Mahatma Karamchand Gandhi Timeline 1910-1919

1910 - 1919

1910

January 1, Indian Opinion reduced in size for financial reasons. 

January 6, Rev. Charles Phillips and J C. Gibson had an interview with Gandhi following their conversations with Lord Selborne, High Commissioner of the Transvaal.

In letter to J. C. Gibson, Gandhi refuted the charge that South African movement was engineered and controlled from India and the British Indians continually shifted their ground regarding their demands.

January13, Gokhale wrote to Gandhi that disposal of the sums remitted was left to the latter's discretion.

January 20, Natal Legislative Assembly passed Indian Immigration (Licences) Act Amendment Bill.

February 9, In Gandhi's office Mrs. Amacanoo and Mrs. Packirsamy took off their ornaments, vowing not to wear them till struggle was over.

February 12, Gandhi writing in Indian Opinion regarding aid for the Transvaal Satyagraha Fund Committee, Gandhi stated: "A cheque for £250 has been received from Rangoon and according to Dr. Mehta, Secretary of the Fund Committee there; there is a possibility of our receiving something more. Going through the particulars of the contribution I find that several Chinese traders have also subscribed. According to a resolution of the Rangoon Committee, this money should be spent only towards the relief of the poor Satyagraha or those in distress. "Including this sum, a total amount of £3923-3-4 has been received so far. If this sum of £250 is deducted from this total, the rest represents the amount remitted by Mr. Jehangir B. Petit on behalf of Prof. Gokhale. We have not received detailed information about how this was collected; we are yet to know in what manner, apart from the sum of Rs.25,000 donated by Mr. Ratan Tata, the remaining amount was raised."

February 14, Gandhi spoke at Chinese reception at Cantonese Club, Johannesburg, in honour of Rev. J. J. Doke, on eve of latter's departure for America.

February 18, Gandhi spoke at banquet in Masonic Hall in honour of Rev. Doke.

February 20, Gandhi addressed meeting of Natal Indian Congress in Durban. 

February 23, Gandhi explained the Transvaal struggle at meeting of Kathiawad Arya Mandal, Durban.

February 26, Gandhi wrote in Indian Opinion, supporting the resolve of Dr. Abdurahman and Cape Coloured people in view of their disfranchisement to observe day of Prince of Wales' arrival as day of mourning. Spoke at Durban Indian Society meeting in honour of passive resisters.

March 11, Gandhi accompanied a number of passive resisters to the Transvaal to violate immigration laws.

In letter to Moulvi Ahmed Mukhtiar, explained that Phoenix debt was incurred during struggle.

March 17, Told The Star representative that Indians had come to Johannesburg not to assert their personal rights, but to take part in struggle. President and Secretaries of Natal Indian Congress forwarded petition to Colonial Secretary against Immigration Law Amendment Bill.

April 4, Letter to Leo Tolstoy, with copy of Indian Home Rule for comment. 

April 25, Wrote to Gokhale indicating how Passive Resistance Fund was being used.

In letter to G. K. Gokhale furnishing accounts of the Satyagraha Fund, Gandhi gave a breakdown of the money obtained since December last was as follows:

  • From Bombay 4,253- 3-4
  • From Rangoon 750- 0-0
  • From London 135- 8-2
  • From Mozambique 50- 0-0
  • From Lourenco Marques 11- 12-0
  • From Natal 8-16-0
  • Local 1- 7-7
  • Total 5,269-10-7

Gandhi also informed Gokhale that the funds were banked to a separate account called the Passive Resistance Fund Account in Natal Bank. In the same letter Gandhi informed Gokhale: "The Phoenix debt represented a personal debt by me from European friends and clients by reason of necessity of having to continue Indian Opinion under somewhat adverse circumstances and at a loss in the interest of struggle. I have devoted to the continuance of Indian Opinion and the establishment of Phoenix all my earnings during my last stay in South Africa, that is, nearly £5,000. I desire no pecuniary benefit from Phoenix, the support of my family and myself being found by a European friend (named Herman Kallenbach).

May, Leo Tolstoy in letter to Gandhi, commenting upon Indian Home Rule, said question of passive resistance was of greater importance not only for India but for all humanity.

May 10, Replying to letter from W. J Wybergh, M.L.A., of the Transvaal, Gandhi defended views expressed in Indian Home Rule.

May 30, Wrote to H. Kallenbach thanks for offer of farm near Lawley for use of passive resisters and their families for duration of the Transvaal struggle. Kallenbach called it Tolstoy Farm.

June 2, In letter to Press, Gandhi said advent of Union was no cause for rejoicing and described it as "a combination of hostile forces" arrayed against Asiatics.

June 4, Kallenbach and Gandhi settled on the Tolstoy Farm. 

July 3, Gandhi appealed for gifts to help settlers at Tolstoy Farm. 

July 21, Natal Government Gazette published rules framed under Indian Immigration Law, 1891 requiring employers of indentured Indian immigrants to provide shelter for children of Indian women working in fields.

Gandhi paid tribute to G. A. Natesan for his work for passive resisters deported to India.

July 30, Gandhi commented on Churchill's statement in Commons that he had given instructions that all persons imprisoned as passive resisters or as suffragettes should be spared unnecessary degradation.

August 6, Transmitting Lord Morley's communication of July 22 to Lord Gladstone, Secretary of State for Colonies, said that anything offending religious susceptibilities of Indians must be a serious and permanent obstacle to a settlement.

August 15, Gandhi wrote a letter to Tolstoy.

September 7, Tolstoy wrote to Gandhi, supporting passive resistance.

September 17, Gandhi left for Durban to receive Polak and other passive resister deportees from India.

September 26, Spoke at a meeting of colonial-born Indians. Spoke at Kathiawad Arya Mandal meeting organised to discuss question of welcoming deportees.

