Call to rename Pietermaritzburg Station after Gandhi

2013-06-05 00:00

THERE is a call to rename the Pietermaritzburg Station Gandhi Station or the Mahatma Gandhi Station.

The call has come from long-standing justice and peace activist Paddy Kearney and is being made on the 120th anniversary of the historic incident when Gandhi was thrown off a train at the local station.

The Pietermaritzburg Gandhi Memorial Committee (PGMC) will also be discussing the possibility of getting the station declared a world heritage site.

On Friday, June 7, 1893, Gandhi was kicked off a train for refusing to leave a “whites only” first-class compartment and go to the third-class carriage.

Gandhi said in his autobiography that it was while sitting shivering in the waiting room at the station that cold winter night that he contemplated what to do — go back to India or stay and fight injustice.

He stayed for 21 years in South Africa, developing his philosophy of non-violence or satya­graha, and went on to become a leader in India’s struggle for independence.

Kearney is Archbishop Denis Hurley’s biographer and is a trustee on the Gandhi Development Trust (GDT). He said he was making the call in his personal capacity and was surprised that there had been no earlier motivation for a name change. He said the Maritzburg Station and the Nelson Mandela capture site were the most important historical sites in the KZN Midlands. He added that what happened at the station changed history and gave the world the very important philosophy of non-violence.

PGMC deputy chairperson David Gengan said they will be discussing Kearney’s call.

“Perhaps the renaming issue will be more appropriate during that initiative [to get the station declared a world heritage site]. But we will certainly start the conversation with key role players,” Gengan said.

Pietermaritzburg will be commemorating the 120th anniversary of Gandhi being thrown off the train at a function on the platform of the railway station on Friday, starting at 10 am. The function has been organised by the Gandhi Committee and the public is invited to attend. The guest speaker will be the Consul-General of India, Vinodkumar Sharma. Included in the programme will be the story of how Gandhi got to South Africa, what led to his being thrown off the train and the impact the incident had on his life and on history.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.