When I came up with the concept of doing a the World Changing Women I did it for selfish reasons. I wrote a sprawling love letter to a musician that was tailor made for her because it encompassed song titles and lyrics written and or performed by her. I was in fact, showing off. Like it to Whitney Houston doing an unnecessary run because she could, and no one else could do it quite that way, and most certainly not better. Any man can write you a love letter, even if he’s not in love with you. If he’s ever been in love, he can simply put those thoughts to paper and present it and you’ll love it and never know it wasn’t meant for you. So as all of our female readers are pursing their lips up and about to roll your eyes… Your man gives you a card on your birthday and or Valentine’s day and you love it, and those aren’t written by him.
It takes a special woman to evoke such thoughts and feelings in a man, and as the old adage goes, “Behind every great man, stands a strong woman.” Ladies, please note the verbiage; stands, not squats, nor lies, nor crawls, nor kneels, but she stands. It’s a small verb but very important one especially given our trials of these times. I am a writer, but I am also a teacher and since our readers are young you need to be taught things they no longer teach you in school. Four woman who stood in the shadows of their husbands, and their husbands casted the biggest shadows the world has ever seen…
Kasturba, after a lengthy pause I will tell you that without this woman, there is probably no Coretta Scott King, because surely there is no Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. without there first being a Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi or as he is known more widely, Mahatma Gandhi. He also referred to as “Bapu,” which is Gujarati for “Father,” and though it’s not an official title his is considered the father of Indian people; he should be called that also in Pakistan. Kasturba married Mohandas at the ripe old age of 13, they were married in a traditional Hindu wedding which is actually a beautiful ceremony. All that really means at that age is Mahatma got some extra clothes and remained in high school; it was an arranged marriage.
The Gandis start out as a happily married couple with 3 sons and Mahatma had a thriving law practice. All was well until Mahatma arrive in the apartheid and is treated like a second class citizen because he is brown. Gandhi begins to assert for freedoms of the Hindus in S. Africa, and while he was there he told each Hindu and Indian Muslim that they were equal and would press for fair treatment as so. Ironically, he was given exactly what he wanted an promptly left for India. When Kasturba and Mahatma arrived in India in 3rd class no less, they were welcomed as a hero. Once there he witnessed the suffering of the tribal reasons an began to demand freedom form British rule and no matter how much was inflicted on the Indian people, they were not to strike back. The spark that ignited a national protest was overwhelming anger at the Amritsar massacre of hundreds of peaceful civilians by British troops in Punjab. This spearheaded all further pushes for a free state and over 1500 men, women and children were shot dead by British soldiers. Kasturba would’ve live to see India freed. They were both arrested in 1947 for not promising to not give anti-British speeches. Her last act as his backbone was when they took Mahatma into custody and she stated that if her husband were arrested and unable to speak she would so in his place and died in prison in 1947 with Mahatma at her side. Mahatma was assassinated in 1948 on 30, January, he was 78. Kasturba lived the last 50+ years with her husband who hand long given up sex.
Surely, her struggle and her staunchly standing behind her husband had an effect on Coretta Scott King, it had to give her strength to endure as Dr. King also became a pacifist and resorted to civil disobedience as a tool to exact change. King had to belief it would yield results as he had already seen it come to fruition in S. Africa and Indian. It was a tough road and Martin was prepared to walk that road and Coretta was his best soldier. She wasn’t in jail constantly but that doesn’t make her struggle any less important. There were mass murders still. Mrs. King had to endure her husbands multiple indiscretions. I say that not to malign King, but to tell the truth.
Having failed at marriage myself, I know how hard it is to maintain a relationship that has it’s problems. King’s constant absence weighed heavily on his family and his marriage. Even after King was assassinated, Coretta never date or married again. Can you imagine trying to live up to King? If you think you’re lonely now… These women carried enormous amounts of weight of the struggle upon then and the world is better because of them and their great husbands.
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TK’s Bio: Terrence Kyrell Hodge I was born 9/13/79, in what was then W. Berlin Germany, to Qualise and Lieutenant Tyrone Hodge of the United States Marine Corps. He lived in London England and graduated from the University of Michigan Ann Arbor in 2000 with BA in English and Political Science. Terrence writes about any and everything. Terrence is planning a series of novels that are works of “faction” part factual (nonfiction) and partly fictional. He plans to bring a dual vision of American and European observation and opinions to PMA. He will bring blunt honesty with a sense of comedy. He says “I will write wherever I’m needed as I am NOT a one trick pony.”