Blue Book issued dealing with Asiatic legislation in the Transvaal up to August 9, 1910.

September 28, Gandhi met Polak, who reached Durban along with others deportees from India by S. S. Sultan.

October 5, Gandhi and others spoke at reception by Kathiawad Arya Mandal, Durban, in honour of Polak and passive resisters.

October 8, Gandhi wrote to Minister of Interior in connection with landing of deportees.

October 16, Death of Narayansami due to hardships of deportation.

After October 16. In letter to SABIC, Gandhi described death of Narayansami as "legalised murder".

November 9, Spoke at Chinese function in honour of Ritch and Polak.

November 14, Smuts moved for second reading of Bill to consolidate and amend laws regarding naturalisation of aliens.

November 15, Death of Leo Tolstoy.

December 4, Gandhi spoke at Socialist Hall, Johannesburg, on Tolstoy and his message.

December 9, In a letter, thanked G. A. Natesan for securing donations and rendering help to deportees.

December 27, Indian National Congress at Allahabad passed resolution expressing admiration for the Transvaal Indians' struggle, urging Government of India to prohibit recruitment of indentured labour and protesting against South African policy as unwise, unrighteous and dangerous to the Empire.

1911

January 3, In Viceroy's Legislative Council at Calcutta, Indian Government announced decision to prohibit further emigration of indentured Indians to Natal. Gokhale expressed gratitude.

January 7, Natal Indian Congress thanked Government of India and Gokhale for ending recruitment of indentured labour for South Africa.

January 30, In banquet speech at Guildhall, London, Duke of Connaught expressed hope of early settlement of question of Indians in South Africa.

February , New regulations of South African Railways came into force. 

February 14, Minister of Interior turned down request of Natal Indian Congress to alter Natal law and exempt Indian women from payment of £3 tax.

February 20, Chairman, BIA, wrote against new railway regulations to Acting General Manager, South African Railways.

February 25, Union of South African Government Gazette Extraordinary published text of Immigrants' Restriction Bill (1911).

Indentured Indian labourers of an estate-owner at Stanger offered passive resistance.

March 2, First reading of Immigrants' Restriction Bill. In letter to P.S. to Minister of Interior, Gandhi sought clarification whether under Section 1 of new Bill, Asiatics who might pass education test could enter and remain in the Transvaal without being liable to take out registration under Act 36 of 1908.

March 4, Lane (P.S. to Smuts) in reply to Gandhi's letter stated that Asiatics admitted as immigrants under new Immigration Bill "would not fall under registration laws and would not be restricted to provincial limits".

In letter to Lane, Gandhi requested that new Bill be so amended in Committee as to make the assurance given "absolutely clear". He also sought legal protection for wives and minor children of registered Asiatics.

March 9, Natal Indian Congress meeting passed resolution against Immigration Bill.

March 12, Mass meeting of Indians at Cape Town protested against Immigration Bill.

March 15, Petitions of the Cape, Natal and the Transvaal Indians presented to Parliament.

March 18, In telegram sent by Acting Chairman, Chinese Association, to Secretary to Minister of Interior, the Chinese joined hands with BIA in request for amendment of Immigrants' Restriction Bill to remove colour or racial bar, to afford protection to wives and minor children of legal residents and to provide for entry of a limited number of cultured Chinese into Union.

March 20, Gandhi sent telegram and wrote to P.S. to Smuts regarding relief under new Immigration Bill. Natal Indian Congress in telegram to Minister of Interior opposed amendment to new Bill imposing racial bar against entry into Orange Free State of Asiatics admitted into Union under education test.

March 21, Lane telegraphed Gandhi that Smuts would favourably consider question of providing for women and children of persons lawfully resident, but regarded Gandhi's attitude on Free State question as "unfair".

March 22, Gandhi telegraphed reply to P.S. to Minister of Interior on Free State question.

March 23, European British Indian Committee meeting at Johannesburg approved Gandhi's latest correspondence with Minister of Interior regarding new Immigration Bill and urged Government to accept proposed solution.

March 24, P.S. to Smuts informed Gandhi that there would be "no colour or racial bar of any kind whatsoever appearing in Immigration Bill or any amendment which the Government intend to move". Regarding Orange Free State, Smuts proposed leaving situation as it was under existing law of Province.

In telegram to P.S. to Smuts, Gandhi said racial bar would certainly be created if educated Asiatic immigrants were, upon entering Orange Free State, confronted with Asiatic registration law.

March 25, Gandhi left for Cape Town.

March 26, Durban mass meeting under auspices of Natal Indian Congress protested against new Immigration Bill.

March 27, Gandhi interviewed Smuts at Cape Town. 

March 29, Natal Indian Congress in telegram to Finance Minister protested against new Poll-tax Bill.

In letter to Lane, Gandhi said amendments to be moved, regarding domicile, marriage and parental relationship, by Smuts to Immigration Bill requiring evidence to be furnished to immigration officer might open the door to favouritism, corruption and bribery".

March 30, Gandhi spoke at meeting of Cape Town United Hindu Association held in honour of L.W. Ritch and himself.

April 1,Government of India issued notification prohibiting recruitment of indentured labour for South Africa with effect from July 1, 1911.

April 2, Gandhi attended meeting of Cape British Indian Union held to demand changes in Union Immigrants' Restriction Bill so as to protect Cape rights.

April 6, In Union Parliament, T.L. Schreiner asked for abolition of £3 tax consequent upon the stoppage of indenture. General Smuts, answering, refused to interfere and informed House that attitude in India being discouraging very few indentured Indians might come to Natal before July 1.

April 15, L.W. Ritch commenced legal practice in Gandhi's Johannesburg office.

April 19,  Smuts, in interview, told Gandhi he would pass UIRB in current or following session; explained why "we do not want Asia to come in" and appealed for peace; asked Gandhi to agree to the Governor-General having power to make regulations regarding education test.

