For a World of Peace and Nonviolence!

CHRONOLOGY 1908

1908

January

1

Transvaal  Immigrants’ Restriction Act ( Henceforth referred to as TIRA) (No.15 of 1907) came  into force. Mass meeting held at Surti Mosque, Fordsburg, to protest against TIRA and  Transvaal Asiatic Registration Act2 (TARA henceforth) (Law 2 of 1907).

1908

January

3

Gandhi appeared in  Johannesburg Court to defend Nawab Khan and Sumandar Khan prosecuted under TARA.

1908

January

4

British Indian  Association (BIA henceforth) informed Receiver of Revenues that, if Indian traders not  registered under TARA were refused licences, they would trade without them.

1908

 

 

Gandhi pointed out in  a letter to The Star that TARA rested on an unproved charge against Asiatics.

1908

 

 

Smuts in speech at  Mayville said that Indians had been misled by their leaders and declared that no  Parliament in the country could repeal TARA.

1908

January

After 4

Gandhi attempted  unsuccessfully to see General Smuts regarding his speech at Mayville.

1908

January

6

In interviews to The  Star and The Transvaal Leader Gandhi summed up Indian position against TARA.

1908

January

8

Told Reuter that, if  TARA was suspended, all Indians would be registered within a month.

1908

January

Before 10

Writing in Indian  Opinion , reiterated Indians’ determination to face imprisonment and deportation.

1908

 

 

Gandhi adopted the  term "satyagraha" as Gujarati equivalent for passive resistance.

1908

January

10

His last message to  Transvaal Indians exhorting them to remain steadfast.

1908

 

 

Assured The Star that  Indians would register voluntarily if element of compulsion in TARA was withdrawn.

1908

 

 

Addressed a meeting  before his trial.

1908

 

 

Tried and sentenced to  jail for two months.

1908

 

 

Declared, in final  interview to Rand Daily Mail, that he had undertaken the struggle prayerfully and  in all humility.

1908

January

21

Cartwright met Gandhi  in jail and they agreed upon voluntary registration by Indians in return for repeal of  TARA.

1908

 

 

Addressed petition to  Director of Prisons regarding Asiatic prisoners’ diet-scale.

1908

January

27

Public meetings held  in Ahmednagar and elsewhere in India, protesting to Imperial Government against TARA.

1908

January

28

Blue book on Transvaal  Asiatic legislation published in London.

1908

 

 

At meeting in New  Reform Club, London, Sir. W. Wedderburn declared that, since Imperial Government spent £  3 million annually on defense of Transvaal, it had a right to demand that Transvaal  Indians be treated in keeping with Imperial traditions. Sir M.M. Bhownaggree warned of an  "Imperial danger" and M.A. Jinnah (M.A. Jinnah had been appointed by  Anjuman Islam, Bombay, "to proceed to England and there to place the position of the  Transvaal Indians before the people of England and to do all in his power to create public  opinion in favor of a settlement of the Asiatic difficulty in the Colonies", Indian  Opinion 11.1.1908)said all Indians were united in their protest against  humiliating treatment of Transvaal Indians.

1908

 

 

Cartwright brought  compromise letter drafted either by himself or General Smuts to Gandhi in jail. After  amending it, Gandhi signed it along with Quinn and Naidoo at 12-30 p.m.

1908

 

 

At 2-30 p.m.  Cartwright left for Pretoria to meet General Smuts.

1908

 

 

At 5 p.m. Cartwright  rang up to say General Smuts had accepted the terms of compromise letter.

1908

January

29

Public meeting held at  Bombay under chairmanship of His Highness The Aga Khan protested against TARA and appealed  to Imperial Government to intervene and, failing that, to allow a retaliatory policy in  India against South Africans.

1908

January

30

Acting Assistant  Colonial Secretary wrote accepting compromise letter.

1908

 

 

Gandhi escorted to  Pretoria to meet General Smuts; settlement reached regarding voluntary registration and  its validation.

1908

 

 

Learnt from Chamney  that legalization of voluntary registration by Asiatics being proposed under TARA.

1908

 

 

Unsuccessfully sought  another interview with General Smuts.

1908

 

 

In interview to Rand  Daily Mail and The Transvaal Leader discussed the "compromise" and  his treatment in prison.

1908

 

 

Addressed midnight  meeting, a thousand strong, in precincts of Hamidia Mosque.

1908

 

 

Formally released from  prison.

1908

 

 

Spoke at BIA meeting  explaining settlement.

1908

 

 

In interview to Reuter  suggested that Asiatic with domiciliary rights be assimilated in future South African  nation; agreed with General Smuts that indenture system in Natal should be stopped.

1908

January

31

All satyagrahis  released.

1908

 

 

In Press interview  General Smuts said that Asiatics could trade without license pending legalization of  compromise. Said that demand for repeal of TARA was preposterous and Indians had not  persisted in it.

1908

February

?

In Cape general  elections South African Party led by Merriman returned to power.

1908

February

1

Gandhi wrote to  General Smuts against Government’s intention to legalize voluntary registration under  TARA and proposed that this be done by amendment of TIRA instead.

1908

 

 

In interview to Press,  refuted charge of organized surreptitious entry of British Indians, on which TARA was  based.

1908

February

2

Declared at BIA  meeting in Johannesburg that, if violence was to be used against those giving  fingerprints, he should be first victim.

1908

February

3

Met General Smuts who  in Chamney’s presence repeated promise to repeal TARA if Transvaal Asiatics  registered voluntarily. G.K. Gokhale asked at meeting of Viceroy’s Council if India  Government were aware of "the depth and intensity of public feeling" at the  "injustice and indignities" of Transvaal Indians. Replying for Government  Findlay said that they sympathized with their Transvaal subject and had reason to hope  "current negotiations" would remove their "just grievances".

