The Indian people in South Africa, under the leadership of Gandhi, staged the first non-violent mass movement which involved defiance of unjust laws, courting of imprisonment, bonfires, boycotts, marches and strikes. It brought together people of different religions and linguistic groups, as well as different social classes.
This struggle secured the understanding and sympathy of many whites in South Africa — a few of whom suffered imprisonment for their active support — and of opinion in Britain, the metropolitan country. It was supported by an unprecedented solidarity movement all over India uniting people of all religions, princes and commoners, rich and poor, elder statesmen and students. Sanctions were considered for the first time as a means to combat racist oppression in South Africa.
Part I of this volume contains a brief history of the passive resistance, describing the leadership of Gandhi as well as the role of his associates and of the masses who participated in the resistance.
In Part II, we present information, mainly from published sources, on hundreds of resisters whose courage and sacrifices contributed to the success of the struggle.