Millennium Post

Gandhi to be part of heritage tourism route in SA

Gandhi to be part of heritage tourism route in SA
The Phoenix Settlement, founded by Mahatma Gandhi in 1904 near Durban in South Africa to experiment with non-violence, is now part of a new heritage tourism route established by the KwaZulu-Natal government.

The Inanda Heritage Route has significant links to Gandhi and some of the most eminent local leaders like John Dube, the first President of the African National Congress and a very close friend of Gandhi.

‘It was on this route that a young barrister, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, started his philosophy of satyagraha – non-violence - and spent 21 years of his life in this city before he went back to the Indian subcontinent,’ said former Deputy Mayor of Durban Logie Naidoo while unveiling a bronze statue of South Africa’s first democratic president Nelson Mandela at the site where Mandela cast his first vote in 1994.

Gandhi got involved in the struggle of the Zulu people against British oppression soon after he arrived in the region.

During the Bambatha Rebellion in 1906 when the Zulus rose in revolt against British rule and taxation, Gandhi looked afresh at British colonialism and started his campaigns which eventually took strong roots both across South Africa and in India.

Gandhi started his fight against oppression at the Phoenix Settlement. It was in Phoenix Farm on March 5, 1913 that Gandhiji wrote, ‘refuse to believe that you are weak, and you will be strong.’

The cottage that he lived in and the shed from where Gandhi published his newspaper Indian Opinion are part of what tourists can see on the Inanda Heritage route.

Another important site nearby is the Ohlange Institute, an educational organisation started by Dube in 1901 to empower the indigenous communities.

Most of the sites on the tour, like the Phoenix Settlement and the Ohlange Institute, are still in use and undertake a variety of activities of benefit to the local community, rather than being just static museums. [PTI]
Fakir Hassen

Fakir Hassen

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