1908

February

4

Lord Ampthill’s  call-attention motion in House of Lords, Lord Curzon also spoke.

1908

February

5

The Times, London,  blamed Colonial Office for "lack of imagination" in not having urged Imperial  interests on Transvaal Government and brought about a settlement earlier. It called for an  agreed Imperial attitude in self-governing Colonies in matters of race.

1908

February

5 - 6 (?)

In course of public  speeches and Press interviews, Smuts promised freedom from arrest for violation of TARA  and unlicensed trade. The law would not be repealed meanwhile. A measure to validate such  registration would, however, be introduced in Parliament when it met next. Announced that  aim of compromise was to reduce Colony’s Asiatic population.

1908

February

8

Explaining procedure  for voluntary registration in Indian Opinion, Gandhi advised educated Indians not  to exercise option in favor of affixing their signatures rather than finger-impressions  on voluntary registration applications.

1908

February

10

Voluntary registration  began.

1908

 

 

Gandhi assaulted by  Mir Alam Khan and others; appealed from his sickbed at Doke’s house that assailants  be forgiven, and asked Asiatics to give their fingerprints voluntarily.

1908

February

11

Dr. G.U. Pope died at  Oxford.

1908

February

15

"A Dialogue on  the Compromise" published in Indian Opinion.(In his book Satyagraha  in South Africa Gandhi, however, says that he wrote this during his stay at Phoenix  where he arrived sometime after March 6.)

1908

February

22

Gandhi wrote in Indian  Opinion of February 22 and 29 explaining conditions under which he accepted compromise  and clarifying Indian community’s obligations; emphasized solidarity of Transvaal  Hindus and Muslims.

1908

 

 

Wrote to General  Smuts, enclosing Draft Bill to amend TIRA; suggested therein repeal of Peace Preservation  Ordinance and TARA.

1908

February

29

Number of voluntary  registration applications at Johannesburg rose to 3,400.

1908

March

5

Gandhi left for Durban  to dispel widespread misunderstanding of compromise among Pathans and others.

1908

 

 

Addressed public  meeting under auspices of Natal Indian Congress at Durban. Another attempted assault on  Gandhi, evidently by Pathans.

1908

March

6

Met Durban pathans who  insisted that he had betrayed community; reported that this conciliatory meeting was a  failure.

1908

 

 

Left for Phoenix along  with a "merry party" to "meet my family" after convalescence.

1908

March

10

Sir Lepel Griffin died  in London.

1908

March

14

At dinner, said to be  the first of its kind in South Africa, BIA gave gifts to whites who had helped in  satyagraha campaign.

1908

March

17

In Calcutta, Lord  Minto declared that failure of crops in United Provinces had affected 50 million people.  Famine conditions had developed in U.P. in September 1907.

1908

March

18

Number of voluntary  registrants in Johannesburg increased to 5,090.

1908

March

21

T.J. Bennett,  Proprietor-Editor of The Times of India, wrote to Lord Ampthill confirming  representative character of Bombay meeting.Men of all races including European  merchants and officials exercised over question.

1908

March

24

In Canada, Supreme  Court nullified Government’s deportation order on 146 Indians who had arrived by S.S.  Monteagle; they were consequently released.

1908

March

26

Lord Selborne speaking  at Klerksdorp declared that "East is East West is West" and that, because  "white man’s civilization is expensive", he could not compete with Indian  trader. Suggested reservation of unoccupied portions of Empire for Asiatic settlement.  British and Boer were equal partners in British Empire.

1908

March

Before 30

Dr. C. O’Grady  Gubbins, Colonial Secretary, announced Natal Government’s intention to enact  legislation to discontinue immigration of indentured labor and to stop issue of licences  to "Arab" traders after ten years.

1908

March

30

Bill to amend  Transvaal Gold Law published in Government Gazette extraordinary.

1908

April

6

H.S.L. Polak enrolled  as attorney of Transvaal Supreme Court.

1908

April

10

Transvaal Municipal  Association passed resolution saying that Natives and Colored persons should be denied  municipal franchise and right to own freehold land and made to live in Locations and trade  in Bazaars.

1908

April

Before 12

Meeting of Het Volk  Congress urged that all Asiatics be moved into Bazaars. General Smuts hoped that Municipal  (Consolidation) Bill would solve problem of "Colored people living among  whites".

1908

April

19

Natal Agricultural  Union protested against proposed stoppage of Indian immigration; declared Indian labor  necessary for Natal’s industries.

1908

April

21

Strike in India  Telegraph Service.

1908

April

22

Sir Henry  Campbell-Bannerman died.

1908

April

Before 24

Lord Ampthill asked  that Oriental immigration to colonies be discussed at an Imperial Conference.

1908

April

Before 25

BIA wrote to General  Smuts protesting against draft amendment to Transvaal Gold Law.

1908

April

Before  26

At congress of  Progressive Party, Sir Percy Fitzpatrick said he had no faith in "coercive  legislation" and "race differentiation". He called upon the white man  "to justify himself" and to "outwork the Native".

1908

April

Before 27

Gandhi returned to  Johannesburg from Phoenix (?)

1908

April

30

Bomb incident at  Muzaffarpur in India.

1908

 

 

Last day for  satyagrahi traders who had been carrying on unlicensed trade to take out licences. There  were issued up to December 31 to voluntary registrants and up to June 30 for traders who  had not so registered.

