Page:Speeches And Writings MKGandhi.djvu/91

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The South African Indian Question

THE BEGINNING OF THE STRUGGLE

The following is the full text of a lecture delivered at the Pachaiyoppa’s Hall, Madras, on October 26, 1896, by Mr. M. K. Gandhi on the "Grievances of Indian settlers in South Africa." The Hon. Mr. P. Ananda Oharlu presided. Resolutions sympathising with the Indian settlers and expressing regret at the action of the Home and Indian Governments in having assented to the Indian Immigration Amendment Bill were passed. Mr. Gandhi said:—

Mr, President and Gentlemen,—I am to plead before you this evening for the 100,000 British Indians in South Africa, the land of gold and the seat of the late Jameson Raid. This document will show you (here Mr. Gandhi read a credential from the people of Natal deputing him to plead their cause) that I have been deputed to do so by the signatories to it who profess to represent the 100,000 Indians. A large majority of this number are people from Madras and Bengal. Apart therefore, from the interest that you would take in them as Indians, you are specially interested in the matter.

South Africa may, for our purposes, be divided into the two self-governing British Colonies of Natal and the Cape of Good Hope, the Crown Colony of Zululand, the Transvaal or the South African Republic, the Orange