The Indian Navy is participating in a commemorative event to mark 130 years of the beginning of the struggle against apartheid at Pietermaritzburg Railway Station near Durban. INS Trishul, a frontline warship of the Indian Navy, is in Durban till June 9, to commemorate the anniversary of the June 7, 1893 incident and 30 years of re-establishment of diplomatic relations between India and South Africa.
The event at Pietermaritzburg Railway includes paying floral tributes at the plinth of Mahatma Gandhi and a performance by the Indian Navy band. The ship will also participate in other professional and social engagements during the visit.
Mahatma Gandhi arrived in Durban, South Africa, in 1893 to serve as legal counsel to a merchant. On June 7, 1893, on his way to Pretoria in the Transvaal, he arrived at Pietermaritzburg station. Gandhiji, who was seated in the first-class compartment after buying a ticket, was evicted from the compartment at the will of a European, who said coolies and non-whites were not permitted in first-class compartments. The incident is believed to be the trigger that led to Mahatma’s fight against racial oppression and the birth of Satyagraha.