1908

May

2

According to cablegram  report, an Afghan lashkar about 20,000 strong crossed over into India; "unofficial  war" began.

1908

May

3

A bomb  "factory" discovered in offices of Navasakti. Aurobindo Ghosh, formerly  of Yugantar, and 50 other arrested.

1908

May

Before 8

Natal Bills published  in Government Gazette.

1908

May

Before 9

Inter-Colonial  Conference, persecutor of National Convention, met at Pretoria to discuss interstate  railway and customs matters, but only passed six resolutions, moved by General Smuts and  prescribing procedure for attaining immediate union. Sessions lasted less than a week.

1908

May

9

Last date for  voluntary registration by Asiatics; 8,700 applications received and 6,000 accepted.

1908

May

12

In telegram Chamney  announced that all Asiatics entering Colony after May 9 should register under TARA. Gandhi  wrote to General Smuts asking that this misunderstanding of compromise be clarified.

1908

May

13

Transvaal Municipal  (Consolidation) Bill gazetted. Bill envisaged empowering Municipalities to deal with  traders and denying hawkers right of appeal to law Courts regarding administrative  decisions on licences.

1908

May

14

Gandhi wrote to  Cartwight saying his services as mediator might again be required.

1908

 

 

Wrote to Lane saying  that period of three months in compromise letter was never intended to apply to Asiatics  returning to Colony or otherwise possessing right of reentry; urged General Smuts to  accept voluntary registration of new arrivals and repeal Act.

1908

May

Before 15

Deputy Labor Minister  Mackenzie King, who returned to Canada on April 26 after consultations about Indian  immigration with Imperial Government announced in Dominion Parliament that there was no  "necessity of enacting any legislation either in India or Canada" to solve  problem.

1908

May

15

Lane wrote to Gandhi  saying Colonial Secretary could not depart from earlier decision.

1908

May

Before 16

Gandhi met Cartwright;  decision to interview General Smuts taken.

1908

 

 

Natal Mercury,  Times of Natal, The Star, and the Leader deprecated Natal Bills.

1908

May

16

In interview to The  Star Gandhi welcomed Natal Bill to stop indentured immigration; condemned other two  Bills.

1908

 

 

Following General  Smuts’ emphatic refusal to extend voluntary registration facilities to Asiatics with  domiciliary rights but entering after three-month compromise period, accused General  Smuts, in weekly newsletter, of "foul play" but still hoped latter would repeal  TARA.

1908

May

17

Essop Mia, Chairman,  BIA, assaulted by a Pathan.

1908

May

18

Speaking at Y.M.C.A.,  Johannesburg, Gandhi claimed that Colored races were at integral part of the Empire and  declared his faith in mission of British to raise subject races to equality with  themselves.

1908

May

20

Writing in Indian  Opinion, appealed to Pathan community to express disapproval of acts of violence by  isolated Pathans.

1908

 

 

Writing in his  newsletter on assault on Essop Mia, declared that, if one lacked the requisite courage  for Satyagraha, one might use arms in self-defence.

1908

 

 

In House of Lords,  Lord Ampthill complained about "the inactivity of the Imperial Government [in the  matter of Natal Bills] which have encouraged the Transvaal to imitate Natal thus  attempting to restore a tyranny worse than under the Kruger regime."

1908

May

21

Gandhi wrote to  General Smuts asking for public announcement of repeal of TARA.

1908

May

22

The Transvaal  Leader reported that the Government was preparing a Bill legalizing voluntary  registration and excepting such registrants from TARA.

1908

 

 

Lane replied stating  General Smuts’ inability to comply with above request.

1908

 

 

Registrar of Asiatics  wrote to BIA pointing out that introduction of minors into Colony by Asiatics punishable  under TARA.

1908

May

23

Chairman, BIA, replied  that, since Indians had registered voluntarily in compliance with compromise, they  considered TARA a dead letter and its enforcement, breach of compromise.

1908

 

 

Gandhi shown draft of  Transvaal Asiatics’ Registration Validation Bill by Cartwright.

1908

May

26

BIA wrote Colonial  Secretary informing him of British Indians’ decision to withdraw voluntary  registration applications as the letter had gone back on his "compromise  assurance."

1908

 

 

Gandhi, Bawazeer,  Naidoo and Quinn wrote to Chamney asking for return of their voluntary registration  applications.

1908

May

27

Gandhi explained  situation at meeting of BIA Committee, which endorsed resumption of Satyagraha.

1908

May

29

Telegraphed Chamney  asking for return of application forms.

1908

May

Before 30

Circular sent to BIA  Town Committees instructing Indians to withdraw voluntary registration applications and  informing them of resumption of satyagraha. Gandhi repeated offer to defend satyagrahis  free of charge.

1908

May

30

In letter to Indian  Opinion, announced that satyagraha would be resumed.

1908

 

 

Telegram from Chamney,  in reply to Gandhi’s of 29th, to say that letter’s draft Bill for  amending TIRA had been misplaced and asking for another copy. This was sent.

1908

 

 

Gandhi wrote to Lane  asking for permission to publish correspondence with General Smuts between February 1 and  22.

1908

June

Before 1

Draft  "Ordinance" to restrict Asiatic immigration into Southern Rhodesia gazetted.

1908

June

1

Gandhi informed over  phone that General Smuts had called Cabinet meeting to consider Indian issue; his reply  would be sent on June 2.

1908

June

Before 2

Met Chamney at  Winchester House.

1908

June

2

Eminent white  sympathizers met and reaffirmed support to Indian cause.

