Birth of Satyagraha celebrated

IP MP Naren Singh, IFP leader Chief Mangosuthu Buthelezi, Pmb Gandhi Committee chairman David Gengan, Councillor Eunice Majola and Msunduzi Mayor Themba Njilo get ready to board the very same train that Gandhi was thrown off. They are currently at the Pentrich station. The train will travel to the Pietermaritzburg Station where the scene of Gandhi being thrown off the train will be re-enacted.

Hundreds of guests including international media, community leaders, national and foreign dignitaries and members of the Pietermaritzburg Gandhi Memorial Committee will travel today (Thursday) along that same railway line and then gather at the historic train station for a re-enactment of Gandhi being thrown off the train.
Pietermaritzburg’s status as a city of immense historical interest will be boosted by the unveiling of a two-sided bronze bust of Gandhi depicting his transformation from a barrister to the ‘Mahatma’ and celebrating the impact he had on the struggles for freedom and democracy in both South Africa and India.
The bronze bust which weighs around 100kgs was the brainchild of Birad Rajaram Yajnik,the Indian organiser of the commemoration celebrations. According to Yajnik the bust which was made in Hydrabad at the Mahatma Gandhi Digital Museum involved the work of around 20 people and is the first of its kind in the world.
“We used 3D scanning of various images of Gandhi whilst the actual bust was sculpted and created using an ancient sand casting method. The bust is named the Birth of Satyagraha,” explained Tajnik. Another interesting technological feature of the artwork is the kinetic device which will allow visitors at the station to listen to the ‘voice’ of Gandhi explaining how the bust was created.
All eyes were on the City of choice this week with the 125th Gandhi celebrations in full swing. The two day event kicked –off with a mini film festival and the Mandela Gandhi Youth Symposium, followed by an extravagant gala dinner at City and concluded with the highlight of the events the re-enactment of Gandhi being thrown from the train at the Pietermaritzburg Railway Station.
Pietermaritzburg Railway Station and the imposing Gandhi statue in Church Street was wrapped warmly in the country colour’s of both India and South Africa.
Local twins Visharad and Nirvikar Bundhoo landed the prized roles of depicting Gandhi’s transformation from a barrister to civil rights activist, statesman and father of the Indian nation. The train carriage used in the re-enactment will be draped in Khadi, especially imported from the Khadi and Village Industries Commission India, and as a mark of respect to Mahatma Gandhi who had in the early 20th century started a nationalist movement for home spun cotton cloth in reaction to foreign imposed fabric, sold at exorbitant rates.
The Republic of India has also given the Gandhi Museum located at the historic station a complete revamp with the introduction of interactive digital exhibitions. The two day celebrations included the Mandela Gandhi Youth Symposium yesterday and a dinner hosted by the Indian High Commissioner to South Africa Ruchira Kamboj.

  AUTHOR
Keroshini Paltu

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