Exciting plans for 125th commemoration of Gandhi’s train saga

Mrs Ruchira Kamboj, High Commissioner of India to the Republic of South Africa and Kingdon of Lesotho with Dr Shashank Vikram Consul General of India Durban at teh unveiled the exciting plans for the commemoration.

The one night that changed the course of history both in South Africa and on the Indian sub-continent, will be celebrated when the Indian Government together with the Pietermaritzburg Gandhi Memorial Committee host the 125th anniversary commemoration of Mohandas Gandhi’s eviction from a whites-only train carriage at the Pietermaritzburg Railway Station.
On June 7, 1893 Gandhi was physically thrown off the train and forced into spending a night at the station, an event which changed his life and the course of history.
Yesterday (Wednesday) India’s high commissioner to South Africa Ms. Ruchira Kambo together with. Dr. Shashank Vikram, Consul General of India, Durban, Mr David Gengan Chairperson of the Pietermartizburg Gandhi Memorial Commitee & Mr Birad Rajaram Yajnik, Curator of the Commemoration unveiled exciting plans for the event which will take place at the historic railway station, including a re-enactment of that momentous event in Gandhi’s life.
The celebrations commence with a youth symposium that will gather youth from South Africa, India and the broad global Indian diaspora to consider and discuss the impact of Gandhi and Nelson Mandela on global values.
At the railway station a re-enactment of the altercation and eviction will take place with the entire incident being live broadcast to big screens on the platform and outside the station where a public viewing area will be demarcated.
Chairman of the Pietermaritzburg Gandhi Memorial Committee, David Gengan, said the celebrations will cement the city’s status as a destination of immense historical interest, given that both Mandela and Gandhi experienced seminal moments in their lives here.
“That Gandhi experienced such a pivotal moment of enlightenment right here in the city is hugely significant and we would like to thank the Indian Government for supporting and driving the 125th commemoration celebrations. The incident here saw the birth of Satyagraha and contributed to Gandhi’s own transformation into Mahatma,” said Gengan.
A two-sided bust of Gandhi will also be unveiled at the station.
“This is a unique depiction of Gandhi that will show two completely different faces of Gandhi. On one side you will have the young barrister and on the other, the older statesman and his transformation into the ‘Mahatma’,” explained Gengan.
Khadi, the hand-spun fabric synonymous with Mahatma Gandhi, will be used for draping train compartments at the Pietermaritzburg railway station.
Further details on the programme will be published next week including details on the public’s invitation to attend the commemoration at the station.

  AUTHOR
Public Eye Reporter

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