1908

 

 

Question in Imperial  Parliament whether His Majesty’s Government intended to intervene in view of  threatened breach of compromise and revival of Indian agitation.

1908

June

4

Gandhi invited to meet  General Smuts on June 6 to discuss new draft of validation Bill.

1908

 

 

In another letter Lane  refused permission to publish correspondence with General Smuts.

1908

June

6

Gandhi met General  Smuts; discussed mode of validating voluntary registration, his draft amendment of TIRA  and right of future Asiatic immigrants to voluntary registration. Smuts assented TARA was  wholly bad and served no useful purpose. Emergence of disagreement about categories of  Asiatics whose right of domicile was to be recognized under proposed legislation. Gandhi  asked for assurance of repeal of TARA, else he would move Supreme Court for return of  applications.

1908

 

 

Wrote to Cartwright  asking him to persuade Progressives not to obstruct repeal of TARA.

1908

June

12

Sent General Smuts a  telegram announcing decision to move Supreme Court for return of applications on advice of  eminent counsel Smuts asked him to an interview the next day.

1908

June

Before 13

Gandhi wrote in Indian  Opinion against Rhodesia Bill for compulsory registration of Indians.

1908

June

13

Met General Smuts who  promised decision within a week; move to approach Supreme Court put off by a week at  meeting of BIA Committee.

1908

 

 

In a letter, the same  day, covering discussions, Gandhi pleaded that any amendment of TIRA should protect rights  of (1) prewar refugees, (2) holders of £3 registration certificates and PPO permits; and  (3) rights of would-be educated immigrants should not be jeopardized by compromise.

1908

June

16

Repeal of TARA at  instance of Imperial Government rumored in Johannesburg Press.

1908

June

19

Telegram asking Gandhi  to interview with General Smuts next day.

1908

June

20

Gandhi met General  Smuts who asked to see him again on June 22 "to consider one or two minor points that  remain".

1908

June

22

Leader editorial,  saying TARA would be repealed.

1908

 

 

At meeting with  General Smuts, Gandhi was shown draft amendment to TIRA - an "excellent Bill"  for voluntary registrants, past and future- which, however, executed the three categories  of persons and declared them prohibited immigrants. Gandhi’s proposal for referring  educated Indian’s issue to Supreme Court was turned down. General Smuts also refused  right of judicial review of voluntary registrants’ claim rejected by Registrar of  Asiatics. On Gandhi’s refusal to agree to these conditions, General Smuts announced  decision to retrain TARA and amend it to validate voluntary registration.

1908

 

 

In interviews and  letters to press, Gandhi announced breach of compromises and his intention to move Supreme  Court for return of applications for voluntary registration.

1908

 

 

BIA Committee endorsed  proposed test case in Supreme Court. In Press statement explaining breakdown of  negotiations, General Smuts argued that compromise letter of January 29 did not mention  repeal of TARA; he was, however, willing to repeal the Act provided Indians agreed to  exclusion of the three categories of persons in amending bill. Since Gandhi did not agree,  voluntary registration would be validated by separate measure.

1908

June

Before 23

Aswat wrote to Chamney  asking for return of application.

1908

June

23

His petition for  return of application filed in Supreme Count. Gandhi and Essop Mia filed affidavits  stating that General Smuts had promised to repeal TARA.

1908

June

24

Mass meeting in  Johannesburg announced community’s resolve to withdraw applications and reaffirmed  resolution of September 11, 1906 not to submit to TARA.

1908

 

 

Sorabji Shapurji  entered Transvaal to test right of educated Indians.

1908

 

 

In India, Tilak  arrested on charge of sedition for his articles in Kesari, entitled "The  Country’s Misfortune" of May 12 and "These Remedies Are Not Lasting"  of June 12.

1908

June

25

Chamney filed  counter-affidavit.

1908

June

26

General Smuts filed  affidavit saying he had never promised to repeal Act.

1908

 

 

Chamney filed another  affidavit to same effect.

1908

June

29

Gandhi and Aswat filed  replying affidavits reaffirming earlier declaration about General Smuts’ promise.

1908

July

Before 2

In weekly newsletter,  Gandhi declared that Satyagraha was no longer struggle for self-interest but for rights of  others - the three categories of "prohibited immigrants".

1908

 

 

Burning of  registration certificates - if "voluntary" applications were not returned -  mentioned for first time as means of continuing Satyagraha.

1908

July

2

Aswat’s petition  rejected by Supreme Court.

1908

 

 

Gandhi wrote to  Transvaal Press, releasing his correspondence with General Smuts for publication.

1908

July

4

In letter to The  Transvaal Leader, Rev. Doke argued that Indians’ campaign against TARA was fully  justified.

1908

July

Before 5

Reported offer by  General Smuts, sent through while mediators, to concede right of entry to holders of £ 3  registration certificates and to provide for appeal to Courts against Chamney’s  decisions rejecting claims of voluntary registrants. In return, Indians were to agree to  exclusion of educated Asiatics. Indians turned down offer.

1908

July

5

Meeting in Hamidia  Mosque considered situation arising from Supreme Court’s ruling and decided to burn  registration certificates following Sunday.

1908

July

6

Chairman, BIA, wrote  to Colonial Secretary urging legal rights of three categories of would-be Indian  Immigrants and explaining (1) that Association could not barter away rights of those it  did not represent and (2) that Indians could not forgo services of educated  follow-countrymen in future. Also stand community’s resolve to burn certificates on  July 12.

1908

July

7

Register of Asiatics  instructed municipalities to demand thumb-impressions under TARA from Asiatic traders  applying for licences. Gandhi interpreted this to mean that Government wanted to bring  voluntary registrants also under TARA.

