Gandhi Begins "Great March" to Gain Indian Rights in South Africa

Led at 6.30.a.m. the "great march", consisting of 2,037 men, 127 women and 57 children from Charlestown; addressed marchers halfway between Charlestown and Volksrust.

At Volksrust border, Police Superintendent and Immigration Officer interviewed Gandhi and Kallenbach. Marchers broke through Police cordon, crossed border. Gandhi arrested at 8.30 p.m. at Palmford railway station, marchers continued their journey.

The ‘blood and iron’ policy of the South African Government stirred India deeply. Gokhale sent two earnest Christian young men, C.F. Andrews and Pearson, to assist Gandhi. Lord Hardinge, the viceroy of India, courageously denounced the high-handed policies of the South African Government. Negotiations began between Gandhi and the South African Government under pressure from Delhi and London. Eventually an agreement was reached. Some of the major points on which the Satyagraha struggle had been waged were conceded to the Indians. The tax on the ex-indentured labourers was abolished; marriages performed according to Indian rites were legalized, and a domicile certificate bearing the holder’s thumb-imprint was too a sufficient evidence of the right to enter South Africa.