The Gandhi-King Community

For Global Peace with Social Justice in a Sustainable Environment

Prof. Dr. Yogendra Yadav

Gandhian Scholar

Gandhi Research Foundation Jalgaon, Maharashtra, India

Contact No. – 09404955338, 09415777229;


Dada Abdulla and Mahatma Gandhi

Dada Abdulla was business man in South Africa during the last decade of nineteenth century. He was domicile of Porbandar. One of his business partners had done some fraud in dealings. So he put a case in court. But all dealing had done in Gujrati language. So the English advocate did not understand to correspondences. So they wanted a helper who have knowledge of Gujrati and have some knowledge of law also. Mahatma Gandhi was selected by his Indian partner. Mahatma Gandhi wrote, “During the month of June in the year 1894 the Natal Government introduced a Bill called the Franchise Law Amendment Bill in the Legislative Assembly. It was recognized that it threatened the very existence of the Indians in the Colony. Meetings were held on the premises of Messrs Dada Abdulla & Co. to consider what steps should be taken to prevent the Bill from passing. Petitions were sent to both the Houses, Members of which were interviewed by a representative who went from Durban to P.M. Burg. The Bill, however, passed both the Houses. The effect of the agitation was that all the Indians recognized the absolute necessity of establishing a permanent institution that would cope with the legislative activity, of a retrograde character, of the first Responsible Government of the Colony with regard to the Indians, and protect Indian interests.”1

Mahatma Gandhi wrote, “The intimidation was alleged to have happened on the 12th August. The witness is said to have been sent for by Mahomed Camroodeen to Moosa’s office that day, where there were present M. C. Camroodeen, Dada Abdulla, Dowd Mahomed and two or three strangers. Here, it is alleged, he was asked certain questions about the case. And this the magistrate has connected with the Congress, in spite of the witness’s evidence to the effect that the Congress meetings are not held in Moosa’s office, that there was no circular inviting him to the meeting at Moosa’s office, that he did not attend the meetings convened in terms of the circulars, that the Congress meetings are held in the Congress Hall, that the circulars had nothing to do with the case, and that he was not present at the actual Congress meetings.”2 Mahatma Gandhi wrote, “The grievances of the Indians in South Africa are twofold, i.e., those that are due to popular ill-feeling against the Indians and, secondly, the legal disabilities placed upon them. To deal with the first, the Indian is the most hated being in South Africa. Every Indian without distinction is contemptuously called a “coolie”. He is also called “Sammy”,“ Ramasammy”, anything but “Indian”. Indian schoolmasters are called “coolie schoolmasters”. Indian storekeepers are “coolie storekeepers”. Two Indian gentlemen from Bombay, Messrs Dada Abdulla and Moosa Hajee Cassim have their own steamers. Their steamers are “coolie ships.”3

Mahatma Gandhi wrote, “On the 18th of December came the two ill-fated steamers the Courland and the Naderi, the first named being owned by a local Indian firm and the second named by the Persian Steam Navigation Company of Bombay, which was under the agency of the owners of the Courland. In dealing with the events after the arrival of the two ships, your Memorialists disclaim any intention to ventilate a personal grievance. The question, as affecting Messrs Dada Abdulla & Company personally as owners and agents of the ships, your Memorialists would endeavour to avoid, except when it is necessary to refer to it in the interests of the Indian community as a whole. The bills of health received by the steamers at Bombay, at the time of departure, stated that there was a mild form of bubonic plague raging in certain districts of Bombay; the steamers, therefore, entered the bay flying the quarantine flag, although there was an absolutely clean bill of health during the voyage.”4

