2 October Special: After studying law in London, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi’s dream was to earn a name in advocacy.
Mahatma gandhi jayanti:
After studying law in London, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi’s dream was to earn a name in advocacy. He was struggling to establish his hometown in Porbandar in Gujarat. At that time, he did not think that he would have to make a big contribution in the independence of India. But at the same time, he received an offer from the Indian-origin businessman living in South Africa to work in the then Transvaal Province of South Africa. This proposal brought a big change in the life of Mahatma Gandhi.
Mahatma Gandhi’s visit to South Africa and his thinking about Satyagraha might not be realized if local Indian businessmen do not offer him a visit here. At the moment Gandhiji reached South Africa on this proposal and seeing discrimination there, he chose the path of Satyagraha against it. The inspiration from here made him a great hero of India’s independence.
This is that businessman
The businessman you are referring to is Dada Abdullah. In 1893, when Mahatma Gandhi reached Durban by ship, Dada Abdullah sent Mahatma Gandhi to Pretoria to fight a case. He told Gandhiji to go to Pretoria by train. This journey changed Gandhi’s life forever.
What happened was the incident
During the visit to Pretoria, Mahatma Gandhi was pushed off the train at Pietermaritzburg station. In fact, Gandhiji had accidentally climbed into such a compartment, which was a reserve for the British. Gandhi ji was completely shaken by this incident. After this, he decided to do Satyagraha against discrimination. The beginning of this Satyagraha made him a great hero of India’s independence.
The journey was 600 kilometers, but the incident happened on a cold night at the Pietermaritzburg station, about 80 kilometers before starting the journey. Here Gandhiji came to know how Indians are facing discrimination from the British here. Most of the Indians were brought to South Africa as sugarcane plantations, quarry workers and even as labourers to start businesses in the country.
What were the difficulties of Indians?
Indians had to pay electoral taxes there. They had to pay this tax even after having a low salary. Indians could not own land there then. They could not go everywhere. They had found a place to live in which they did not want to live. They were not getting any kind of facility. They had to obtain the necessary permits to travel from one province to another. Where you lived, you could not go out at night. Even if the British were present, they could not even walk on the sidewalk.
Gandhi Ji agitated
Gandhi united diverse Indian communities to oppose united laws, some of them were successful in amending the law. After returning to India in 1901, Gandhi was soon asked to return to South Africa. This second term in South Africa marked the beginning of the Satyagraha principles, which Gandhi developed as he entered a period of strict celibacy, vegetarianism, and established the self-sustaining Phoenix Settlement. Where he also started the Indian Opinion newspaper in 1903.
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