In letter to Smuts, Gandhi urged him to settle the question of the entry of six educated Indians a year so that passive resistance could be suspended.

April 22, Gandhi, in letter, informed Lane that passive resistance could be suspended provided Smuts gave certain assurances. Smuts, in reply to above, expressed intention to introduce legislation, during following session, which would: (a) repeal Act 2 of 1907, subject to reservation of rights of minor children; (b) give legal equality for all immigrants; (c) empower registration of passive resisters who, but for their resistance, would have been entitled to it, anything under Act 36 of 1908 notwithstanding; (d) empower the regulation of issue of temporary certificates to educated passive resisters (not more than five or six) then in the Transvaal. Smuts added that if Gandhi gave assurance of suspension of passive resistance, he would ask Governor-General to favourably consider releasing passive resistance prisoners.

April 24, Gandhi, speaking at Kimberley meeting of Indians, said they were "nearing a solution of the difficult question".

April 25, Smuts withdrew UIRB in Union Assembly. 

April 26, Gandhi returned to Johannesburg.

April 27, At meeting of Indians in Johannesburg, Gandhi explained correspondence with Smuts regarding Provisional Settlement and advised acceptance of proposals. Meeting decided: (a) to call off passive resistance if Smuts fulfilled his pledges; (b) to send H.S.L. Polak to England in place of Gandhi and A.M. Cachalia.

Indian Opinion announced that Transvaal Chinese had also decided to accept proposals for Provisional Settlement.

April 28, Gandhi, in interview to The Star about Provisional Settlement, announced intention to retire from public life after finalisation of Settlement.

April 29, Gandhi met Lane. Gave, in letter to Lane, British Indians' interpretation, of the terms of the Settlement and sought Smuts' confirmation; made request for R.M. Sodha being allowed to register, for reinstatement of a government servant who had been removed for passive resistance, for release of Chinese prisoners, etc.

May 4, Wrote to Lane regarding categories of Indians and Chinese who might apply for voluntary registration. Wrote to A.E. Chotabhai thanking him for £300 sent for professional services in connection with his son's case and saying he intended to hand over Phoenix to trustees and would use the sum for school there.

May 8, Gandhi wrote to H.S.L. Polak giving him estimate of expenses for his visit to England and India and telling him of Smuts' favourable response to demands of passive resisters.

May 15, Harilal Gandhi returned to Tolstoy Farm from Delgoa Bay.

Before May 18. Harilal Gandhi left home finally for India.

May 18, Gandhi wrote to Minister of Interior asking for Smuts' answer to his proposals regarding Provisional Settlement contained in his letter of April 29, 1911.

May 19, Smuts informed Gandhi that:

(a) passive resisters with valid claims to registration but deported under Transvaal Asiatic Registration Act (TARA) or TARAA could apply for registration by December 3), 1911; (b) Asiatics with valid claims to registration, who left South Africa owing to passive resistance, though not deported, could apply for registration provided both of above categories did not exceed 30; (c) about 180 Chinese and Indians in South Africa, refused registration under the voluntary system, could apply by December 31, 1911; (d) the seven educated Indians now in the Transvaal named by Gandhi would receive temporary authorisation for residence pending alteration of law, when permanent documents would be issued.

Smuts also expressed the hope that the Asiatic community would regard acceptance of requests as final settlement and said that on hearing from Gandhi passive resistance prisoners would be released.

Gandhi, in reply to above, said 180 Asiatic passive resisters included also those who could not apply under either the voluntary system or any of the Asiatic laws; construed absence of disclaimer to terms of Provisional Settlement as set forth in his letter of April 29 as endorsement thereof and requested telegraphic reply.

Wrote to Gokhale apprising him of good results secured by passive resistance; and of the hardships of Indians in the Transvaal, Natal and the Cape.

May 20, Smuts in telegram to Gandhi informed him that: (a) 180 Asiatics included also those who failed to apply in time on grounds of three years' pre-war residence in the Transvaal; (b) existing individual rights would not be taken away but various provinces would be affected by future general and uniform legislation; (c) well-known or educated registered Asiatics need not give thumb or finger-impressions for taking out licences.

Gandhi, in reply, conveyed acceptance of the Provisional Settlement on behalf of the British Indian Association and gave list of passive resisters to be released.

May 23, Gandhi, in interview to Reuter, explained Provisional Settlement. 

May 26, Drafted letter to Registrar of Asiatics enclosing list of Chinese entitled to register under Provisional Settlement and also names of three Mohammedans for special certificates.

May 27, Writing in Indian Opinion, expressed satisfaction at Provisional Settlement but warned that passive resistance would be resumed if Smuts did not keep his promise to repeal Transvaal Asiatic Registration Act (TARA) and amend Transvaal Immigration Registration Bill (TIRB) or if fresh anti-Asiatic legislation was introduced.

May 31, Gandhi wrote to G. A. Natesan expressing satisfaction with Provisional Settlement and praising Natesan's work.

June 3, Gandhi, writing in Indian Opinion, set forth the achievements of satyagraha to date.

June 21, Gandhi, along with Natal Indian leaders, met Mayor of Durban regarding Coronation celebrations.

June 22, Coronation of King George V at Westminster Abbey. In Durban, Indians boycotted celebrations.

June 24, Gandhi, writing in Indian Opinion, affirmed loyalty to the King.

June 30, Justice Wessels of the Transvaal Division of Supreme Court, in a judgment, ruled that no Indian could bring more than one wife into the country and "that must be a woman who actually was a wife".

July 8, Gandhi discussed, in Indian Opinion, Justice Wessels' ruling and said it was not possible to have in British Dominions laws insulting to any recognised religion.

July 31, Farewell address signed by Gandhi and A.M. Cachalia presented to H. Kallenbach on his departure for Europe.

