South Africa - Let the healing beginOne of the founding fathers of the Black Consciousness Movement in South Africa, Dr Saths Cooper, made an earnest call for Africans and Indians to reach out to each other.
One of the founding fathers of the Black Consciousness Movement in South Africa, Dr Saths Cooper, made an earnest call for Africans and Indians to reach out to each other.
Speaking on the 100th anniversary of the establishment of Phoenix Settlement by Mahatma Gandhi in Durban, Cooper said that when one considers that Durban is home to the largest Indian population outside of India – that the Zulu is “native” to this area – and neither has crossed the bridge of passive aggression – it says something.
Cooper referred to incidents in this country’s history that involved violence between the two communities and said “we have people fuelling that aggression. I must appeal to all of you at Phoenix Settlement to bring this passive aggression, this rage of reaction to resolution”.
He referred to some African leaders who in the past had said things about Indians and told those at the gathering that some of them are fanning that hostility.
‘we have people fuelling that aggression’
“While some academics and members of the intelligentsia among Africans have crossed this bridge, there are many more who are still part of this passive aggression.
“I believe that right here, at Phoenix Settlement, steps must be taken to wipe out this hostility. It will not help either Indians or Africans to let the situation remain as it is now. It is a place like the Phoenix Settlement which can bring the two groups together,” said Cooper.
He said Phoenix Settlement was once regarded as an oasis of peace, but is now surrounded by a sea of hostility.
“Now it must grow from an oasis to a sea of peace and engulf all people, where Africans and Indians will no longer have passive aggression against each other,” said Cooper.
He said that many Zulus still regarded themselves as the indigenous people of this area and felt that Indians were interlopers.
He said that for a real celebration, all people should be taking part, especially the Phoenix Settlement and those living in the neighbourhood.
Cooper pointed out that the people who lived in the neighbourhood were not present at Sunday’s gathering.
He said that more should be done to improve their quality of life and give them a stake in Phoenix Settlement. Independent Online