Mahatma Karamchand Gandhi Timeline 1869-1948

Mahatma Karamchand Gandhi Timeline 1900-1909

1900 - 1909

1900

January 7, Ambulance corps is reformed and stationed at Estcourt.

January 21, Corps in action at Spionkop. Bearer's carry wounded through heavy fire.

January 28, Corps disbands after three weeks service.

May 21, Sends greetings to Queen Victoria on her birthday.

August 14, Defends indentured Indian, Chellagadu, charged for absenting from work without permission.

1901

January 23, Conveys condolences on behalf of Indians on Queen's death.

February 2, Lays wreath at Queen's statue and pays tribute to her at memorial meeting.

March 25, Wires High Commissioner objecting to rigorous enforcement of anti-Indian regulations, such as exclusion from walking on footpaths, and requests repeal or modification of laws.

May 21, Raychandbhai, Gandhi's mentor, dies in Bombay.

June 22, Requests Sir Bhownagree in London that British Committee and East India Association set up joint action group supporting Indians in South Africa against racism.

October 15, Prepares to leave for India, attends farewell meetings and receives address from Natal Indian Congress and gifts from well wishers. Places costly gifts in community trust.

October 18, Sails with family for India.

October 30, Disembarks at Port Louis, Mauritius. Attends reception by Indian community.

November 19, Leaves Mauritius for India.

December 14, Reaches Rajkot via Porbander.

December 27, Moves resolutions on South Africa at Indian Congress session.

1902

January 19-27, Addresses meetings in Calcutta on Indians in South Africa

February 22-22, Travels third class in India and meets Annie Besant in Calcutta.

February 26, Settles down to practice in Rajkot.

March 31, Writes to R.K. Khan and Nazar stating he should be called to South Africa if required.

April 22, Writes article in the Times of India on the Natal Bill to impose a tax on the children of indentured Indians.

May 1, Works as secretary, of Plague Committee in Rajkot.

May 3, Asks Natal Indian Congress for funds to pursue SA's cause in India.

July 10, Sets up practice in Bombay.

November 3, Recalled to South Africa but, is reluctant to leave on account of children's illness.

December 25, Arrives in Durban.

December 28, Leads deputation to Chamberlain.

1903

January. Excluded from deputation to Chamberlain on grounds that he is not a resident of the Transvaal. George Godfrey presents memorial drawn by Gandhi.

January 7, Addresses petition to Viceroy advising discontinuance of indentured labour. Writes to Naoroji on same matter.

February 16, Enrolls at Bar and settles down in Johannesburg.

May 6, Mass meeting in Johannesburg protests against segregation of Indians in locations.

June 4, Establishes Indian Opinion with Mansukhlal Nazar as honorary editor.

November 9, Indians ordered out of Johannesburg locations and are allocated unacceptable sites.

December 11, Indians protest at mass meeting against Licensing Laws.

1904

February 11, Alerts Johannesburg's Medical Officer of Health to overcrowded, in sanitary conditions in Indian locations. Warns that plague may break out.

February 20, Writes again to Medical Officer of Health on health hazards in Indian location.

March 18, Plague breaks out in location. Gandhi informs Medical Officer of Health that dead and dying Indians are being dumped in location

March 19, Town Council allocates a warehouse for a makeshift hospital but declines to bear any further responsibility. Indian community equips the "hospital" and takes over nursing of patients.

April 5, Gandhi publishes his correspondence with Medical Officer of Health on plague.

May 11, Supreme Court rules that Law 3 of 1885 restricts only Indian residential rights to locations, not businesses.

October, Gandhi assumes financial responsibility for press of Indian Opinion.

November 10, Europeans hold anti-Asiatic convention in Transvaal.

November 11, British Indian Association protests against convention.

November - December, Founded Phoenix settlement

1905

February 17, Visits Cape Town accompanied by Rustomjee.

November 25, Protest against Poll tax.

1906

January 1, Poll tax on Indians 18 years and over enforced in Natal.

January 20, Editor of Indian Opinion, M.H. Nazar dies.

February 27, Zulu rebellion breaks out.

March 21, Addresses coloured people's meeting in Johannesburg.

March 30, Supports the coloured people's petition to the Imperial Government for franchise rights. Dr Abdurrahman of the African People's Organization (APO) takes up the grievances of coloured people with Lord Selbome.

March 31, Opposes introduction of indentured Indian labour on Johannesburg mines.

April 23, Appeals to the Indian community to take over responsibility of Indian Opinion.

April 24, Natal Indian Congress (NIC) meeting decides to form Ambulance Corps.

