The Indian Presence in Durban


Friday, January 18, 2008, 03:01 AM
Posted by Amanda Aumiller


The Indian presence in Durban was noticeable at the market we visited when we first arrived. There were many spices present and all of the vendors were of Indian culture. The curry was strong in smell and this along with sugar, fruits, and vegetables is what many people of Indian descent use to make a living. This present day culture was started by Gandhi when he reached Durban in 1893.
Gandhi was very troubled by the racial discrimination in society and when the Durban Court ordered him to remove his turban he was very insulted. Gandhi used a nonviolent approach however and this proved to be effective. Gandhi spent 21 years in South Africa until he sailed for England on July 18, 1914.

The Sardovaya home that we visited where Gandhi once lived was very powerful because that is how the Phoenix community began. Gandhi’s efforts against hatred involved remaining peaceful even when he was kicked off the train’s first class just because he was “brown-skinned”. Gandhi also launched the “Indian Opinion” which was a weekly paper that kept close track of events in India including the trading of goods with the British and the boycotts so that more people would be aware of their products in the market.

The weapon that Gandhi used to fight the struggle of discrimination was called Satyagraha which was ” the doctrine of soul-force” which used nonviolence as the way to gain rights and justice. Throughout history Gandhi is one of the most powerful and yet peaceful figures of leadership. Without him, the Indian culture might not have thrived as we witnessed at the market in Durban.

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