Martin Luther King III arrives in Kerala

February 22nd, 2009 - 8:36 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 22 (IANS) American human rights activist Martin Luther King III arrived here Sunday on a three-day state visit.
He will be the Kerala government’s guest, as the state celebrates the golden jubilee of his legendary father Martin Luther King’s visit here in 1959.

Speaking to reporters on his arrival at the airport here, King said that it is clear to him that the world needs the message of Mahatma Gandhi.

“It is now all the more important and his message on non-violence is required now across the world,” he said.

His father was here and attended some events when the first elected Communist government in the world ruled Kerala 50 years back.

Speaking to reporters on the visit of his father 50 years back, noted Gandhian P. Gopinathan Nair, 89, said that he was there to receive him at the airport then.

“His wife was also there with him and both of them attended a few functions. And in one of the functions, his wife even sang a song,” Nair recalled.

A function attended then by King 11 was a visit to a school where the majority of the students belonged to the under-privileged category. But now the school has closed down and it is the store of an educational office.

The state government is giving a reception Monday in honour of King III. He will leave Tuesday.

King III, 51, helped found the Estate of Martin Luther King Jr. Inc. in 1993. He headed the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), a civil rights organisation founded by his father, between 1997 and 2004.

In 2006, he founded Realising the Dream, an organisation he continues to head.

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