Mahatma's Peace Teachings Needed; Ela Gandhi Reminds of Kastuba's Role in Shaping His Non-Violence Philosophy and Protests

Cape Times (South Africa), January 28, 2019 | Go to article overview

Mahatma's Peace Teachings Needed; Ela Gandhi Reminds of Kastuba's Role in Shaping His Non-Violence Philosophy and Protests


As Mahatma Gandhi's 150th birth anniversary celebrations continue this year, his granddaughter, Ela Gandhi, said her grandfather's approach to resolving conflict was needed in these violent times in South Africa.

Speaking from her Durban home, Ela said: "With corruption and selfishness on the rise in South Africa, people need to start learning his teachings of non-violence.

"South Africans need to move from 'I' to 'we' and from 'mine' to 'ours'."

This week marks 71 years since Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated by Nathuram Godse, a Hindu nationalist, on January 30, 1948.

Gandhi's link to South Africa began some decades after the first Indians arrived in the country in 1860 as indentured labourers.

When Gandhi, a lawyer, was asked to come to South Africa for a case, he experienced racism first-hand when, in 1893, he was thrown out of a whites-only train carriage on to the freezing ground at Pietermaritzburg railway station.

The incident led to Gandhi founding the Satyagraha movement. It was his commitment to Satyagraha which brought India its freedom in 1947.

Ela said that while Gandhi had led the movement, people should not forget the contribution his wife, Kasturba, made to the Struggle.

"Like many wives, she was neglected. It is also important to pay attention to the work she did and celebrate her life and her contribution," Ela Gandhi said.

She said that Kasturba taught the movement about gender equality and organised marches for women who defied the laws. …

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