September 1, Draft of Asiatic Bill restricting their entry into Transvaal and enforcing the carrying of passes bearing finger prints is introduced in Transvaal. Gandhi condemns it as "crime against humanity", and christens it "The Black Act". Indians react to it as an affront to their dignity.

September 9, Addresses meeting at Hamidia Islamic Society and advises that a deputation be sent to London to protest against the Pass Bill.

September 11, Mass meeting of Indians at Empire Theatre. Johannesburg demands withdrawal of Pass Bill and threatens resistance.

September 19, Gandhi accuses Transvaal Government of waging war on Indian women and children by demanding they carry passes.

September 21, Gandhi condemns the "Transvaal Leader" for alleging that Indians were bringing women of indifferent character as wives. British Indian Association decides to send Gandhi and O.H. Ally to London.

October 3, Gandhi and Ally leave by Armadale Castle for London.

October 9, "Transvaal Leader" retracts statement on Indian women.

November 28, Meets Winston Churchill in London.

December 1, Gandhi and Ally leave England for South Africa.

December 3, Churchill informs House of Commons that Secretary of State for Colonies declined to approve Transvaal ordinance.

December 6, Transvaal granted self-government.

1907

February 17, Churchill informs House of Commons that Natal Government has been refused leave to introduce legislation excluding Asiatics from trading licenses.

March 2, British Indian Association protests to Register of Asiatics against the taking of fingerprints by police.

March 11, Mass meeting at Gaiety Theatre, Johannesburg protests against treatment of Indians.

March 19, The ordinance, which failed to gain royal assent, is reintroduced as the Transvaal Asiatic Registration Bill by the now independent Transvaal Government.

March 22, Asiatic Registration Bill is passed by Transvaal Parliament.

March 29, Indians protest against Transvaal Asiatic Registration Act (TARA) and offer to register voluntarily if Act is withdrawn.

April 4, Gandhi leads a deputation to Smuts and presents him with the resolutions adopted at the March 29 mass meeting.

June 7, British Indian Association meeting decides to send deputation to Prime Minister General Botha to urge acceptance of compromise proposal. General Botha declines to meet deputation.

July 1, First permit office is opened in the Transvaal and Indians are notified that they have to register within three months.

July 3, Transvaal Immigration Registration Bill (TIRB) published.

July 9, British Indian Association petitions Transvaal parliament on Transvaal Immigration Registration Bill (TIRB).

July 24, Gandhi calls at Khamisa's shop where applications for registration certificates were being received secretly.

July 28, Mass meeting at Hamidia Islamic Society Hall protests against Transvaal Immigration Registration Bill (TIRB) and declares day of Hartal in Transvaal.

July 31, Mass meeting held in Pretoria.

August 8, Gandhi writes to Smuts and suggests amendment to Asiatic Act.

August 31, HO.Ally and family leave Transvaal in protest against Transvaal Immigration Registration Bill (TIRB)

September 21, Petition against Transvaal Immigration Registration Bill (TIRB) is addressed to Colonial Secretary and circulated for signatures

September 22- October 6, Addresses meetings of Hamidia Islamic Society and Chinese Association.

October 15, Repudiates charge of intimidation against pickets in court.

October 20, Attends meetings of Hamidia Islamic Society and South Indians. (Addresses 17 meetings between July and December).

November 14, Defends first satyagrahi, Ramsundar Pandit, who is sentenced to one month's imprisonment. Indians declare hartal in Johannesburg.

November 15, Defends pickets at trial in Pretoria.

November 30, By closing date of registration only 511 of the total population of over 13000 register by closing date. Struggle is named Satyagraha.

December 28, Gandhi defends himself and others on charges of picketing. Ordered to leave Transvaal, he defies the order and addresses crowds outside court.

1908

January 1, Transvaal Immigration Restriction Act (No. 15) of 1907 comes into force; mass meeting is held at Surti Mosque, Fordsburg.

January 3, Gandhi defends two Pathan satyagrahis - Nawab and Samandar Khan.

January 4, BIA informs the government that if Indians are not issued licenses because they have not registered under Transvaal Asiatic Registration Act (TARA), they will trade without licenses. Smuts declares Transvaal Asiatic Registration Act (TARA) will not be repealed and refuses to meet with Gandhi 

January 8, Gandhi tells Reuters that if Transvaal Asiatic Registration Act (TARA) is suspended, Indians will register voluntarily.

January 10, Gandhi was arrested and brought before a Magistrate for failing either to register or to leave the Transvaal in pursuance of official notice served on him. Gandhi told the Judge during trial that as a leader he merited heaviest sentence; was sentenced to two months' simple imprisonment.

Taken to Pretoria on January 30, 1908 for meeting General Smuts who assured that the Asiatic Act would be repealed after voluntary registration by Indians. Following the compromise Gandhi was released the same day.

