Johannesburg, October 20, 2016: The husband of Mahatma Gandhi’s granddaughter and a South African struggle icon, Mewa Ramgobin died at the age of 83 after a prolonged illness.
The former president of the Natal Indian Congress, Ramgobin fought discrimination against Indians in South Africa. He breathed his last at the Cape Town hospital on Monday.
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A family member said that he was admitted to the hospital on October 8.
Ramgobin was married to Ela Gandhi who is herself a human rights activist and the granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi.
According to PTI, “He was among the first supporters of the Release Mandela campaign. He was charged for treason in 1985.”
“The couple was involved in the activities of the Phoenix Settlement Trust that was established in 1904 by Gandhi near Durban during his tenure in South Africa.”
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Ela departed for Sweden, just hours before Ramgobin’s death. She went to Sweden with one of their daughters Asha, who is due to receive an honorary degree there.
Their son Kidar confirmed that the family members will be meeting on Wednesday to discuss about the funeral arrangements, as his mother and his sister were due to return only on Sunday.
“He was among the first to join the Release Mandela Campaign after the infamous treason trial that sent Nelson Mandela to prison for 27 years before he became South Africa’s first democratically-elected president.”
He faced intense persecution from the apartheid-era security forces which banned him for 17 years, many of those under complete house arrest.
“He also faced high treason charges after riots broke out in 1994 near the Phoenix Settlement between Indians and the indigenous Zulu community which had lived peacefully side-by-side for decades, but was acquitted a year later.”
His commitment to the Gandhian cause led him establish a Gandhi museum and a library. He also organized Annual Gandhi Lecture to educate people from different race groups on the philosophies of Gandhi.
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He is also an author of books ‘Waiting To Live’ and ‘Prisms Of Light’ who would have turned 84 on November 10.
“In 1983, Ramgobin made international headlines when he and five other members of the resistance movement United Democratic Front sought refuge in the British consulate.”
– prepared by NewsGram team with inputs from PTI