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Mahatma Ghandi (1869 - 1948)

The Order of the Companions of O.R. Tambo in

Mahatma Ghandi (1869 - 1948) Awarded for:
Exceptional contribution to the struggle against Apartheid in South Africa and for a just world.

Profile of Mahatma Ghandi

Mahatma Karamchand Gandhi was born on 2 October 1869, at Porbandar, a small town on the western coast of India, which was then one of the many tiny states in Kathiawar. ‘But though Gandhi lived, suffered and died in India for Indians, it is not in relation to India’s destiny alone that his life has significance’, says one scribe about the Mahatma.

Any narration of the life of the Mahatma drips the blood ties that knot the ‘great soul in beggar’s garb’ to the history and ultimate liberation of the South African peoples.

He refined his Satyagraha in South Africa after he arrived in KwaZulu-Natal as a mere 24 year-old. Mahatma Gandhi lived for twenty-one years in South Africa. He shaped the destinies of generations to come, both in South Africa and in India.

Gandhi’s resilient but peaceful opposition to all forms of discrimination is known and celebrated the world over. It is a great honour and privilege that his life should be so intimately linked to the history of the freedom struggle in South Africa.

And when he died on 30 January 1948 it is not only India that mourned the loss of a great leader, South Africa also lost a leader.