Mahatma Gandhi wrote, “In the beginning of 1897, a cablegram was published in the papers from the Chief Justice of Bengal, in his capacity as the Chairman of the Indian Famine Charitable Relief Committee, appealing for help to the fund. As soon as the cablegram became known, it was realized that a special effort on the part of the Indians in Natal was necessary. A meeting of the Colonial-born Indians was held in St. Aidan’s school room, and there all present promised not only them to give what they could but to work also in getting in donations. A meeting of the merchants took place on Mr. Peerun’s premises and a fund was started; but that did not seem to satisfy the gentlemen present and they thought that something more was necessary. Another meeting, therefore, took place on the premises of Messrs. Dada Abdulla & Co., and almost all those who had subscribed on Mr. Peerun’s premises doubled or trebled the amounts first put by them, Mr. Abdul Karim rising from £35 to £101, Mr. Abdul Kadir from £36 to £102, Mr. Dawad Mahomed putting down £75. A strong committee representing all classes and creeds amongst the Indian community was formed. Circulars in English, Gujarati, Tamil, Urdu and Hindi were issued and widely distributed. Workers went out all over the Colony collecting subscriptions from high and low and within a fortnight a sum of £1,150 was collected, the expenses for collection amounting to less than £20.”5

Mahatma Gandhi wrote, “The N.I.E. Association under the superintendence of Dr. and Mrs. Booth gave two benefit performances in the Congress Hall. An improvised stage was erected and the members with some non-members played ‘Ali Baba and Forty Thieves’, the hall being packed full on both the occasions and the proceeds amounting to £40. Capt. Young-husband, the special correspondent of the London Times, who was for some time on duty in India, paid a visit to Durban. The Indian side of the Indian question in South Africa was placed before him and all the documents were supplied to him. Messrs Dada Abdulla & Co., entertained him to dinner at the Congress Hall and invited the leading Indians. He has devoted a special chapter to our question in his book on South Africa and, while favouring the attitude taken up by the Europeans, places the Indian side of the question pretty fairly.”6 Mahatma Gandhi wrote, “Let Mr. Polak please keep his eye on the finances of the office. Dada Abdulla & Co. should be approached and asked to pay a portion of the debt they owe. Mr. McIntyre, I hope, is looking after the business part of the office. What about Miss Schlesin’s articles? I am entitled to receive one visitor during a month. Let Mr. Polak come. He has not yet sent the books I have asked for.”7

Mahatma Gandhi wrote, “Never try, out of a false sense of shame, to conceal your ignorance in any matter. When I first went to South Africa, I did not know what a P. Note meant. I managed to conceal my ignorance for a few days; but, as days passed, I became more nervous and saw that unless I knew what a P. Note meant, I would not understand Dada Abdulla Sheth’s case. And so I declared my ignorance without losing any more time. When I knew that a P. Note meant a Promissory Note, I burst out laughing, not at my ignorance but at my false sense of shame, for I could not find the phrase P. Note even in a dictionary. Hence the royal road for us if there is anything which we do not know, is immediately to consult someone and be instructed. It will do no harm if people think us foolish, but it will do real harm if, in our ignorance, we commit an error.”8

