India and the United States of America share a tradition of non-violent civil disobedience. American Henry David Thoreau influenced Indian Mohandas K. Gandhi who in turn influenced American Martin Luther King Jr.
On Friday, in order to honor this activist cultural connection, and to encourage its continuation, U.S. Representative introduced H.R. 3056, legislation that would establish a Gandhi-King Scholarly Exchange Initiative, bringing students, scholars and professionals from the United States and India into contact with each other to discuss and discover new concepts in non-violent activism. This isn’t the first time that the idea of the Gandhi-King exchange has been proposed in Congress, however. Similar legislation was introduced in 2009 – when Democrats controlled both houses of Congress, but the bill was not accepted and promoted by Democratic Party leadership.
The 23 sponsors of the current Gandhi-King exchange legislation are as follows. Will the other members of the Democratic Party in the House join them, or allow the cross-cultural connection to remain neglected?
John Lewis (Democrat-GA, District 5), Earl Blumenauer (Democrat-OR, District 3), Donna Christensen (Democrat-VI, District 0), Steve Cohen (Democrat-TN, District 9), John Conyers (Democrat-MI, District 14), Elijah Cummings (Democrat-MD, District 7), Danny Davis (Democrat-IL, District 7), Bob Filner (Democrat-CA, District 51), Raul Grijalva (Democrat-AZ, District 7), Luis Gutierrez (Democrat-IL, District 4), Michael Honda (Democrat-CA, District 15), Sheila Jackson Lee (Democrat-TX, District 18), Jesse Jackson (Democrat-IL, District 2), Barbara Lee (Democrat-CA, District 9), James McGovern (Democrat-MA, District 3), Gregory Meeks (Democrat-NY, District 6), Gwen Moore (Democrat-WI, District 4), Eleanor Norton (Democrat-DC, District 0), Donald Payne (Democrat-NJ, District 10), Charles Rangel (Democrat-NY, District 15), Bobby Rush (Democrat-IL, District 1), Pete Stark (Democrat-CA, District 13)