Indian Opinion, a weekly newspaper, was first established and produced by Mohandas Gandhi ("Mahatma"), M.H. Nazar and Madanjit Viyavaharik in 1903 in the Natal Province. The newspaper focused on Indian rights, poor living conditions of indentured labourers and racial discrimination. It provided an important historical record of the social and political lives of the Indian community in South Africa and also publicised news of the Indians in the colonies to India. The paper included articles in four different languages: English, Hindi, Gujerati and Tamil. Indian Opinion was published at the printing press at the Phoenix Settlement which was established by Gandhi in 1904. In the 1950s when Manilal Gandhi (Gandhi's son) took over editorship, the newspaper focused more broadly on human rights (not just Indian rights). It was instrumental in the civil rights struggle and became a tool for political activism. Satyagraha, Gandhi's philosophy of nonviolent resistance, was encouraged. In 1957 Indian Opinion became "Opinion" and was edited by Sushila Gandhi (Manilal's wife) after Manilal's death. This was to promote nationhood and represent the "oneness of man". The final issue of this newspaper was produced in August 1961 after 58 years of existence.


Searchlight South Africa Number 8 January 1992 ISSN 0954-3384