August 5, Gandhi, writing in Indian Opinion, advised Natal Indians to help Dr. Murison's campaign against tuberculosis in Durban.

August 12, Wrote to Secretary for Interior saying he would try to complete by August 21, 1911, list of passive resisters covered by Provisional Settlement.

Writing in Indian Opinion on notice served on L.W. Ritch under Gold Law, called on Indians to remain firm.

August 13, Addressing British Indian Association meeting in Johannesburg, explained that L.W. Ritch was prepared to face imprisonment to protect Indians' rights of equitable ownership in Krugersdorp.

August 19, Writing in Indian Opinion, congratulated L.W. Ritch and the Transvaal Indians on their decision to resist Government's attempts to oust Indian merchants under Gold Law and Townships Act.

August 21, Forwarded to Registrar of Asiatics revised, though not yet final, list of Indians covered by Provisional Settlement.

September 3, Addressed meeting at Johannesburg held to celebrate Dadabhai Naoroji's birthday.

September 9, Writing to Maganlal Gandhi, declared that money spent by individuals in constructing houses on their share of Phoenix land could not be returned to them.

September 16, In Durban, Natal Indian leaders formed "The Anti-£3 Tax League".

September 18, Gandhi, writing in Indian Opinion, welcomed decision of Germiston Indians to oppose move by Town Council to prohibit their trading in Georgetown Location.

September 24, In letter to Dr. Pranjivan Mehta, said he was preparing himself for work in India.

September 30, Wrote in Indian Opinion regarding Natal Indian Congress inquiry whether he could preside at the forthcoming session of Indian National Congress, and his conditional willingness.

October 7, Wrote, in letter to Harilal Gandhi, of invitation to preside at the Indian National Congress.

October 10, Wrote to Dr. Pranjivan Mehta saying it was not clear from whom the invitation to preside at the Indian National Congress had come, but he had accepted it on condition that his presence was really necessary and his freedom was not compromised. Said he would go to India the moment matters were settled in South Africa.

October 22, Informed Dr. Mehta that the cable regarding presidency was inquiry, not invitation.

October 24, Wrote to Gokhale requesting help for Manilal Doctor in his efforts against indenture system.

October 30, Wrote to Gokhale inviting him to visit South Africa; also explained misunderstanding over presidency of Indian National Congress.

November 11, In Indian Opinion, expressed a resolve to fight tooth and nail against £3 tax; also called for funds to help the famine-stricken in India.

November 14, Indian Opinion published Reuter's news that Gandhi having withdrawn, Pandit Bishen Narayan Dhar would be elected President of Indian National Congress.

November 18, Gandhi, in Indian Opinion, condemned as breach of faith, Natal Governments' attempt to realise £3 tax from re-indentured Indians after their circular of April, 1910, granting exemption. Natal Indian Congress wrote to Minister of Justice requesting him to abide by Government circular of April, 1910, and not realise £3 tax from re-indentured Indians.

November 25, Gandhi, in Indian Opinion, called on Natal Indians to take steps for abolition of £3 tax.

December 7, In letter to Lane, suggested that if general legislation could not be passed in the current session of Union Parliament, Transvaal Immigration Registration Bill (TIRB) should be amended.

December 8, In letter, renewed invitation to Gokhale, to visit South Africa. 

December 9, Writing in Indian Opinion, asked Indians to contribute liberally to Famine Relief Fund.

December 20, Spoke at Chinese rally in Johannesburg to pay homage to Alex Benson.

December 22, Gandhi saw draft of UIRB. 

1912

January 12, Gandhi, in letter to Gokhale, welcomed his forthcoming visit to South Africa.

L.W. Ritch received legal notice to deliver title-deed and possession of Boksburg Stands to Government in cancellation of his ownership.

January 13, Gandhi, in Indian Opinion, warned Indians not to conceal cases of smallpox.

January 8, Durban Indians formed Plague Committee to help Public Health Department.

January 29, Gandhi wrote to Lane saying the gazetted version of UIRB (1912) differed somewhat from the draft he had seen; discussed Sections 5, 7, 25 and 28.

Abdoolla Hajee Adam, founder-president of Natal Indian Congress, died.

January 30, First reading of UIRB (1912) in Union Assembly. Gandhi wired Smuts regarding Sections 5,7,25 and 28. Received reply to above that second reading of Bill was not until February 8 and matters mentioned were being considered.

January 31, In wire to Gandhi, Secretary for Interior upheld Sections 5, 7, 25 and 28 of Bill.

February 1, Gandhi wired Lane expressing dissatisfaction with reply of January 31 and requesting alterations in Sections 7 and 8. Said he was refraining from public action pending reply. 

February 3, Writing in Indian Opinion on the Bill, said it did not quite fulfil Smuts' promise. Criticised provisions vesting power in immigration officer to determine domiciliary rights of wives and minors, taking away right of judicial appeal and disturbing existing rights of interprovincial movement of educated persons.

Wired Cape British Indian Union to pass resolutions against these provisions.

February 7, Secretary for Interior replied to Gandhi's wire of February 1, saying the Bill nowhere excluded appeal to law courts; system of domicile certificates all over Union was quite impossible; Section 8 of the Bill regarding sworn declaration required in OFS was being considered. Appealed to Gandhi to persuade his compatriots to accept Bill. In reply to above, Gandhi wired asking for amendment in Bill to secure existing legal rights regarding interprovincial immigration of educated Asiatics; said he would still postpone public action pending reply.

February 8, Smuts replied that he hoped to give satisfactory assurances regarding above. Gandhi wired that nothing short of assurance of retaining existing legal position would do. Reserved right to criticise Bill regarding other features not covered by Provisional Settlement.

February 10, Gandhi writing in Indian Opinion, severely criticised UIRB (1912) for its policy of Asiatic exclusion and for interfering with vested rights. Hoped Government would sympathetically consider Indian protests.