1908

July

8

Gandhi appeared in  Court to defend Sorabji Shapurji.

1908

July

9

Chairman, BIA, wrote  to Colonial Secretary (1) complaining that demand of thumb-impression from Indian  applicants for trading license constituted breach of compromise and (2) saying that  education test under TIRA could be made very severe. Meanwhile Indians would put off mass  meeting of July 12 for burning certificates.

1908

July

10

Johannesburg Court  ordered Shapurji to leave Colony within seven days.

1908

July

11

Gandhi sought  elucidation of General Smuts’ offer from Cartwright.

1908

July

14

Cartwright confirmed  General Smuts’ offer over telephone.

1908

 

 

In letter to  Cartwright, Gandhi estimated number of holders of £ 3 Dutch registration certificates at  100. Repeated willingness to refer educated Indians’ issue to Supreme Court and to  accept a severe education test but not one along racial lines, and announced his  determination to carry on satyagraha. Denied General Smuts’ charge that he had  accepted £ 2 from each Muslim voluntary registrant.

1908

July

15

Report in The Star that settlement of Asiatic question was probable.

1908

July

16

Chairman, BIA, write  to The Star announcing decision of eminent Indians to take to unlicensed hawking as  "protest and penance".

1908

 

 

Hawking without  licences began.

1908

 

 

Lord Milner, speaking  on "Closer Union" at Royal Colonial Institute, London, suggested promotion of  interdependence within Empire to increase understanding and reduce anti-racial prejudice  in colonies.

1908

July

20

Ebrahim Ismail and  Suliman Bagas tried and sent to jail as unlicensed "hawkers".

1908

 

 

Gandhi appeared in  Court to defend Sorabji Shapurji; Shapurji sentenced to a month’s hard labor under  PPO, not TIRA.

1908

 

 

Indians wishing to  enter Court assaulted by police.

1908

 

 

Addressing meeting  outside Court, Gandhi asked traders to court arrest by trading without license as protest  against proposed deprivation of educated Indians’ rights.

1908

 

 

Affidavits filed by  Polak and other complaining of Police misbehavior.

1908

 

 

Speaking at mass  meeting, Gandhi exhorted Indian traders not to affix thumb-impressions on their license  applications under TARA.

1908

 

 

Wrote that  "burning of register is postponed for time being but their collection need not  be".

1908

July

21

Bawazeer, Chairman,  Hamidia Islamic Society, arrested for hawking without licences.

1908

July

22

Gandhi appeared in  Court to defend Bawazeer and others. Ratanji Laloo’s appeal dismissed in Supreme  Court. In judgment, Justice Solomon said Asiatics might be admitted under TIRA education  test.

1908

 

 

Four hundred out of  800 Indian hawkers reported to have taken out licences under TARA.

1908

 

 

Imperial Government  announced they had instructed Lord Selborne not to assent to Rhodesian Asiatic legislation  pending consideration by Secretary of State for Colonies.

1908

 

 

In India, Tilak  sentenced to six years’ transportation and fine of Rs.1,000.

1908

July

23

Indian traders all  over South Africa observed hartal as a mark of respect for Bawazeer.

1908

 

 

In Cape Town and  Durban, meetings passed resolutions protesting against sentences on Transvaal satyagrahis.

1908

 

 

In Turkey, Sultan  Abdul Hamid accepted restoration of parliamentary Government.

1908

July

26

Gandhi spoke at mass  meeting, held to felicitate Imam Bawazeer and other satyagrahis on their release.

1908

 

 

More  "voluntary" certificates and hawkers’ licences handed over to BIA for  burning.

1908

July

27

Harilal Gandhi  arrested for hawking without licences.

1908

 

 

Gandhi shown a copy,  by Hosken, of Asiatic Voluntary Registration Bill - "a fraudulent bill" which  equated voluntary registrants with those who had submitted to TARA and did not provide for  the three categories of persons.

1908

July

28

Gandhi appeared in  Court to defend Harilal Gandhi and others.

1908

 

 

Harold Cox asked in  House of Commons whether H.M. Government understood, in Shapurji’s case, test of  desirability to be "one of race or of education."

1908

July

31

In Imperial  Parliament, Colonel Seely said self-governing colonies might exclude whomsoever they liked  but must give those admitted full rights.

1908

 

 

Deputation, introduced  by Sir Charles Bruce and including Sir Muncherjee, Harold Cox, G.K. Gokhale and Ritch,  placed before Lord Crewe the grievances of Indians in Transvaal, Natal and Rhodesia.

1908

August

Before  1

Gandhi wrote, in Indian  Opinion that, "after great deliberation, Tilak’s views on British rule"  should be rejected. It would be "harmful, even useless" to use violence to  "uproot British rule".

1908

 

 

Chinese Association  decided to adopt Indian satyagrahis’ methods. Chairman Quinn and other Chinese began  hawking in Johannesburg.

1908

August

Before  8

In letter to Indian  Opinion, Gandhi explained that "it was part of Harilal’s education to go to  goal for the sake of the country".

1908

 

 

Speaking at  Verceniging, Lord Selborne declared that Imperial Government were bound to protect rights  only of prewar Transvaal Indians.

1908

August

Before  10

At meeting of  Progressives at Witbank, Stend, Editor Pretoria News, referred to TARA as  "unfair legislation" which Government could not enforce. Said Smuts would again  be beaten in controversy by Gandhi.

1908

August

10

Gandhi defended  Harilal Gandhi in Court.

