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Debunking those branding Gandhi racist, South African official says, Mahatma influenced Mandela

By Our Representative
A senior South African official has debunked the view currently being held by several African academics, particularly Ghana and South Africa, that Mahatma Gandhi was anti-black, saying, the country’s tallest leader Nelson Mandela as also Ghana’s anti-colonial leader Kwame Nkrumah were “influenced” by Gandhi.
Anil Sooklal, an ethnic Indian, who is deputy director-general of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), which is the foreign ministry of the South African government, said, Mandela was “aware” of the limitations of Gandhi’s views and had insisted that one shouldn’t go by what he may have said at a particular moment by his action.
Sookalal, who delivered a public lecture at the Gujarat Vidyapeeth, Ahmedabad, on Gandhi Mandela Legacy, criticized the decision of the University of Legon, Ghana, for removing Gandhi’s statue because he was allegedly a racist, saying, Mandela, who stood for a violent revolution, was ultimately influenced by Gandhi’s non-violence, which alone made South Africa apartheid free. Sookalal's lecture was jointly organised by Gujarat Vidyapith, Research Information System for Developing Countries and Gujarat Institute of Development Research.
Pointing out that Gandhi’s Natal Indian Congress, formed in 1894 for non-violent protests against the oppressive treatment of the white people towards the native Africans and Indians, was the first anti-racist organization in South Africa, Sookalal said, it was a precursor for the formation of the African National Congress, which led the anti-apartheid struggle for the decades that followed.

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