VIDEO RECORDING – Mahatma Gandhi in South Africa: Indentureship and Its/His Legacies
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869 -1948) employed nonviolent resistance to lead the campaign for the independence of India from British rule in 1947. His success inspired movements for civil rights and freedoms across the world. The title Mahātmā, (Sanskrit: “great-soul”, “venerable”), was first applied to him in South Africa in 1914.
In 1893 at the age of 23, Gandhi set sail to South Africa for 21 years where he developed his ethics, philosophy and politics. In a meeting in New Delhi, Gandhi said he was born in India but was made in South Africa.
He established a place called “The Phoenix Settlement”, near Durban in 1904, where he established a commune, started his experiments with satyagraha [nonviolent resistance], and printed his newspaper, Indian Opinion. In this Indian Diaspora country, he saw first-hand the plight of girmitiyas [Indian indentured labourers] and campaigned to end this system, which ceased in 1920.
But what really what his attitude to indentured migrants (“coolies”) and their descendants? What were the multiple, complex and nuanced reasons to end indentureship? What were the observable transformation that eventually led to him describe the system as “an evil thing”?
Mahatma Gandhi in South Africa: Indentureship and Its/His Legacies
DR. UMA DHUPELIA-MESTHRIE – Professor Emeritus of History,
University of Western Cape, South Africa; and great granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi
PROF. KHAL TORABULLY – Mauritian and French poet and semiologist; coined
the concept of “coolitude”; involved in the International Indentured Labour Route Project
DR. SATISH RAI – Fiji-born, Austrailian-based academic, film/tv screenwriter and producer,
journalist, writer and community development worker
SEE VIDEO RECORDING by touching/clicking this link
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