1908

 

 

Addressing meeting  after trial, declared that selling of satyagrahi traders’ goods instead of sending  them to jail was "legalized robbery" and that General Smuts was responsible for  "suicide of the China man and death of young Mr.Naidoo".

1908

 

 

Learnt that  Progressive Party would oppose repeal of TARA.

1908

August

11

Transvaal Leader editorial  described "the harrying of the Asiatics" as "part of a deep state men-like  plan"; "we have sought earnestly for the statesmanship; and we are a little  tired."

1908

 

 

Bill to validate  voluntary registration of Asiatics published in Government Gazette.

1908

August

12

In interview to The  Transvaal Leader, Gandhi explained that proposed bill to validate voluntary  registration violated terms of compromise. It did not repeal TARA, nor did it specifically  exempt voluntary registrants from scope of Act. In required minors and fresh entrants to  register under TARA.

1908

 

 

A Daily Telegraph correspondent wrote, as quoted by Ritch, that "there was no doubt that the Government  intended to repeal Registration Act… In fact, the Registrar of Asiatics read him some  of the more important provisions of the Act…{as} approved of by Mr. Smuts".

1908

August

12-13  (?)

Dawad Mahomed, Parsee  Rustomjee, Anglia, Randeria and other Durban leader entrained for Johannesburg to test  their domiciliary rights in Transvaal.

1908

 August

13

Petition to Transvaal  Legislative Assembly reiterating that proposed Bill violated compromise.

1908

August

14

Gandhi wrote to  General Smuts appealing to him once more to respect compromise, accept his amendment of  TIRA or to meet Indian leaders with a view to a settlement; failing that, certificates  would be burnt following Sunday.

1908

 

 

Wrote to George  Farrar, Leader of Opposition, detailing his objections to validation Bill.

1908

August

16

Addressed mass meeting  in Johannesburg which resolved to oppose TARA; registration certificates burnt.

1908

August

18

Went to Pretoria at  General Smuts’ invitation to meeting attended by Botha and Smuts and members of  Progressive Party-Government offered to alter validation Bill saying specifically that  TARA would not apply to voluntary registrants and minors.

1908

August

19

Gandhi visited Sorabji  Shapurji in prison.

1908

August

20

Meeting held to  consider modified version, proposed by Government, of validation Bill.

1908

 

 

Gandhi wrote to Lane  incorporating following demands of meeting (1) repeal of TARA; (2) entry of educated  Indians under severe education test; (3) release of prisoners and reinstatement of  Shapurji. The "letter of ultimatum" so called.

1908

August

21

In Transvaal  Legislative Assembly, Asiatics’ Voluntary Registration Validation Bill withdrawn on  Select Committee’s recommendation. A new bill, Asiatics’ Registration Amendment  Bill, "which contains [practically] everything we wanted" was read.

1908

 

 

Second reading of ARAB  in Legislative Council and third reading in Legislative Assembly.

1908

 

 

Gandhi said in  interviews to The Transvaal Leader and The Star that new Bill fell short of  the terms proposed by Asiatics, and that passive resistance, "a state of  suffering", would be resumed.

1908

August

22

Third reading of ARAB  in Legislative Council.

1908

August

23

Mass meeting in  Johannesburg in which more registration certificates were burnt, Mir Alam, Gandhi’s  assailant, and other Pathans admitted their error and resolved "to fight to the  end". In his speech, Gandhi deprecated Sir Percy Fitzpatrick’s hint that there  might be racial conflict in Colony.

1908

August

24

Chairman, BIA, wrote  to Colonial Secretary asking Government once more, "on the eve of a fierce  struggle", to give the relief sought by Asiatics.

1908

August

27

Dawad, Mahomed and  other Natal Indians leaders arrested in Anjuman Islam Hall, Pretoria.

1908

August

28

Natal Indian leaders  deported from Pretoria; Gandhi along with others saw them off at railway station.

1908

August

30

Addressed meeting of  British Indians at Hamidia Mosque.

1908

September


2:

Asiatics Registration  Amendment Act published in Government Gazetter.

1908

September


5:

Gandhi commended in Indian  Opinion Col. Seely’s statement in Parliament of July 31, that "those who  have a right to be in the Colonies should be accorded equal rights with the whites and  must be accepted as full-fledged citizens.

1908

 

 

Thambi Naidoo, Nadirsha  Cama and others deposed in affidavits that Transvaal authorities had definitely promised  repeal of Asiatic Registration Act before Indian leaders decided to accept voluntary  registration.

1908

September

7

At BIA (British Indian  Association) meeting, Gandhi asked for financial provision, in view of his suspension of  legal practice, for defraying Association’s office rent, Polak’s expenses and Indian  Opinion deficit. Left for Pretoria for collection of funds.

1908

September

9

Cabled SABIC (South  Africa British Indian Committee) reporting 175 Indians imprisoned to date and hoping Lord  Ampthill and others would endeavor to obtain relief.

1908

 

 

Cabled SABIC (South  Africa British Indian Committee) reporting 175 Indians imprisoned to date and hoping Lord  Ampthill and others would endeavor to obtain relief.

1908

 

 

H.S.L. Polak and A.M.  Andrews made affidavits affirming that authorities had promised repeal of Registration  Act.

1908

 

 

BIA took over  Gandhi’s financial responsibilities, his own needs being looked after by Dr. Hermann  Kallenbach.

1908

September

10

Gandhi spoke at  Johannesburg mass meeting Cachalia assumed BIA chairmanship.

1908

September

Before  12

Gandhi defended Randaree  in Johannesburg Court.

1908

September

13

Presided over meeting to  compose differences between Konkanis and Kanamias.

