South Africa Begins Commemoration of 125 Years of Mahatma Gandhi’s Eviction From Train

first_imgThe opening of the series of events commemorating the historic incident 125 years ago, when Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was taken off a train as the compartment he was in was reserved for white people, was marked with the screening of the film, Making of a Mahatma, at Pietermaritzburg on June 6, PTI reported.The railway station, where the incident took place, the City Hall and Mahatma Gandhi’s statue in Pietermaritzburg were lit up on the occasion. Ruchira Kamboj, the High Commissioner of India to South Africa, gave a glimpse of the commemoration on the social media:Take a look at these pictures straight from Pietermaritzburg. The Station, City Hall and Gandhi ji’s statue lit up in national colors @SushmaSwaraj #Bapu150 #satyagraha125 #Gandhi @biradyajnik— Ruchira Kamboj (@RuchiraKamboj) June 6, 2018Meanwhile, Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, who will spearhead the commemoration, signed the Visitors’ Book at the historic Pietermaritzburg City Hall, where Gandhi spoke in 1912.Min @SushmaSwaraj signs the Visitors Book at the historic Pietermaritzburg City Hall. Where Gandhi JI had spoken in 1912. #satyagraha125— India in SouthAfrica (@hci_pretoria) June 6, 2018Directed by veteran Indian filmmaker Shyam Benegal, the movie, Making of a Mahatma, is based on the book Apprenticeship of a Mahatma written by the late freedom activist Fatima Meer. The film was made in 1996 and is a co-production between India and South Africa.The film portrays the incident when Gandhi was taken off a train in South Africa for his refusal to give up his seat in the “whites only” compartment, 125 years ago, in 1893. It also recalls what occurred after the incident took place when Gandhi decided to give up worldly life and started the Phoenix Settlement commune in Phoenix near Durban. The Phoenix Settlement, the first ashram of Gandhi, was established by him near Durban in 1904. This was where he developed his concept of passive resistance, or Satyagraha, to fight racial injustice.Swaraj also visited the Phoenix Ashram and interacted with students at the Mahatma Gandhi Center for Information Technology there.“It was a special privilege for my Dad Moosa Moosa and myself to kick off this 125th commemoration at our cinema, as it were also our forebears who unwittingly started off young lawyer Mohandas Gandhi’s path to becoming the Mahatma through his Satyagraha plans in both South Africa and India,” AB Moosa, the CEO of the Avalon Group,which owns the Cine Centre cinema where the film was screened, was quoted as saying by PTI.Talking about the relationship of his forefathers with Gandhi, Moosa said that the film’s screening to commemorate the 125-year-old incident was a moving moment. “If he did not have to take that train to submit legal papers for our forebears to Pretoria, the fateful incident where he was thrown off the train might never have happened, and the world might never have benefited from Gandhiji’s guidance and leadership,” Moosa said. Related ItemsMahatma GandhiPietermaritzburgSouth Africalast_img read more