Struggle of the labourer

2016-12-07 06:01

AS we commemorated the anniversary of this historic occasion of the arrival of indentured labourers in South Africa, we remember the years of hardship and misery the new arrivals had to endure.

As they were to discover indentureship was nothing more than a euphemism for slavery.

Today you see a vibrant community of over 1.2 million Indian South Africans, who are an integral part of the development, progress and sociopolitical transformation of our new democracy.

In South Africa a consistent policy of all governments between 1860 and 1961 was the view that Indians should ultimately be repatriated to India.

In 1914, Mahatma Gandhi argued that “compulsory” repatriation was a physical and political impossibility. South African Indians are facing huge challenges in terms of prejudice and discrimination in a democratic dispensation.

Outstanding students struggle for tertiary education admissions especially in the medical field and many with skills and qualifications are routinely denied employment, purely on the basis of their Indian linkage.

I truly believe that Indians have played a major role in fighting for the freedom we have today.

I hope the erection of this monument in Durban to commemorate the arrival of Indian indentured labourers brings memories of the struggle of our loving Indian brothers and sisters will always be remembered by all.

ROY NAIDOO

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