1908

September

14

Drew up petition to  Secretary of State for Colonies on behalf of Transvaal Pathans and Punjabis, demanding  repeal of Asiatic Act.

1908

 

 

Drew up petition to  Secretary of State for Colonies on behalf of Transvaal Pathans and Punjabis, demanding  repeal of Asiatic Act.

1908

September

15

Gandhi in Pretoria  Court defended Vally Bagas and others charged with trading without grocers’ licences.

1908

September

16

Interviewed by Reuter,  reiterated Indian demand for legal equality.

1908

 

 

Director of Prison  informed BIA that Medical Officer considered prisoners’ diet perfectly healthy and  could be changed only on medical grounds.

1908

September

17

Gandhi wrote to The  Star clarifying position regarding education test and charging General Smuts with  breach of promise to repeal Registration Act.

1908

 

 

Harilal Gandhi  deported from Transvaal.

1908

 

 

BIA informed Director  of Prison that failure to effect diet reform would be interpreted as intention to starve  Indian Community into submission to Act.

1908

September

18

Sanction of Royal  assent to new Asiatic Act reported; also decision of SABIC authorizing Lord Ampthill to  represent grievances of Transvaal Indians to imperial Government.

1908

 

 

BIA protested against  inclusion of animal fat in Indian prisoners’ diet and demanded restoration of ghee.

1908

September

19

Gandhi, along with  Indians and Chinese leaders, met Hosken and communicated terms for settlement.

1908

 

 

Writing in Indians  Opinion, exhorted Natal Indians to oppose Natal Government’s Bill to restrict  municipal authority for granting certain kinds of licences.

1908

 

 

BIA drew attention of  Director of Prisons to ill-treatment of Syed Ali in Boksburg Gaol and demanded  investigation. Lord Ampthill wrote to The Times stating that Validation Act undid  compromise and subjected Indians again to indignities of Registration Act.

1908

 

 

BIA, Calcutta, cabled  Secretary of State for Colonies pleading for Imperial Government’s protection to  Transvaal Indians.

1908

September

21

BIA demanded from  Colonial Secretary relief in Syed Ali’s case; asked for prisoners’ diet reform.

1908

 

 

Harilal Gandhi and  others released from Volksrust Goal, cases against them being withdrawn.

1908

 

 

New Asiatic Act came  into force.

1908

September

22

Natal Supreme Court  ruled immigrants’ children subject to penalties under Immigrants’ Restriction  Act, 1907.

1908

 

 

Harilal Gandhi arrived  in Johannesburg. Regulations under new Act published.

1908

September

23

Smuts rejected Indian  terms for settlement. Director of Prisons denied ill-treatment of Syed Ali.

1908

September

24

BIA forwarded Syed  Ali’s affidavit to Director of Prisons. Colonial Secretary expressed inability to  interfere with diet regulations in Transvaal gaols.

1908

September

25

BIA wrote to Director  of Prison demanding uniform diet scale for Indian prisoners and substitution of ghee for  fat.

1908

September

26

Gandhi arrived in  Durban, advised Natal leaders to dissuade Indians entering Natal from giving  thumb-impressions; commended Natal’s part in Transvaal campaign.

1908

September

28

BIA demanded from  Colonial Secretary information about diet scale for Indian prisoners.

1908

 

 

Polak repudiated Pretoria  News charge that British Indians had not fulfilled their part of compromise.

1908

September

30

Gandhi, in interview  to The Natal Mercury at Durban, stressed that Indians did not want unrestricted  immigration of trade, but objected to legislative discrimination.

1908

 

 

BIA cabled SABIC  regarding Indian arrests and sentences under old Act and demanded its repeal.

1908

October

2

Gandhi repaired draft  memorandum for Johannesburg clergymen about ill-treatment of Indians.

1908

 

 

NIC1 wired Colonial  Secretary about Immigration officer’s refusal to let Indian passengers disembark at  Durban; cabled SABIC about Komatipoort arrest of Indians.

1908

October

3

Gandhi urged Natal  Indians to agitate for ending indenture system.

1908

October

5

Cabled SABIC about  herding of 80 Indians in small filthy room at Komatipoort.

1908

October

6

Left Durban for  Transvaal.

1908

October

7

Arrested at Volksrust,  along with fifteen other Indians, for entering Transvaal without registration  certificates.

1908

October

8

Produced before  Magistrate, refused to avail of bail, remanded for a week.

1908

October

9

BIA wrote to Colonial  Secretary, Pretoria, demanding public inquiry into alleged ill-treatment of Indians  returning from Delagoa Bay.

1908

October

11

Drew up, in Volksrut  Goal, petition to Resident Magistrate about deficient diet-scale.

1908

October

12

Batch of Indians  including minors deported from Barberton to Portuguese territory.

1908

 

 

National Convention  met at Durban.

1908

October

13

Gandhi, in detention,  sent message exhorting Indians to face gaol-going for sake of motherland.

1908

October

14

Defended Dawjee Amod  and others before De Villiers, Assistant Resident Magistrate.

1908

 

 

Sent Message to Indian  youth before trial.

1908

 

 

Sentenced to two  months’ imprisonment with hard labor.

1908

 

 

On way to prison, sent  message to Indians to keep "absolutely firm to the end".

1908

 

 

NIC meeting in Durban  resolved to ask Government to withdraw educational order.

1908

October

15

Gandhi reported at  road-making work on Market Square. Reuter’s Volkrust correspondent wrote, "Mr.  Gandhi expressed himself as being the happiest man in the Transvaal."

1908

October

16

BIA, NIC in cable to  Ritch resented Gandhi being made to work on road-making.