February 15, Wrote to Lane that he still awaited reply and that he intended to take legal opinion regarding UIRB (1912) in matter of appeal to law courts.

Gandhi: Wrote to R. Gregorowski seeking legal opinion on certain provisions of the Bill.

February 21, Telegraphed Registrar of Asiatics regarding visiting permits for Khoja representatives of the Aga Khan.

February 22, L.W. Ritch and A.M. Bhyat summoned by Supreme Court in connection with the Boksburg Stands.

February 24, Gandhi wrote to Lane informing him of Counsel's opinion that UIRB (1912) ousted jurisdiction of law courts, except by way of mandamus and took away certain existing rights; requested that the defects might be remedied.

March 16, Gandhi, writing in Indian Opinion, commended Gokhale's efforts to get resolution on total abolition of indenture passed in the Imperial Legislative Council.

April 1, In public letter to Ratan Tata, gave account of receipts and expenditure of Passive Resistance funds.

May 14, Letter from Lane enclosing proposed change in Section 28 of UIRB (19l2) and informing Gandhi of Smuts' intention to settle the question of domicile.

May 16, Gandhi criticised the Transvaal Provincial Council's decision to refuse separate school for Indians at Johannesburg. In House of Commons, question asked regarding quit notice served on Germiston Indians; Colonial Secretary expressed inability to interfere.

June 1, Writing in Indian Opinion on "An Unfortunate Case," Gandhi described the cruel treatment of an indentured Indian woman by her employer and condemned the whole indenture system.

June 24, Union Parliament prorogued until September 23, 1912, and Bill shelved.

June 25, Gandhi telegraphed Secretary for Interior enquiring about Government's intentions regarding the Bill and future of Provisional Settlement in view of prorogation of Parliament.

June 29, Gandhi arrived in Durban.

Spoke at Durban farewell to Dawad Mahomed and other Haj pilgrims.

July 5, Gandhi left Durban for Johannesburg.

July 6, Gandhi wrote to Lane enquiring about Government's intentions regarding UIRB (1912) and future of Provisional Settlement.

July 7, Gandhi arrived in Johannesburg from Durban.

July 16, Informed by Acting Secretary for Interior that Government would introduce amended measure next session; meanwhile, administration of existing legislation would continue.

July 17, In reply to Secretary for Interior, said he understood Provisional Settlement would continue pending passage of satisfactory legislation and therefore a certain number of educated Asiatics would be admitted for the year; would submit names on confirmation. 

July 25, Gokhale cabled Gandhi that he would sail from England for South Africa on October 5. 

July 30, Gokhale appointed member of Royal Commission on Indian Public Services.

August 1, Gandhi spoke at banquet given by Johannesburg Tamil community to V. A. Chettiar.

Ratan Tata made a third donation of Rs. 25,000 towards Passive Resistance Fund.

August 11, Gandhi returned to Tolstoy Farm.

August 17, Writing in Indian Opinion, drew attention of Indians to report of a second outbreak of smallpox in Johannesburg and called for help to Dr. Porter in fighting the disease.

August 22, Spoke at Johannesburg Theosophical Lodge. In interview to The Transvaal Leader, opposed compulsory segregation of coloured races as measure to check smallpox.

August 25, Spoke at British Indian Association meeting held to arrange welcome to Gokhale; announced the Aga Khan's intention to visit South and East Africa. 

September 7, In Indian Opinion, commended work done by H. S. L. Polak in India.

September 14, Phoenix Trust deed published in Indian Opinion, as a result of which Gandhi ceased to be the sole legal owner of the concern known as the International Printing Press, where Indian Opinion was printed. In schedule A 3, the total value of the assets was assessed £5,130-4-5. Gandhi had donated all his earlier earnings (£5,000) for the continuance of the Indian Opinion and the establishment of Phoenix. Announced discontinuance of advertisements in Indian Opinion.

Left for Johannesburg.

October 7, Gokhale left England for South Africa. 

October 22, Gokhale arrived in Cape Town on a tour of South Africa with the knowledge of the Indian Government but entirely on his own initiative to investigate the whole Indian question in South Africa for himself. Gandhi chalked out Gokhale's tour programme and accompanied him throughout the tour till November 29, 1912 when Gokhale left for India.

October 27, Indian reception at Constantia Hall. In evening, Gokhale and Gandhi left Kimberley at 6 p.m. Presentation of addresses at Windsortor, Christiana and Bloemhof. Leading Europeans present at all these places.

October 31, Banquet at Masonic Hall by BIA, with the Mayor presiding. Speeches by Mayor Ellis, William Hosken, Patrick Duncan, J. J. Doke, L. W. Ritch, Gokhale and Gandhi.

November 2, Gokhale and Gandhi left for Tolstoy Farm. 

November 3, Gandhi wrote to Srinivasa Sastri regarding Gokhale's visit and his proposed departure for India.

November 5, Gokhale, with Gandhi, returned to Johannesburg after two days' rest at Tolstoy Farm. 

November 8, Discussed Indians' grievances at meeting in Indian High School. Interview with Licensing Officer. In the afternoon, left by special train for Durban. Received at Durban station by Mayor, Chief Magistrate and others. Procession to Mr. Moosa's house. In the evening, reception at Town Hall, with Mayor presiding. Speeches by Mayor and others. Addresses presented.

November 10, In the morning, heard grievances of £3 taxpayers at meeting at Lord's ground. In the afternoon went by special train to Isipingo returning at 5 p.m. In the evening, motored to Phoenix.

November 11, Left Phoenix in the afternoon and returned to Durban. 

November 14, In the morning, had interview with Ministers- Botha, Smuts and Fischer.

November 26, On board ship, Gandhi promised Gokhale he would not leave for India without arranging for work to be carried on in South Africa. In his absence affairs would probably be left in Polak's hands.

