External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj continued her trip to South Africa with a visit to the Phoenix Settlement, where Mahatma Gandhi stayed during his time in the country.
During the visit, she also planted a sapling of the Cape chestnut, a tree that is cultivated widely for its prolific flower display. "Where Bapu developed his philosophy of non-violence!" the Indian Consulate in Durban tweeted and added that Sushma Swaraj visited the settlement, a South African Heritage site, "paying respect to the place that served as Gandhiji's home".
Following the planting, she interacted with students from f the Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Computer Education and Information Technology, which was established by the Indian government.
The settlement, established in 1904 is devoted to Gandhi's principles of Satyagraha or passive resistance, has played an important spiritual and political role throughout its long history, promoting justice, peace and equality. Gandhi established the settlement 20km north of Durban as a communal experimental farm with a view to giving each family two acres of land which they could develop.
Sushma arrived here on Tuesday evening from Pretoria, where she attended the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) Foreign Ministers Meeting and chaired an informal meeting of the IBSA (India, Brazil, South Africa) Foreign Ministers. She has also visited the Durban museum and addressed Indian diaspora in Pietermaritzburg.
The External Affairs Minister is in the country to participate in a series of events to commemorate the 125th anniversary of the historic incident in a train compartment that became a catalyst for Gandhi's Satyagraha movement.
On June 7, 1893, on a train trip to Pretoria, Gandhi was ordered by a white man to move from first class to third class. Gandhi, who had a first-class ticket, refused and was thrown off the train in Pietermaritzburg.
With inputs from ANI.