The chairman of the Gandhi Smarak Nidhi in Mysore state sends a letter of welcome to King and his party.1
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King,
My dear Dr. King,
I extend a warm welcome to you and Mrs. King on your first visit to this State. During the last 35 years in the Freedom-struggle, this State has played an important role under the guidance of Mahatma Gandhi. In fact, in the popular language, this State is known as Gandhi State. It is in this State that the ‘NO TAX CAMPAIGN’ was launched by the peasants of the Karwar district and it went on for more than 4 years and was closed only when Mahatmaji sent a letter to do so. In every phase of the War of Independence, the State responded liberally to the call of the Mahatma. I wish, during your stay here, you will meet some of the old workers who will be able to explain how we were able to do all this. Though we have won independence, we have to still fight many a battle in the social and the economic field. There may not be actually the need to offer Satyagraha.2 But the discipline gained during the last 35 years will be of great avail to achieve our objects in these fields. Your experience in your own country will also be of great help to us. With mutual understanding and co-operation, we can not only help people of our own country but also help a number of small countries which are still in a very backward condition.
I am extremely sorry that I am not able to meet you there because of my ill health. If you are going this side, I shall be very happy to meet you and spend some time with you.
I wish your stay in this State will be comfortable and useful.
With kind regards,
[signed] R S Hukkerikar
TLS. MLKP-MBU: Box 1.
1. Ramarao S. Hukkerikar (1886–1963) was raised in Chincholi, Karnataka state (formerly Mysore). He received both a B.A. (1910) and an M.A. (1912) from Ferguson College in Pune. A schoolteacher and journalist, Hukkerikar joined the Indian National Congress in 1920 and was imprisoned a number of times for his activities in the independence movement. In 1952, Hukkerikar was elected to the Bombay Legislative Council. He served as chair of the Mysore Gandhi Smarak Nidhi from 1958 to 1963.
2. Gandhi defined satyagraha as “insistence on truth.” The term came to be applied to Gandhi's policy of nonviolent resistance as a means of pressing for political reform.