November 28, Gokhale, Gandhi and Kallenbach sailed by S.S. President. 

November29, In the morning, reached Tongaat. In the afternoon, parted from Gokhale.

Gandhi and H. Kallenbach boarded S.S. Trebora, travelling deck class.

November 30, Gandhi and H. Kallenbach reached Zanzibar. 

December 1, Reached Dar-es-Salaam. Landed. Gandhi wore Indian dress.

December 13, Gandhi arrived in Delagoa Bay. Detained before being permitted to land.

Gokhale reached Bombay.

December 14, Gandhi arrived in Johannesburg and went to Lawley. 

December 18, Left for Durban.

December 28, Gokhale's resolution demanding total abolition of indenture system passed at Indian National Congress at Bankipore.

Writing in Indian Opinion, Gandhi condemned terrorist's attempt at Delhi on Lord Harding's life.

1913

(Phoenix). Penitential fast for a week for moral lapse of two inmates at Settlement. Took only one meal a day for next four and half months.

January 2, Gandhi left for Durban.

January 11, Contribution of Rs.2,500 by Nizam of Hyderabad to Passive Resistance funds announced in Indian Opinion.

January 14, Arrived in Johannesburg.

Writing in Indian Opinion, commended Gokhale's speeches on South African Indian problem at Bombay and at Indian National Congress at Bankipore.

January 18, Indian Opinion announced Gandhi's decision to go to India about the middle of the year, if expected Immigration Bill was passed in forthcoming session of Parliament.

Gandhi wrote in Indian Opinion of Government's failure to keep their promise regarding British Indians entitled to residence in the Transvaal or Union and hinted at possibility of a conflagration in the community.

February 7, In Union Assembly, Minister of Finance stated that repeal of £3 tax on Indians was still under consideration.

February 14, Gandhi in letter to Gokhale, mentioned that, owing to internal troubles in Botha cabinet, the promised legislation would again be postponed; if so, he would not be able to leave for India about the middle of the year. Said ministers were not carrying out their assurances and Immigration Acts were being administered with ever-growing severity. 

March 3, In Union Parliament, Financial Relations Bill, mentioning proposed abolition of £3 tax on ex-indentured Indians passed second reading.

March 13, Mr. Justice Searle of the Cape Union Supreme Court gave judgment in the case regarding validity of Indian marriages in respect of one Bai Mariam according to Mohammedan rites "contracted" in India with Hassan Esop who had applied for an order restraining the Minister of Interior from deporting her. The application was refused. The decision virtually nullified non-Christian and non-registered marriages. It was suggested in the judgment that the court should intimate that Bai Mariam might be allowed to land if the applicant agreed to legalise the marriage under Act 16 of 1860.

April 1, In a letter to the Minister of Interior Gandhi stated that the decision of Mr. Justice Searle and the subsequent statement by immigration officer in Natal to the elect that no boys or girls claiming to be children of resident Indians would be admitted unless they or their parents produced certificates of birth, had created great consternation among Indians. And passive resisters had also felt compelled to examine their own position. According to Justice Searle, no Indian marriage whether celebrated in South Africa or elsewhere could be recognised unless it was in accordance with the marriage laws of the Cape Province. This in his opinion was an intolerable position and disturbed rights hitherto enjoyed by Indians. As regards birth certificates it was impossible practically to produce them except in rare cases as very few births were registered in India. The practical result in both the cases was almost completely to prevent the entry of wives and minor children of domiciled Indians. Gandhi, therefore, urged the Minister to give effect to the Provisional Settlement by framing a new Immigration Bill to restore the position of wives to what it was before Justice Searle's decision and to revoke the instructions regarding children.

April 3, Text of new Immigration Bill published in the Union Gazette Extraordinary.

April 9, Gandhi telegraphed Minister of Interior that Bill was open to serious objections from Indian standpoint as it disturbed several existing rights.

April 12, Detailed in Indian Opinion new Bill's failure to fulfil terms of Provisional Settlement of 1911, reminded British Indians of lesson of "finding pleasure in pain" if Government failed to grant relief. Explaining the implications of Justice Searle's judgment regarding validity of Indian marriages, Gandhi wrote that the decision meant in plain terms that marriages not contracted according to the law of this land were no marriages at all. He asked those Hindus, Muslims and Parsees who did not want their wives to join satyagraha not to come to South Africa until the dispute was settled.

April 15, In telegram to Minister of Interior, Gandhi asked for retention of Natal Immigration Act and protection to wives and minor children of educated Indians; regretted interpretation of reference to passive resistance as threat.

Wrote to Secretary for Interior for amending Union marriage laws to legalise non-Christian marriages.

April 19, Gandhi informed Gokhale of Kasturba's decision. Gokhale sailed for England.

Gandhi wrote in Indian Opinion that the new Immigration Bill before the South African Union Parliament represented a deliberate policy of ridding South Africa of its resident Asiatic population.

April 27, Gandhi arrived in Johannesburg from Phoenix, addressed Vrededorp mass meeting which adopted resolution against Immigration Bill.

After April 27. Cabled Chaplin, Merriman, Smartt, Alexander, Schreiner and Ampthill reiterating objections to Immigration Bill, and revival of passive resistance if Government failed to grant relief.

April 28, At Johannesburg consulted European Committee about Immigration Bill; was interviewed by The Star.

May 3, Wrote in Indian Opinion: "If struggle is revived, the impending third campaign will be the purest, the last and the most brilliant of all".

May 4, Sonja Schlesin, Secretary, Transvaal Indian Women's Association wired Minister of Interior its decision to offer satyagraha on issue of Indian marriages.

May 8, Gandhi opened Hindu temple at Verulam. Secretary of State for Colonies cabled Governor-General urging that immediate enactment of legislation to remove Indians' legal disabilities was matter of Imperial importance.

