To mark the 130th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s ‘Satyagraha’, the Indian Navy has sent INS Trishul to Durban, South Africa, to take part in the commemorative event. INS Trishul will be visiting Duban from June 6- 9.
The event is held to commemorate the start of the struggle against apartheid by Mahatma Gandhi. The event will be conducted to mark the incident at Pietermaritzburg Railway Station near Durban, in which Mahatma Gandhi was evicted from the train on June 7 1893. This life-changing incident propelled Gandhiji’s fight against racial oppression, resulting in the birth of ‘Satyagraha’.
The INS Trishul’s three-day visit to Durban is in continuation with the Indian Navy’s celebration of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahostav by celebrating key moments that shaped India’s Independence struggle. This visit will also mark 30 years of re-establishing diplomatic relations between India and South Africa.
During the visit to Durban, INS Trishul will take part in a commemoration event at Pietermaritzburg Railway Station while in Durban. This event will include flower tributes at the Gandhiji Plinth and a performance by the Indian Navy band. The ship will also participate in other professional and social activities throughout the visit.
Apart from the Indian Independence struggle, Mahatma Gandhi also played an important role in starting the apartheid struggle in South Africa; that’s why people highly reveres him. One of the forerunners of the apartheid struggle, Nelson Mandela, drew inspiration from Gandhiji’s non-violent approach. Mandela recalled “Gandhi’s magnificent example of personal sacrifice and dedication in the face of oppression”.
Mahatma Gandhi arrived in Durban, South Africa, in 1893 to serve as legal counsel. At that time, South Africa was part of the British Commonwealth and had discriminating racial laws against non-whites. On June 7 1893, he was thrown off the First Class compartment of a Pretoria-bound train at Pietermaritzburg railway station because of the colour of his skin. The humiliation that he went through convinced him to take on a greater call to fight for the rights of non-whites in South Africa.
During Gandhji’s stay in South Africa for 21 years before returning to India, he conducted various struggle movements and introduced the idea of non-violent protest. The idea of non-violence was taken forward by various South Africans and Indians alike during their freedom struggle from the oppressive clutches of Britishers.
Even a ‘Gandhi-Mandela-King Conference’ will be held from June 6-9 in collaboration with the Pietermaritzburg Gandhi Foundation and the University of KwaZulu-Natal at Pietermaritzburg in South Africa. Youth delegates will take part in this conference indulging in discussions about the legacies of Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King Jr.