January 21, Cartwright meets Gandhi in prison with a compromise from Smuts.

January 28, M.A. Jinah is sent by Anjuman Islam, Bombay, to attend meeting in London in support of South African Indian demands. Cartwright brings compromise terms from Smuts to Gandhi in prison. Gandhi, Quinn and Thambi Naidoo sign amended compromise. They are informed telephonically by Cartwright that Smuts has accepted the amendments and wishes to meet Gandhi.

January 30, Acting Assistant Colonial Secretary writes to Gandhi accepting the compromise. Gandhi is escorted from prison to Pretoria for meeting with Smuts. They agree that Indians will register voluntarily, negotiations will be validated and Transvaal Asiatic Registration Act (TARA) will be repealed. Gandhi is released and taken to Johannesburg where he addresses midnight meeting at Hamidia Mosque to explain the terms of the settlement.

January 31, All passive resisters are released but Smuts states that the demand for repeal of Transvaal Asiatic Registration Act (TARA) is preposterous.

February 1, Gandhi writes to Smuts rejecting legalization of voluntary registrants under Transvaal Asiatic Registration Act (TARA) and proposes it be done under amendment to Transvaal Immigration Registration Bill (TIRB).

February 3, Meets Smuts, who in Chamney's presence, confirms that Transvaal Asiatic Registration Act (TARA) will be repealed if Asiatics register voluntarily.

February 8, Smuts confirms that there will be no arrests for violation of Transvaal Asiatic Registration Act (TARA) but states that the aim of the compromise is to reduce the Asiatic population.

February 10, Voluntary registrations begin. Gandhi is assaulted by Mir Alam Khan. Gandhi sends Smuts draft bill to amend Transvaal Immigration Registration Bill (TIRB) and proposes repeal of Peace Preservation Ordinance and Transvaal Asiatic Registration Act (TARA).

February 29, Three thousand four hundred Asiatics register voluntarily.

March 5, Attempted assault on Gandhi at a NIC meeting in Durban.

March 6, Gandhi meets Pathans in Durban in a futile attempt to reconcile with them.

May 9, On last day of voluntary registration, 8 700 Indians had registered and 6000 were accepted by Government.

May 12, Chamney announces that all Asiatics entering the colony after May 9 had to register under Transvaal Asiatic Registration Act (TARA), Gandhi objects, on grounds that that is violation of compromise.

May 13, Transvaal Municipal Consolidation Bill empowers municipalities to grant licenses to traders and hawkers and denies them the right of appeal to law courts.

May 14, Gandhi writes to Cartwright and Lane, saying that the period of three months in compromise was never intended to apply to Asiatics returning to Colony or possessing right of re-entry; urges Smuts to accept voluntary registration of new arrivals and repeal Act

May 15, Smuts rejects Gandhi's request.

May 16, Gandhi accuses Smuts of "foul play".

May 17, Chairman of BIA, Essop Mia is assaulted by Pathans.

May 18, Gandhi demands that Smuts publicly announce repeal of Transvaal Asiatic Registration Act (TARA) - Smuts declines.

May 22, Gandhi demands that Smuts publicly announce repeal of Transvaal Asiatic Registration Act (TARA) - Smuts declines.

May 23, BIA Chairman states that they consider Transvaal Asiatic Registration Act (TARA) dead.

May 26, BIA writes to Smuts that voluntary registration certificates will be withdrawn because of breach of compromise. Gandhi, Bawazeer, Naidoo and Quinn write to Chamney for return of applications

May 27, British Indian Association endorses resumption of Satyagraha.

June 1, Gandhi is informed telephonically of Cabinet meeting to consider the Indian issue.

June 6, Gandhi and Smuts meet; discuss validation of voluntary registrations and Gandhi's draft amendment of TIRA. Gandhi tells Smuts that if TARA is not repealed he will appeal to Supreme Court for return of applications.

June 12, Gandhi informs Smuts of decision to apply to Supreme Court for return of certificates.

June 13, Smuts meets Gandhi to discuss differences and promises to reply within a week. Gandhi states that amendment of TIRA should uphold rights of pre-war refugees, holders of Dutch certificates and of educated Indians.

June 20, Gandhi and Smuts meet.

June 22, Gandhi and Smuts meet again. Gandhi rejects the amendment to Transvaal Immigration Registration Bill (TIRB) because it declares the three categories of persons, pre-war refugees, Dutch certificate holders and educated immigrants, prohibited immigrants and blocks judicial review of voluntary registrants. Smuts, in turn, announces decision to retain TARA. Gandhi announces his intention to move Supreme Court for return of the certificates.