May 26, Bill read for third time in Assembly and passed on to Senate for concurrence.

Chaplin wired Gandhi Government's acceptance of amendment as putting marriage question right.

May 27, Gandhi, in cable to Duncan, Schreiner and others, held amendment insufficient as it required registration of marriages. Bill ran counter to spirit of Settlement. Telegraphed Minister of Interior drawing attention to unfulfilled terms of Settlement.

May 29, Gandhi wired Schreiner and Alexander that registration of India marriages was superfluous, in absence of any case of undesirable women entering South Africa.

May 30, Gandhi telegraphed Minister of Interior, stating that marriage certificates were not in vogue in India, that marriage law should be consistent with Provisional Settlement terms. Minister of Interior moved second reading of Bill in Senate.

June 2, Gandhi released statement from Durban that Immigration Bill violated two principal conditions of 1911 Settlement and hoped Senate would retrieve measure. Indian women in Winberg took pledges not to carry passes.

June 5, Natal Immigration Law Amendment Bill regarding £3 tax introduced in Assembly.

Immigration Regulation Bill passed second reading in Senate.

June 7, In letter to Gokhale indicated date of his return to India indefinite if satyagraha was resumed.

Gandhi: Writing in Indian Opinion, declared inevitability of passive resistance if grievances were not redressed.

June 11, Immigration Regulation Bill passed.  

June 12, Colonial-born Indian Association, Durban, adopted resolution protesting against Immigration Bill, decided to advise Indians not to pay tax.

June 20, Gandhi, in letter to Gokhale explained implications of Bill, expressed preparedness to drop satyagraha if Fischer promised redress of grievances; and wrote of his anxiety to meet Gokhale in India, to sit at his feet and to work under and learn from him.

June 21, Informed Gokhale that passive resistance against the Immigration law would be started in the beginning of July next.

June 22, Gandhi's second brother, Karsandas, died at Rajkot. 

June 28, Gandhi wrote to Minister of Interior expressing readiness for negotiations to avoid passive resistance. 

July 15, Regulations under Immigration Regulation Act gazetted.

Before July 17. Smuts wrote to Gandhi to defer discussions till Railway strike was resolved.

July 19, Gandhi returned from Rand in view of Smuts' inability to hold talks because of strike situation.

July 26, Indian Opinion reported that Gandhi, "in accordance with Smuts' wish, refrained from taking any action because of the unexpected troubles of the Government".

August 1, Immigration Regulation Act came into force.

Before August 2. 34 women in Bloemfontein jailed for not carrying passes.

August 7, In London, Gokhale met Fischer and discussed questions of £3 tax and Indian marriages. Gandhi wrote to Jamnadas Gandhi that Kallenbach and Manilal would go with him to India and the press would continue to function.

August 15, Rev. Joseph J. Doke passed away at Umtali.

Before August 16. Motilal Nehru, President, United Provinces Congress Committee, telegraphed Viceroy that Imperial Government be urged to withhold Royal assent to Immigration Bill.

August 23, Gandhi wrote in Indian Opinion on Doke. 

August 24, Wrote from Johannesburg to Private Secretary to Minister of Interior that official interpretation of new Act threatened "existing and acquired rights" of Indians. Spoke at Doke memorial service in Baptist Church, Johannesburg. 

August 29, Maganlal Gandhi served with summons for employing Sarjoo, an Indian ex-indentured labourer convicted for failure to pay arrears of £3 tax. Polak left England for South Africa.

September 4, Gandhi left Johannesburg for Phoenix. Maganlal Gandhi cautioned and discharged in Sarjoo's case.

September 10, Gandhi telegraphed Private Secretary to Minister of Interior on question of polygamous marriages; considered resumption of passive resistance imperative, if amendment of law not enacted.

September 12, Cachalia informed Government of Indians' decision to resume passive resistance.

September 13, Gandhi announced in Indian Opinion that the negotiations had "proved abortive".

September 15, Passive resistance revived; pioneer party of passive resisters, twelve men and four women, including Kasturba Gandhi, left Durban for Volksrust by train to cross border. Prominent Transvaal Indian merchants resolved to fight against Gold Law and Townships Act.

September 16, Parsi Rustomji and other passive resisters charged at Volksrust as prohibited immigrants under new Act. Gandhi wrote to Harilai Gandhi in India to return to South Africa with his wife, ready for imprisonment as passive resister.

Kasturba, along with other passive resisters, arrested.

September 20, Advised Indians to court arrest by hawking or trading without licences or by declining to produce them when demanded.

September 21, Clarified Indian stand, resort to passive resistance, in The Natal Mercury.

September 22, Passive resisters deported to Natal border, but on re-crossing border, re-arrested and taken to Volksrust.

September 23, Kasturba sentenced to three months' imprisonment with hard labour, other passive resisters to one to three months.

September 24, Gandhi asserted, in Indian Opinion, that £3 tax was crux of the struggle.

September 25, Left Durban for Johannesburg. At Maritzburg and Ladysmith, received from Indians assurances of support to struggle. At latter place, refused to leave compartment reserved for Europeans as ordered by conductor. Budree and three other passive resisters, who accompanied Gandhi, arrested at Volksrust.

September 27, Gandhi reached Johannesburg. 

September 28, Wrote to Minister of Interior about gravity of struggle and appealed for reconsideration.

September 29, In interview to The Transvaal Leader, Gandhi indicated that struggle would be confined to about a hundred resisters. More instances of passive resistance by crossing the border and hawking without permits.

September 30, Gandhi refuted The Transvaal Leader report that influential Indian merchants were opposed to passive resistance. Budree and his companions deported; re-arrested on re-crossing border, sentenced to three months' hard labour. S. B. Medh, Pragji Desai and Manilal Gandhi arrested for hawking, sentenced to seven days' labour.

