Lead: Mahatma Gandhi first built his reputation as it led the movement to secure rights for Indian workers in sugar plantations in early twentieth century South Africa.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The cash crop of Natal province on the eastern coast of South Africa was sugar cane. Native Africans resisted working on the plantations and therefore thousands of emigrant workers were brought from India. Some went home after their contract expired, others stayed. In the 1880s torn between their need for Indian labor and fear of the growth of the Indian population, white South Africans of both Dutch and English heritage began to restrict Indian rights, this despite the stated British policy which accorded legal equality to all subjects of the Empire regardless of race or place of origin.


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