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Swaraj to join 125th anniv commemoration of Mahatma Gandhi's eviction from train

Press Trust of India  |  Johannesburg 

Sushma will next month lead in commemorating the 125th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi's eviction from a train's "whites-only" compartment, which inspired him to launch the movement against the British in and in

On the night of June 7, 1893, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, a young lawyer, was thrown off the train's first class compartment at for refusing to give up his seat.

The incident led him to develop his principles of peaceful resistance and mobilise people in and in against the discriminatory rules of the British.

The two-day commemoration will commence with a dinner and address by and other dignitaries to about 500 guests on June 6, Indian High to South Africa, Ruchira Kamboj, said.

The following day about 300 dignitaries, including leading South African politicians, will join in a symbolic train ride from to

For the event, train coaches and engine will be draped with khadi, a hand-woven fabric synonymous with Mahatma Gandhi, she said.

Making an announcement about the event in Pietermaritzburg yesterday, Kamboj said khadi, which became the symbol of resistance by against the British rule, would be specially imported from for the occasion.

The event - the vision of - would bind and India which shared the legacy of

"125 years ago who was as much South African as he was Indian, was removed from a first-class rail compartment and from there began a new journey that was to transform India and indeed the entire world," Kamboj said, reminding the influence Gandhi had on other great leaders like and

She said the 125th commemoration was a precursor to Gandhi's 150th birth anniversary, for which year-long celebrations were being planned in India from October 2.

She also said the event would be broadcast live in both India and South Africa by countries national public broadcasters, the and the

Apart from these, the incident of Gandhi being thrown off the train on a cold winter evening would be re-enacted, and his a two-sided bust would be installed on the station platform.

"One side of the bust will feature as a in the Western attire he wore when he came to South Africa, while the other side will show in his Indian dress in which he left South Africa after 21 years, returning to transform India" Kamboj said.

An interactive digital museum, sponsored by the Indian government, will also be launched at the station on the day, she added.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, May 17 2018. 14:15 IST