India’s Minister Sushma Swaraj pays homage to Gandhi in Pietermaritzburg South Africa

Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj on Thursday unveiled a bust of Mahatma Gandhi in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, 7 June 2018.

#PIETERMARITZBURG: Indian Minister, the late Madam Sushma Swaraj commemorated the event of unveiling Mahatma’s bust in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa in 2018.

The bust is a one-of-a-kind masterpiece, of golden colour, the unique bust is a perfect tribute to the journey of Gandhi as a revolutionary and visionary.

It was at the Pietermaritzburg train station where Gandhi experienced racism in the harshest of ways but this significant act turned Gandhi from a Mohandas to the Mahatma.

Swaraj visited the sleepy city of Pietermaritzburg to officiate a series of launches, the very place where Gandhi’s journey from a barrister to a revolutionary. 

Sushma Swaraj Train Platform Pietermaritzburg 2
Minister Swaraj officiated the morning proceedings reaching the very spot where Gandhi’s revolution began. 
India’s EAM Sushma Swaraj embarks a train journey from Pentrich station to Pietermaritzburg.

This occasion was to mark 125 years of ‘satyagraha’ (movement) by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. Apart from the occasion of the 125 years anniversary, South African’s celebrate the 100th birth centenary of Madiba and 25 years of the diplomatic relations.

The unique bust has a young Gandhi’s face carved on the one side and on the other it had the face of Gandhi that every Indian is familiar with.

The MEA unveiled the bust by spinning a ‘charkha’, which symbolises the production of khadi that was a part of the Civil Disobedience movement. Swaraj also boarded a train at the Pentrich station to Pietermaritzburg, a “journey that acted as a catalyst for Mahatma Gandhi to practice satyagraha!,”

said Raveesh Kumar, spokesperson of India’s Ministry of External Affairs

“Mohandas turned into Mahatma.”

– Ruchira Kamboj, Indian High Commission to South Africa

Watch as Minister Swaraj unveils Gandhi’s bust

“To practice this belief of “Vasudeva kudumbakam” we need to keep reminding us that Truth and Non-violence is the way.”

said Minister Swaraj in her address at the commemoration of the 125th anniversary of Pietermaritzburg incident.

Twenty five years of diplomacy 

To mark 25 years of the establishment of diplomatic relations between to the 2 BRICS countries India’s Minister Swaraj and Deputy Foreign Minister of South Africa, Luewellyn Landers jointly released postal stamps on Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay and Oliver Tambo.

Essay competition winner

Twenty five diaspora youth of South Africa & India were encouraged to write an essay on the topic ‘What was the turning point/moment in your life?’ for a competition on the 125th anniversary of Pietermaritzburg incident. The winners of this essay competition were felicitated by Minister Swaraj.

To mark this momentous 125th anniversary of Gandhi’s Pietermaritzburg incident, Minister Swaraj also released a coffee table book, titled The Birth of Satyagraha.

A new age  addition to the Pietermaritzburg station which has remained untouched for the last 125 years now includes the Mahatma Gandhi Digital Museum consisting of interactive screens, videos, audio commentary on infamous incident at Pietermaritzburg Station.

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