Martin Luther Jr. “Jail Letter” and Aung San Kyi’s Democracy Excerpt

The greatest contest between injustice and democracy finds its root in the minds of prominent activists who stand out to show the right direction towards achieving equity. The approaches given by Martin Luther King Jr and Aung San Suu Kyi have demonstrated from their time to the subsequent decades how the society is marred by impunity, which arises from leaders (McCarthy, p. 68). In his letter from the Birmingham city jail, Martin Luther King Jr unveiled that the hallmark of disintegration within developed cities like London was racial segregation (Fenny, p. 1). On the contrary, Aung San Suu Kyi points out in the excerpt “In Quest for Democracy”, the strategies to implement it and come up with a cohesive society. However, all of them point to the defaults of prominent leaders in creating a peaceful and united nation, and societies within it. This paper therefore compares and contrasts the ideas presented by Martin Luther King Jr and Aung San Suu Kyi while in pursuit of justice.

The letter from Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther Jr and the excerpt “In Quest for Democracy” by Aung San Suu Kyi present the need for equality for humanity. The desires recorded in writing showed to the people who were after them that equity is paramount for a society of people to be productive. Martin Luther King’s letter demonstrated that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”. He implied that the human community is joined by the networks of social platforms and is destined for a common goal. Therefore, as long as one has a locality in a given region, he or she is part and parcel of the whole business going on there, just as his time in the United States (Fenny, p. 1). Aung San Suu Kyi also approached the alienations which existed in her society by pinning the matter on the incapacity of the leader Eine Win. Immediately, she initiated advocacy for justice through human rights and democracy and pioneered cohesive movements which terminated external commercial links. Her statements pointed out that misfortunes prevail upon people from the immoral system of governance (McCarthy, p. 68). It is therefore conceivable that the documentations by Martin Luther King Jr and Aung San Suu Kyi advocated for equity and human justice.

The writings of Martin Luther Jr and Aung San Suu Kyi demonstrate the mechanism of non-violent resolution of problems within the societies. The two persons unveiled their moral motives towards their countries investing in peaceful activism to terminate intimidations that were arising from the white people and the rulers. Tactically, they invested in religion to show that trusting all efforts to the supernatural powers produces substantial results for those who believe. The main religion in Burma, Aung’s country of origin was Buddhism, while Christianity was prominent in the United States which is Martin Luther King’s country. Using her religion as a tool, Aung San Suu Kyi deviated the attention of people from ‘isolationism’, which was backed up by the king of her nation. People in society were alienated from social status while Aung’s interest was equity through democracy. On the other hand, Martin Luther King Jr utilized Christianity to impart moral principles in the minds of people and achieved compact efforts towards alleviating the Negros from racial discrimination (Fenny, p. 2; McCarthy, p. 71). It is therefore clear that the two social activists championed human freedom through the non-violent mobilization of the citizens of their nation against injustice and impunity.

Aung San Suu Kyi and Martin Luther King Jr were social activists who steered campaigns for freedom and human rights. However, their objectives differed from those that sounded contentious to them. For Aung San Suu Kyi, democracy was vital for the wellbeing of her society. The understanding demonstrated in the excerpt “In Quest for Democracy”, impunity stems from bad governance arising from the leaders holding the positions. After her education and return to Burma, Aung San Suu Kyi invested efforts through her religion to terminate the rulings of her master. Moreover, the armies which acted as the defense system were revolutionized to attaint perpetual democracy for the people of her nation (McCarthy, p. 72). Martin Luther King on the other hand anticipatively worked for the civilization and liberation of the United States through the elimination of racial discrimination, the establishment of human rights, and freedom for all people. In his letter from Birmingham jail, he highlighted that “I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states”. He embraced the fact that mutual coexistence is inevitable (Fenny, p. 1). The two activists implied that freedom and social justice for all people were vital for development.

The similitude of the Aung San Suu Kyi approach and Martin Luther King Jr tactics lies in the purity of the mechanisms they intended to put in place for the good running of their nations. Corruption was prominent in Burma and it sounded like an issue to outdo with the fastest possible mechanisms. Being that the government was after it with the military system, Aung San Suu Kyi, in the “In Quest of Democracy”, perceived it as mental defilement that needs purification. The advancements of her ideas incorporated Buddhists knowing that politics is all about peoples’ wellbeing and purity in it is vital. By noting that, “when one says that he wishes to be pure, you have to first discover what he means by purity”, she was stimulating the minds of the people to discover ignorance and malice of the master and the armies on his use (McCarthy, p. 75). Likewise, Martin Luther King Jr pioneered purity in their freedom fighting by saying that nothing other than their bodies has to be on the frontline to attain the expected results. As a question to the subject of purity in their moves, he asked, “Are you able to accept blows without retaliating? Are you able to endure the ordeal of jail ?” The realization of their objectives towards attaining freedom required humility while in the protest programs (Fenny, p. 3). The writings of Martin Luther King Jr and Aung San Suu Kyi demonstrate that purity in all social and democratic platforms is paramount for success.

Martin Luther King Jr and Aung San Suu Kyi actively championed civilization and democracy respectively when under the suppression of political regimes of their time. At some point being sent into incarceration, their voices through writing promoted the transforming moves all over their countries. With the instrument of peace and transparency being their religion, they advocated for purity and equity in all government dealings with the people. It is conceivable that Martin Luther King Jr and Aung San Suu Kyi are great contributors to liberation reflected in their nations even to this current generation.


  1. Fenny, Omobolalne. “King. “Letter from Birmingham Jail”.” The Encyclopedia of Corrections (2017): 1-3.
  2. McCarthy, Stephen. “The Buddhist Political Rhetoric of Aung San Suu Kyi.” Contemporary Buddhism 5.2 (2004): 67-81.

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DemoEssays. 2023. "Martin Luther Jr. "Jail Letter" and Aung San Kyi’s Democracy Excerpt." July 18, 2023.

1. DemoEssays. "Martin Luther Jr. "Jail Letter" and Aung San Kyi’s Democracy Excerpt." July 18, 2023.


DemoEssays. "Martin Luther Jr. "Jail Letter" and Aung San Kyi’s Democracy Excerpt." July 18, 2023.