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Gandhi was recognized in Mauritius much before than India, says an activist

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Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi is a legendary name in India. But even before being known in India, Gandhi was already recognized in Mauritius because of the infamous incident when he was thrown off the train at Pietermaritzburg station.

When the Bombay-bound ship of Karamchand Gandhi got halted in Port Louis, the halt got stretched till 15 days. During that time, Gandhi used to walk on the streets of Port Louis. He often used to visit a particular place of Muslin traders. As he was spotted by these Muslim traders more often, they used to relate to him with the infamous Pietermaritzburg incident.

Gandhi also took part in the reception ceremonies of Muslim traders, Hawabhaai and Tahir Bagh in Mauritius. Gandhi also presented  Manilal Maganlal to Indians settled in Mauritius. Manilal asked Gandhi to go to Mauritius, where he represented Indo-Mauritians in court.

Explaining the departure of his forefathers as labourers from India to an unknown land, Ramburn Suresh, the Mauritius social activist, who traces his roots to Bihar’s Arrah district, while talking to a leading newspaper said that his grandfather Ramburn was nine-year-old in 1879, when he landed a Mauritius-bound ship along with his parents.

He further told that his grandfather parents died on the ship itself before reaching Mauritius,hence, his grandfather was adopted my Muslim couple. He also told that the place where the first batch of migrant labourers had landed in Mauritius is called ‘Apravasi Ghat’. It is now a very famous heritage site.
And at last according to Ramburn Suresh , the three things which migrant labourers did not take away with them from India was a dowry, casteism and the spitting of paan.
(Inputs from agencies)
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Ethnic Indian Jai Sears responds to complaint against the statue of Gandhi in Grenada

Jai Sears wrote in response to a letter on Mahatma Gandhi entitled “Dustbin of history” written by Josiah Rougier

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Gandhi
Mahatama Gandhi, leader of non violence

Jai Sears from Grenada, Caribbean has written a letter to editor in response to complaints against the statue of Gandhi in Grenada. Here is the text:

I write in response to a letter on Mahatma Gandhi entitled “Dustbin of history” written by Josiah Rougier and published in the Grenada newspaper, The New Today (Nov 3, 2017). In his letter, Rougier is asking the Government to remove the bust-statue of Gandhi which overlooks Sauteurs Bay in Grenada where East Indians arrived 160 years ago. Rougier’s opinion is based on the false notion that Gandhi was racist because the Mahatma reportedly considered Indians to be superior to black Africans when he referred to the latter as “kaffirs.”

Gandhi was only 27 years old when he made that contextual statement. If Rougier had done his research, he would have found that Nelson Mandela said: “Gandhi must be forgiven for these prejudices in the context of the time and the circumstances.” The quote can be found in “Gandhi the Prisoner” by Nelson Mandela published in 1995. Gandhi was a man; he was not god. And even god made mistakes.

In favour of Mahatama Gandhi
Photo of Jai Sears

Rougier must instead focus on the Gandhi’s vision of non-violent protest and his belief in satyagraha which inspired rebels and revolutionaries around the world. Gandhi’s ideas influenced leaders of the African National Congress and the struggle by Indians and blacks against white apartheid rule in South Africa. From as early as 1956 when he was 27 years old, Martin Luther King, Jr. referred to Gandhi as “the guiding light of our technique of nonviolent social change.”

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Following the success of his boycott, King contemplated traveling to India to deepen his understanding of Gandhian principles. The fact is that Gandhi saw people of all races, castes, colours and creeds as equal which led to his assassination by a Hindu fanatic in 1948. So who is this unknown Josiah Rougier? Is he as illustrious as the great Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King? And is he disagreeing with his possible heroes?

A friend to all.
Jai Sears
Grenada, Caribbean

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