Message on the First Anniversary of Passive Resistance, June 1947(3)

June 13, 1947 marks the first anniversary of the Passive Resistance struggle against the Asiatic Land Tenure and Indian Representation Act and the policy of colour discrimination that this Act embodies.

It has been a year in which the Indian people in this country have covered themselves with glory and honour by their example of courage and determination and by their deeds of heroism and sacrifices. They have added yet another glorious chapter of man struggling for freedom from time immemorial.

Faced with the deadly onslaught of the Government on its already rapidly dwindling rights and privileges, the Indian community resolved to resist and suffer rather than submit to ignominy and dishonour. The only asset the Indian people possessed was faith in the strength cf their united stand, their preparedness to sacrifice and their ability to withstand the rigours of a struggle.

On this anniversary we record with pride the part played by Indian women in response to the call of resistance. They marched together with their menfolk with courage and determination to end racialism in South Africa. They have raised the struggle to greater and nobler heights.

From India has come a unanimous support for us and our struggle has made the question of racial oppression in South Africa a world question with the United Nations, representing world democratic opinion, declaring by majority vote in our favour.

In South Africa we have not acted as an isolated community. A year of resistance has seen Non-European cooperation nearer than ever before. We have entered into a period of active cooperation between the oppressed people for basic human rights.

The forward march of the Indian people and that of all the oppressed people in South Africa will go on. On this first anniversary of our great resistance movement let us pay tribute to those brave men and women resisters who have made possible the successes we have achieved. Let us pay tribute to those brave Indian traders who, when faced with the boycott movement and all the perils that went with the consequent racial propaganda, stood firm with courage and fortitude. Let us pay tribute to the African, Coloured and progressive European organisations that have stood with us.

Let us on this anniversary pledge to continue our noble struggle under the leadership of the Natal and the Transvaal Indian Congresses; let us reject totally the disruptive moves of the reactionaries; let us go forward in full cooperation with all Non-European sections and progressive Europeans for a democratic South Africa.

We Shall Resist!

3 From: Passive Resister, Johannesburg, June 12, 1947


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