Gandhi Struggle Against Racial Inequality In South Africa Analysis

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One of the most glorious chapters in Gandhi’s life has been his successful fight for racial equality in South Africa during 1893-1914. After the abolition of slavery in 1833, the British settlers in the Natal arranged with the Indian Government to recruit indentured labour for their plantations. Thousands of poor and illiterate Indians were tempted to go and work in South Africa in return of attractive wages and deportation after five years or promise as a right to settle as a free man. After the Indian labourers started getting free from their bond the British started facing a lot of competition from other trader. This led to the British making it impossible for Indians to live there freely. British felt that the existence of “free Indians” would weaken the white domination and control so they started ill-treating the Indians. They were subjected to discrimination, humiliation and injustice and deprived of their elementary rights. In 1893, when Natal was granted self-government, the Government undertook a series of unfair and restrictive
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However, the widespread interest in Gandhi and his ideas spread widely in the West in the 1950s with the civil rights movement led by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in United States. Mandela, who had become the symbol of resistance even while incarcerated for more than 27 years, said in the 1990s: “The values of tolerance, mutual respect and unity for which he (Gandhi) stood and acted had a profound influence on our own liberation movement, and on my own thinking”. Gandhian philosophy, he said, had enabled them to mobilise millions of people in the defiance campaign. It “contributed in no small measure to bringing about a peaceful transformation in South Africa and in healing destructive human divisions that had been spawned by the abhorrent practice of apartheid.” It continued to inspire South Africans in their efforts for reconciliation and

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