Johannesburg Indian merchants, in a letter to The Transvaal Leader, denied its allegation.

October 3, Anjuman Islam held meeting at Grey Street Mosque, Durban, passed resolution protesting against marriage laws. Polak arrived in Johannesburg; interviewed by Rand Daily Mail.

Before October 5. Parsi Rustomji and other prisoners in Maritzburg Gaol resolved to fast until gaol authorities returned sacred thread and gave up compulsory vaccination.

October 5, Gandhi addressed, in Johannesburg, meeting of Patidar Association which adopted resolution supporting passive resistance; similar meetings held at Germiston and Pietermaritzburg.

October 6, Two Mohammedan women from Durban crossed border at Volksrust, are arrested.

October 7, S. B. Medh, Pragji Desai and Manilal Gandhi, on completing sentences, hawked in Johannesburg; taken to court in handcuffs, charged with non-production of certificates and released on their own recognisances. 

October 8, Bai Fatima Mehtab, her mother, son and attendant left Durban for Volksrust to court arrest.

October 9, Gandhi attended Johannesburg Hindus' meeting, which pledged to support passive resistance. Medh, Pragji Desai and Manilal Gandhi sentenced to 10 days' imprisonment with hard labour. 

October 13, P. K. Naidoo, Jiwan Premji and nine others went out hawking in Johannesburg to court arrest.

October 14, Mrs. Mehtab and party sentenced at Volksrust to three months' imprisonment with hard labour. Naidoo, Bhawani Dayal and Ramnarayan charged with inciting railway workers to create disturbance, sent to gaol.

October 15, Gandhi released statement reiterating Indian demands, need for fresh legislation on question of marriages and £3 tax. Hosken, Chairman, European Committee, wrote to Minister of Interior supporting Indians' demand, offering mediation.

October 16, Colonial-born Indians at Newcastle passed resolution approving Gandhi's policy.

October 17, Gandhi visited Natal Coalfields near Newcastle, urged indentured Indians to strike until Government promised repeal of £3 tax. Campaign entered new phase. 78 workers struck work, four arrested and sentenced to two weeks with hard labour. Over 3,000 indentured Indian miners decided to strike.

October 18, Fifteen passive resisters proceeded from Newcastle to Volksrust to court arrest.

October 19, At Durban Gandhi attended meeting where some Indians criticised his policy.

Twenty-two Railway workers at Dannhauser struck work. About 3,000 Indians from Newcastle, Cambrian and Durban Navigation Collieries struck work.

October 21, Gandhi left Newcastle for Johannesburg to attend meeting of European Committee.

Had private and informal interview with Lord Emmott. Eleven Indian women arrested at Newcastle, who admitted having peacefully advised miners to suspend work, sentenced to three months' hard labour under Vagrancy Act.

October 22, Gandhi wired Gokhale from Johannesburg that strikers would resume work if Government promised to repeal £3 tax.

Told Rand Daily Mail representative six collieries affected; 2,000 miners idle; reprimanded paper for attempt through biased reports to create schism among Indians. Returned to Newcastle, on tour of Hatting Spruit, Elandslaagte, in strike area. 1,500 strikers at Dannhauser decided to walk to Border, Court arrest.

Before October 23. Gandhi, from Newcastle, wired Botha that strike, in protest against £3 tax, would be ended if Government promised repeal. In telegram to Press, said that he was advising miners to court arrest, leaving mines.

Manilal Gandhi and four others arrested at Volksrust for hawking.

October 23, Gandhi informed Press that movement of strikers leaving mines to court arrest or March to Volksrust was imminent. The Natal Mercury reported 9 coalmines closed down due to strike.

October 24, Gandhi wrote to Maganlal Gandhi that he proposed to lead 2,000 men into the Transvaal.

Before October 25. Gandhi cabled G. A. Natesan denying The Times of India report of October 21 about split among Indians concerning passive resistance.

October 25, Addressed employers of Indian labour at Durban Chamber of Commerce, and in interview to The Natal Mercury attributed coal mine strike to Government's failure to repeal £3 tax.

October 26, Gandhi addressed Indian miners at Hindu Temple, Dundee. Eight hundred more miners joined strike.

October 28, Gandhi telegraphed the Minister of Interior, stressing basic issues, appealing for reconsideration of tax question upon merits.

The march from Newcastle began.

General Smuts denied, at South African Party meeting, that he had promised Gokhale repeal of £3 tax.

October 29, Gandhi with Ballengeich Indian miners left Ingogo in morning for Volksrust. Informed Gokhale that he was marching with strikers to court arrest; requested assistance to get Polak settled in London. Indian strikers refused to accept Government's directive through mine-owners to resume work. NIC charged Government with bad faith in repudiating promise to repeal tax. Pragji Desai sentenced to three months on charge of trespassing on Newcastle mine property.

October 30, Gandhi reached Charlestown with 200 men; telegraphed Minister of Interior to enquire into forcible vaccination of women prisoners; wired Indian Opinion that 5,000 Indians were affected in the strike area; 4,000 were being led and supported, including 300 women and 600 children; 300 passive resisters were in gaol. 300 marchers led by Thambi Naidoo and 200 by Albert Christopher left Newcastle; some 150 Indians of Ballengeich Colliery arrested.

October 31, Gandhi informed Secretary of Justice that if Indians, who had surrendered themselves, were not arrested; they would march into the Transvaal. About 200 men and women led by A. D. Pillay left Newcastle on March to Volksrust, another 500 by train.

November 2, Gandhi had, under his charge, 1,500 passive resisters stationed at Charlestown.

November 3, Gandhi informed Reuter that he contemplated moving 1,500 men into the Transvaal for courting arrest; if not arrested, would proceed to the Tolstoy Farm.

 

 

Last updated : 21-Feb-2017

This article was produced by South African History Online on 31-Mar-2011

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