The Children Of Gandhi

His strategy of nonviolence has spawned generations of spiritual heirs around the world

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Tibet: The Dalai Lama

At the site of Gandhi's cremation, he said, "To me, he was... the consummate politician, a man who put his belief in altruism above any personal considerations. I was convinced too that his devotion to the cause of nonviolence was the only way to conduct politics"

The U.S.: Martin Luther King Jr. And Rosa Parks

To desegregate Nashville's lunch counters in 1958, King, right, brought in James Lawson, a student of Gandhi's, to train protesters in nonviolence. But the most dramatic act of quiet defiance belonged to Rosa Parks, below, being fingerprinted in 1955. Her refusal to give up a seat in a Montgomery, Ala., bus galvanized the civil rights movement and boosted King's leadership

Poland: Lech Walesa

Harassed by the communist regime, the founder of the Solidarity labor union insisted, "We shall not yield to violence." He said his protests, which began in 1981, were "a historic opportunity for a peaceful evolution." In 1989, as the Soviet bloc wobbled, Solidarity took over the Prime Ministership; in 1990, Walesa became President

The U.S.: Cesar Chavez

The United Farm Workers organizer, left, organized pickets, boycotts and, inspired by the Mahatma, hunger strikes. Agreeing with Gandhi, Chavez said, "Fasting is the last resort in place of the sword"

The U.S.: Larry Kramer

The famously cantankerous playwright, below left, inspired ACT-UP's famously confrontational protests for an AIDS cure in the late '80s. As a result, gay and lesbian civil rights are loud parts of public debate

Myanmar: Aung San Suu Kyi

Under house arrest, the opposition leader, below center, espouses nonviolence, despite the junta's tactics. Fighting, she says, "will perpetuate the tradition that he who is best at wielding arms, wields power"

Philippines: Benigno Aquino Jr.

A firebrand converted by Gandhi's story, he returned from U.S. exile in 1983, below, to talk Ferdinand Marcos into dismantling his dictatorship. Aquino was shot on arrival. His widow Corazon was later swept into power

South Africa: Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela

The Anglican archbishop gave voice to the antiapartheid opposition while Mandela was in prison. "All violence is evil," he warned, "but a time may come when you have to decide between two evils--oppression or a violent overthrow of the oppressive regime." "When the honor of God is at stake," he said, "we will disobey iniquitous and unjust laws"