June 23, Aswat files for return of certificates to Supreme Court. Gandhi and Essop Mia submit affidavits that Smuts had promised to repeal TARA.

June 24, Mass meeting confirms resistance to TARA. Sorabji Shapurji enters Transvaal to exercise his rights as an educated Indian.

June 26, Chamney and Smuts file counter affidavits, denying that Government had promised to repeal Transvaal Asiatic Registration Act (TARA).

July 2, Gandhi warns that certificates (passes) will be burnt. Aswat's petition is rejected by the Supreme Court. Gandhi releases his correspondence with Smuts (Smuts had refused him permission to do so).

July 5, Smuts sends new compromise offer through white mediators conceding re-entry of Dutch certificate holders and right of appeal against the Registrar's ruling on applications for registration, provided Indians give up claim to rights of educated Asiatics. Indians turned down compromise.

July 7, Traders applying for trading licences are subjected to giving thumbprints under Transvaal Asiatic Registration Act (TARA).

July 10, Shapurji is ordered to leave Transvaal within 10 days - he ignores the order.

July 21, Satyagraha begins; satyagrahis are imprisoned for unlicensed hawking. Sorabji Shapurji is defended by Gandhi - supporters at trial are assaulted by the police. Shapurji is sentenced to one month's imprisonment.

July 22, Bawazeer, chairman of Hamidia Islamic Society is arrested and convicted. Fifty percent of Indian hawkers in the Transvaal trade without licences in defiance.

July 23, Indians declare Hartal in support of Bawazeer.

July 27, Hanlal Gandhi is arrested for hawking without license.

August 1, Chinese Association joins passive resistance.

August 10, Gandhi defends Harilal. At mass meeting Gandhi accuses Smuts of being responsible for the suicide of a Chinese and "murder" of Thambi Naidoo's stillborn son

August 12-13, Officials of the Natal Indian Congress including Dawad Mohamed, Parsee Rustomjee, Anglia and Randera enter Johannesburg without permits

August 14, Gandhi makes a further appeal to Smuts to repeal Transvaal Asiatic Registration Act (TARA) failing which he warns that registration certificates will be burnt

August 16, Indians burn their passes at mass meeting in Johannesburg

August 18, Gandhi meets with Smuts, Botha, and members of the Progressive Party

August 20, Indians reject amendments to Bill at meeting. Gandhi sends Smuts an ultimatum demanding repeal of Transvaal Asiatic Registration Act (TARA)

August 21, A new Asiatic Registration Amendment Bill (ARAB) is introduced. Indians reject new Bill

August 23, More certificates are burnt at mass meeting - the Pathans who had assaulted Gandhi join in the pass burning

August 27, The NIC officials are arrested in Anjuman Islamic Hall, Pretoria and deported

1909

January 10, Kasturbai is operated on.

January 21, Cachalia is sequestrated.

January 23, Other businessmen follow Cachalia's example and there are more sequestrations.

January 27, Cachalia and 31 others are arrested and sentenced to three months imprisonment.

February 3, NIC officials sentenced to six months imprisonment.

February 10, Harilal Gandhi is sentenced to six months imprisonment.

February 25, Arrested and sentenced to imprisonment for the third time for three months for failure to produce registration certificate and was sent back to Volksrust Prison.

March 11, Kasturbai sends message to Indian women's meeting in Johannesburg: "Had I wings I would fly to the meeting". A letter is published in the press signed by Kasturbai and four others.

March 25, Meeting of Indian women at Hamidia Society Hall is addressed by Mrs. Thambi Naidoo, Mrs. Patel and Miss Schlesin. They form the Indian Women's Association.

April 1, Cachalia settles the sequestration order against him paying 20/- in the pound.

April 3, Germiston Indian women form Association.

April 24, Chinese refuse to give finger impressions.

May 1, Prime Minister Botha alleges that ninety-seven percent of Indians have registered; Gandhi points out that he was referring to voluntary registrations conducted under satyagraha

May 24, Gandhi is released.

June 21, Gandhi and Hajee Habib leave for London.

September 2, Asiatic Registration Amendment Act published in Government Gazette.

September 7, Gandhi asks for financial assistance to defray expenses of BIA office rent, Indian Opinion and Polak's costs in India.

September 9, 125 satyagrahis serving sentences in prison.

September 17, Harilal Gandhi is deported from Transvaal.

September 21, Harilal Gandhi and others are released from Volksrust gaol, case against them is withdrawn.

September 22, Meeting of Chinese supports passive resistance and the deputation to England.

October 7, Gandhi attends suffragette meeting.

 

 

Last updated : 02-Oct-2017

This article was produced for South African History Online on 03-Apr-2011