Rights Movement ever produced", introduced the House resolution. Five other Congressmen, John
Conyers, Jim McDermott, Robert C Scott, Henry Johnson
and Adam B. Schiff co-sponsored it.
King and his wife, Coretta Scott King, travelled to India from Feb 10 to March 10, 1959. Upon their return to the US, King and other leaders of the civil rights movement drew on Gandhi's ideas to transform American society.
During his month long stay in India, King met the then Indian prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, land reform leader Vinoba Bhave and other influential Indian leaders to discuss issues of poverty, economic policy and race relations.
OneIndia News (With inputs from Agencies)