Mahatma Gandhi’s time spent here in South Africa was a significant period in the history of our country. Tourism South Africa is offering locals and tourists the chance to virtually follow in Gandhi’s footsteps through a new website called Gandhi in South Africa.
Gandhi arrived in South Africa in 1893 as a young lawyer in his early 20s and remained for 21 years before leaving 1914 to take on British rule in India.
Launched at Satyagraha House in Orchards, Johannesburg yesterday, Gandhi in South Africa explores Gandhi’s time in South Africa and important moments during that time. Users can also see the 13 Gandhi-related attractions throughout the country, such as Constitution Hill in Johannesburg, where Gandhi was once imprisoned, and the Phoenix Settlement near Durban, where a newspaper he founded, the “Indian Opinion”, was published for many years.
A garden of remembrance in honour of Gandhi at Tolstoy Farm near Lenasia outside Johannesburg where Gandhi and his close friend Herman Kallenbach established a settlement, is also in the pipeline according to Tourism South Africa.
“Although the story of Gandhi’s role in Indian independence is well known, people are not fully aware of the full extent of his influence in South Africa and that his story goes way beyond the famous incident of being ejected from a train in Pietermaritzburg,” Tourism South Africa adds. “Although Gandhi was never to return to these shores again after 1914, the many lessons he learnt here through his satyagraha (truth-force) campaigns against discriminatory legislation against Indians had a profound bearing on his political trajectory. These campaigns also influenced the passive resistance anti-apartheid campaigns of the ANC in the 1950s and 1960s.”
“The Gandhi project was a deeply enriching process for us,” says Tara Turkington, CEO of Flow Communications, the company behind Gandhi in South Africa. “It was fascinating to uncover the Gandhi story and to bring together beautiful design, photography, video and web capabilities into one package that will hopefully inspire many tourists to follow in Gandhi’s footsteps.”
[Image – Gandhi in South Africa]