• mahatma gandhi's nonviolent protest tactics helped win india's independence from great britain in 1947. in a montgomery, alabama, church in 1955, a 26-year-old minister named dr. martin luther king, jr. electrified an audience of blacks who were trying to organize a boycott of the city's buses. people were impressed by the power of his spoken words and by his emphasis on nonviolent protest and passive resistance, concepts king had learned from studying the life of mahatma gandhi, the leader of india's independence movement.