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When Mahatma Gandhi survived a lynch mob in South Africa



Mahatma Gandhi during a discussion with Rajagopalachari, Sevagram, June 1940. (Photo Courtesy: mkgandhi.org)

New Delhi, Sep 29 : Mob lynching, the scourge of India that has led to nearly a 100 hundred deaths in the past few years, is hardly a new phenomenon. Around 125 years ago, a young Indian lawyer named Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi faced a similar faceless and mindless mob in South Africa.

But unlike many in present-day India, he was lucky to have survived. Had he not, the world would have never known of Mahatma Gandhi.

Barrister Gandhi arrived in South Africa in 1893 to offer legal aid to Dada Abdullah in his business and within three years established himself as a political leader fighting against apartheid and for the interests of Indians in South Africa. For his struggle he established the Natal Indian Congress (NIC) on August 22, 1894 and returned to India in 1896 to continue his fight here.

While he was at Rajkot, a 27-year-old Gandhi wrote and issued a “Green Pamphlet”, in which he exposed the condition of Indian indentured labourers and coolies in South Africa and the human rights violations there.

The “Green Pamphlet” was taken by the British as an anti-government publication. When Gandhi went back to Durban with his family, his ship was not allowed to dock for three days. And when he finally deboarded, he was beaten by the “whites”.

He was saved by Durban Police Superintendent R.C. Alexander’s wife Sarah Alexander, who was passing by the area and spread her umbrella over Gandhi to cover him from the mob. Sarah also informed her husband after which the police reached the spot and rescued Gandhi.

He was taken to his friend Jeevanji Rustomji’s house, where his wife and children had already reached. His clothes were torn, there were severe wounds on his body. A doctor were called and he was given first-aid.

But barely had he reached Rustomji’s house, the mob too arrived there and demanded Gandhi be handed over to it. On the advice of Police Superintendent Alexander, Gandhi disguised himself as a policemen and left the spot.

The news of Gandhi being lynched reached the British government and Colonial Secretary Joseph Chamberlane ordered action against the rioters. However, Gandhi requested against the action. “The attackers were young, they got confused with a wrong news published by Reuters,” he wrote to the government. He continued to work for the Indian Natal Congress.


Railways zero-based timetable: We will ensure there is no passenger inconvenience, says VK Yadav




VK Yadav

With many news reports indicating the reduction of many small stations across the country after the implementation of the zero-based timetable, Railway Board Chairman and CEO VK Yadav on December 1 said the national transporter will ensure there is no passenger inconvenience and the aim is to reduce travel time.

“If there is a poorly patronised train, we will try to see if it can be merged with another train and run an additional train where there is more demand. We will ensure there is no passenger inconvenience. Travel time of trains will come down due to the zero-based timetable and the number of trains will not be reduced. Poorly patronised stoppages will be rationalised in a professional manner although we are yet to make a decision when it will be implemented. We will divulge details about it later in a formal manner,” he said addressing the media.

He also said some passenger trains used by people in rural India will be converted into express trains and Railways is planning to convert passenger train services to Mainline Electric Multiple Unit rakes.

Yadav said the growth in freight services has not dimmed, with November witnessing loading at 110 mt, the highest in the year till now.

In this period, Railways earned Rs 10,657.66 crore from freight loading, which is Rs 449.79 crore higher compared to last year’s earnings for the same period.

On the Vande Bharat bidding process, Yadav said technical evaluation is currently underway and by January 15, the Railways expects to finalise the tender. adding that he won’t be able to comment on the aspect of reverse bidding as the matter comes under the tender committee.


On the land acquisition hurdles for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail project in Maharashtra, Yadav said although only 22 percent land has been acquired in Maharashtra, they are in talks with the state government and things are moving in the right direction.

“We had a detailed discussion with Chief Secretary of Maharashtra government and he has promised that within four months, land acquisition will reach up to 80 percent. Work on the awarded tenders will begin in December this year and completed in four years,” Yadav said.


Yadav expressed satisfaction on the response of private entities for the PPP in passenger train operations project.

“The response has been very good. In the Chennai cluster, six clusters have qualified. In Mumbai cluster, 11 companies have qualified and in remaining clusters, 8-10 companies have qualified,” he said.

The project is expected to bring in private investment of around Rs 30,000 crore.

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Suspend three farm laws, withdraw cases against farmers: Congress

The Congress also demanded withdrawal of cases against farmers booked for stubble- burning.



Randeep Surjewala

New Delhi, Dec 1 : Even as the Centre held talks with farmer leaders over their demands, the Congress on Tuesday welcomed the development but demanded that the three farm laws be suspended immediately and all cases against protesters withdrawn.

“The government should talk to the farmers with an open heart and the Prime Minister should announce suspension of all three central farm laws and withdrawal of all cases against the farmers,” Congress Chief Spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said.

“Scrap all the three farm laws or give guarantee of continuation of MSP system to farmers,” he added.

The Congress also demanded withdrawal of cases against farmers booked for stubble- burning.

Following invitation from Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, 36 farmer leaders mainly from Punjab were holding parleys with the central government at Vigyan Bhavan from 3 pm onwards.

The farmers are demanding the repeal of the three farm laws enacted in September.

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‘Ramayan Cruise Service’ will be launched soon on the river Saryu in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh

Project aims to give the mesmerizing experience of the divine journey to devotees visiting holy city Ayodhya




‘Ramayan Cruise Tour’ on the Saryu river in Ayodhya will be launched soon. Mansukh Mandaviya, Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways today chaired a review meeting for the implementation of cruise service.

It will be the first-ever luxury Cruise service on the Saryu river (Ghagra/National Waterways-40) in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh. It aims to give mesmerizing experience to devotees with one-of-its-kind spiritual journeys while cruising through the famous ghats of the holy river Saryu.

The cruise will be equipped with all luxury comfort and facilities along with all essential safety and security features at par with the global standard. The interiors of the cruise and the boarding point will be based on the theme of Ramcharitmanas. The fully air-conditioned 80-seater cruise will have large glass windows for experiencing the scenic beauty of Ghats. The cruise will be equipped with kitchen and pantry facilities for the comfort of the tourists. The cruise contains bio toilets and hybrid engines system for the ‘zero effect’ on environment.

Tourists will be taken on the ‘Ramcharitmanas Tour’, of 1-1.5 hour duration, featuring an exclusively made video film of 45-60 minutes duration, based on Ramcharitmanas by Goswami Tulsidas, covering the period from the birth of Lord Ram to his Rajyabhishek. The entire tour will cover the approximately 15-16 Km distance.There will be several activities and selfie points inspired by different episodes of Ramayan. The tour will be followed by Saryu Aarti, in which every member will be able to actively participate.

Ayodhya is the birthplace of Lord Ram, as mentioned in in the great Indian epic Ramayan. It is also the first of the seven most important pilgrimage sites (Mokshdayini Sapt Puris) for the Hindus. Approximately, 2 crore tourists visit Ayodhya every year as per the data of UP tourism, for the year 2019.After completion of the Ram Mandir, it is to be believed that the inflow of the tourists will be increased.

The ‘Ramayan Cruise Tour’ will not only attract a large number of tourists but it will also generate direct and indirect employment opportunities in the region. Ministry of ports, Shipping and Waterways will provide all necessary infrastructural support for the smooth operation of the cruise service.

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