I have been an avid reader . I have read widely on Philosophy of Life , Sri Madbhagvat Gita , History , Mahatma Gandhi , Mahatma Budh , etc . Presently I am writing articles on Mahatma Gandhi’s work in South Africa based on two books
- “Gandhi before India” by noted historian Ram Chandra Guha
- “Pahla Girmitia” by Giriraj Kishore . It is a historical novel.
Very little is known about Gandhi’s work in South Africa to improve the lot of Indians who were mostly very poor and illiterate . These people were almost starving in India and fell in to the trap of British agents for a better life in South Africa . British gave them the name Coolies. They were deployed to work in their farms , factories and homes . A loosly drafted agreement mostly in favour of the Britishers , was signed with these labourers ; Girmitia was a spoiled word of Agreement.
Their living conditions were horrible which could be compared to that of animals . There was lot of discrimination between black Indians and the white people . Gandhi was thrown out of a first class compartment because blacks were not entitled to travel in upper class, is a event known world wide . The blacks were not allowed to walk at night after specific hours and also on foot paths because at night Britishers used to take walks . They were not entitled to cast their vote etc . There were numerous such pain points .
Gandhi was sent to South Africa only for a year to help in a legal case of Seth Abdullah . He could not tolerate the injustice and policy of discrimination of the British govt for the Indians ; he himself had experienced discrimination and therefore plunged in to politics . He was the only black advocate in whole of South Africa . He led the Indian masses to fight for their rights and identity . He stayed there for 21 years ( 1893 to 1914 ) and fought for their cause . Here he developed the doctrine of Truth and Non violence -Satyagrah which he used in the freedom of India.
I have written 06 articles titled “Gandhi’s Work in South Africa” which are given here . More articles shall follow to cover the entire period of 21 years . Reader will be amazed to learn how much pain Gandhi took to inspire and lead the Indians to stand against injustice and discrimination policy of white govt . It was a super human task and mind blowing efforts.