Mahatma Gandhi, South Africa and Satyagraha
By E. S. Reddy
A century ago, on 10 January 1908, M. K. Gandhi, an attorney with a lucrative practice in Johannesburg, appeared before the magistrate’s court for defying an anti-Asiatic law and disobeying an order to leave the Transvaal within 48 hours. He asked for the heaviest penalty – six months’ imprisonment with hard labour – for organising defiance of this “Black Act” by the Indian community. The magistrate, however, sentenced him to two months simple imprisonment.
Gandhi gladly went to prison to enjoy “free hospitality” at “His Majesty’s hotel”, as did 150 other resisters.
That was the first of many imprisonments of Gandhi and the first non-violent challenge to racist rule in South Africa. READ MORE…