1908

 

 

London meeting,  presided over by Sir Muncherjee Bhownaggree and addressed, among others, by Lajpat Rai and  Bipin Chandra Pal, protested against Gandhi’s imprisonment.

1908

 

 

Kasturba thanked  sympathizers who congratulated her on Gandhi’s incarceration.

1908

October

Before 17:

Sir Pherozeshah Mehta  cabled Lord Ampthill: "Public feeling in India was keenly hurt over maltreatment of  Indians in South Africa" and invoked the British Government’s intervention to  save Indians suffering from such out range and tyranny.

1908

October

17

Ritch forwarded to  Colonial Office copies of BIA, NIC cables.

1908

October

18

Mass meeting held at  Hamidia Mosque, Fordsburg.

1908

October

21

In reply to question  in House of Lords by Ampthill, Earl of Crewe stated he had wired Transvaal for facts about  Gandhi’s arrest and added that Gandhi had been participating in "passive  resistance campaign, and paid the penalty".

1908

October

22

Viceroy of India  conveyed to Indian Office India resentment of treatment of passive resisters in Transvaal,  recommended considerateness and urged concession of India demand for entry of six educated  India annually.

1908

October

25

Gandhi removed from  Volksrust Goal to Johannesburg in convict’s garb to testify in Daya Lala’s case;  refused offer of cab, and marched on foot from Park Station to Fort, carrying prison  knapsack.

1908

October

27

Escorted from  Johannesburg Goal to High Court.

1908

November

28

Muslims telegraphed  protest against General Botha’s statement that many Mahomedans had declined to join  passive resistance movement.

1908

 

 

BIA wrote to  Attorney-General, Pretoria, complaining of harsh treatment meted to Indian prisoners in  Johannesburg Gaol.

1908

November

29

Gandhi message from  Volksrust Gaol, asking Indians to remain steadfast in their pledge, read out at  Johannesburg mass meeting.

1908

 

 

BIA meeting asked  Government to grant Indian demand, failing which struggle would continue.

1908

November

30

Gokhale, in address to  New Reform Club, London, referred to Indians’ sufferings in South Africa as one of  the causes for loss of faith in British rule.

1908

 

 

Col. Seely stated in  Commons that, according to his information, Gandhi had never performed hard labor on  public streets.

1908

December

1

BIA cabled SABIC.  "Col. Seely is absolutely misinformed as to Gandhi’s treatment. Forwarding  affidavits."

1908

 

 

Volksrust Magistrate  discharged Indian accused of refusing identification, accepting Polak’s defense that  section 9 of Registration Act and regulations relating thereto came into operation only  then and could not apply to registered Indians arrested earlier.

1908

 

 

Annie Besent sent  Gandhi and colleagues, "a message of hope, of consolation, of friendship".

1908

December

10

Lord Selborne conveyed  to General Botha Imperial Government’s view that Transvaal Government should extend  considerate treatment to Indians with prewar rights, admit limited number of educated  Indians and repeat Act 2 of 1907 and Act 36 of 1908, and at a later date enact strict  legislation of immigration.

1908

December

12

Gandhi released from  Volksrust Goal. Interviewed at Volksrust, on way to Johannesburg, about ill-treatment in  prison Spoke at Johannesburg reception.

1908

December

13

HIS (Hamidia  Islamic Society) held meeting to honor Gandhi and Imam Abdool Kadir Bawazeer.

1908

December

14

Gandhi addressed  meeting of Tamil community at Johannesburg; later, entertained at dinner by Tamil Benefit  Society.

1908

December

15

General Botha  communicated to Lord Selborne Government’s inability to revise policy.

1908

 

 

Transvaal Colonial  Secretary, in reply to Transvaal Governor, denied promise of repeal of Act 2 of 1907.

1908

December

18

Gandhi defended Naidoo  and other Indian pickets at Johannesburg.

1908

 

 

Spoke at meeting of  representative European of Transvaal.

1908

December

21

Ritch forwarded to  Colonial Office copies of affidavits regarding Gandhi’s hard labor in prison.

1908

December

23

Gandhi presented  Nelson, Volksrust Prison Officer, Tolstoy’s Kingdom of God is Within you.

1908

December

24

Appeal in Transvaal  Asiatic Test Case dismissed in Pretoria Court for lack of jurisdiction.

1908

December

26

Gandhi reached Durban;  given rousing reception; left for Phoenix to meet Kasturba who was ill.

1908

December

28

In letter to Maganlal  Gandhi, stressed need to strive for spiritual growth, which would ensure advance of  religion and country.

1908

December

30

Harilal Gandhi and  Randeria arrested at Johannesburg as prohibited immigrants and remanded till January 5.

1908

 

 

Pretoria News pleaded  for conceding Indian demands, admitting the "persistency and unfailing good temper  with which Mr.Gandhi and his compatriots are pursuing their campaign for what they  consider to be their rights".

1908

 

 

Eight Madrasis,  entitled to settle in Transvaal but refused registration, deported for entering Transvaal.

1908

 

 

Thambai Naidoo and  others sentenced to fine of £ 50 or jail with hard labor for three months. Polak, who  defended, filed appeal. Natal Government reissued earlier notice banning higher education  for Indian children about 14 years. Question raised in Commons.

1908

December

Before  31

Five more men arrested  and dealt with under Act 36 of 1908. Amod Mia and his brother fined £ 25, for trading  without licences, in Rustenburg.

1908

 

 

Indian National  Congress, in resolution on South Africa, considered harsh, humiliating and cruel treatment  of British Indians as injurious to British Empire.