Mahatma Gandhi wrote, “I left India for South Africa in April, 1893. I had no idea of the previous history of the Indian emigrants. I went there on a purely professional visit. A well-known firm of Porbandar Memans then carried on trade in Durban under the name and style of Dada Abdulla. An equally well-known and rival firm traded at Pretoria under the designation of Taib Haji Khanmamad. Unfortunately, an important law-suit was pending between the rivals. A partner of the firm of Dada Abdulla who was living in Porbandar thought that it would help their case if they engaged me and sent me to South Africa. I had been just called to the bar and was quite a novice in the profession, but he had no fear of my mishandling their case, as he did not want me to conduct the case in the court but only to instruct the able South African lawyers they had retained. I was fond of novel experiences. I loved to see fresh fields and pastures new. It was disgusting to have to give commission to those who brought me work. The atmosphere of intrigue in Saurashtra was choking to me. The engagement was only for one year. I did not see any objection to my accepting it. I had nothing to lose as Messrs Dada Abdulla expressed their willingness to pay my travelling expenses as well as the expenses that would be incurred in South Africa and a fee of one hundred and five pounds. This arrangement had been made through my elder brother, now deceased, who was as father to me. For me his will was a command. He liked the idea of my going to South Africa. So I reached Durban in May 1893. Being a barrister-at-law, I was well dressed according to my lights and landed at Durban with a due sense of my importance. But I was soon disillusioned. The partner of Dada Abdulla who had engaged me had given me an account of what things were like in Natal. But what I saw there with my own eyes absolutely belied his misleading picture. My informant was, however, not to blame. He was a frank, simple man, ignorant of the real state of affairs. He had no idea of the hardships to which Indians were subjected in Natal. Conditions which implied grave insult had not appeared to him in that light. I observed on the very first day that the Europeans meted out most insulting treatment to Indians. I will not describe my bitter experience in the courts within a fortnight of my arrival, the hardships I encountered on railway trains, the thrashings I received on the way and the difficulty in and the practical impossibility of securing accommodation in hotels. Suffice it to say that all these experiences sank in me. I had gone there only for a single case prompted by self-interest and curiosity. During the first year, therefore, I was merely the witness and the victim of these wrongs. I then awoke to a sense of my duty. I saw that from the standpoint of self-interest South Africa was no good to me. Not only did I not desire but I had a positive aversion to earning money or sojourning in a country where I was insulted. I was on the horns of a dilemma. Two courses were open to me. I might either free myself from the contract with Messrs Dada Abdulla on the ground that circumstances had come to my knowledge which had not been disclosed to me before, and run back to India. Or I might bear all hardships and fulfil my engagement. I was pushed out of the train by a police constable at Maritzburg, and the train having left, was sitting in the waiting room, shivering in the bitter cold. I did not know where my luggage was, nor did I dare to inquire of anybody, lest I might be insulted and assaulted once again. Sleep was out of the question. Doubt took possession of my mind. Late at night, I came to the conclusion that to run back to India would be cowardly. I must accomplish what I had undertaken. I must reach Pretoria, without minding insults and even assaults. Pretoria was my goal. The case was being fought out there. I made up my mind to take some steps, if that was possible, side by side with my work. This resolution somewhat pacified and strengthened me but I did not get any sleep. Next morning I wired to the firm of Dada Abdulla and to the General Manager of the Railway. Replies were received from Dada Abdulla and his partner Sheth Abdulla Haji Adam Jhaveri who was then in Natal took strong measures. They wired to their Indian agents in various places to look after me. They likewise saw the General Manager. The Indian traders of Maritzburg came to see me in response to the telegram received by the local agent. They tried to comfort me and told me that all of them had had the same bitter experiences as me, but they did not mind such things, being habituated to them. Trade and sensitiveness could ill go together. They had therefore made it a principle to pocket insults as they might pocket cash. They told me how Indians could not enter the railway station by the main gate and how difficult it was for them to purchase tickets. I left for Pretoria the same night. The Almighty Searcher of all hearts put my determination to a full test. I suffered further insults and received more beatings on my way to Pretoria. But all this only confirmed me in my determination. Thus in 1893, I obtained full experience of the condition of Indians in South Africa. But I did nothing beyond occasionally talking with the Indians in Pretoria on the subject. It appeared to me that to look after the firm’s case and to take up the question of the Indian grievances in South Africa at the same time was impossible. I could see that trying to do both would be to ruin both. 1894 was thus already upon us. I returned to Durban and prepared to return to India. At the farewell entertainment held by Dada Abdulla, someone put a copy of the Natal Mercury in my hands. I read it and found that the detailed report of the proceedings of the Natal Legislative Assembly contained a few lines under the caption ‘Indian Franchise’. The local Government was about to introduce a Bill to disfranchise Indians, which could only be the beginning of the end of what little rights they were then enjoying. The speeches made at the time left no doubt about the intention of the Government. I read the report to the traders and others present and explained the situation to them as best I could. I was not in possession of all the facts. I suggested that the Indians should strenuously resist this attack on their rights. They agreed but declared their inability to fight the battle themselves and urged me to stay on. I consented to stay a month or so longer by which time the struggle would be fought out. The same night I drew up a petition to be presented to the Legislative Assembly. A telegram was sent to the Government requesting a delay of proceedings. A committee was appointed at once with Sheth Haji Adam as chairman and the telegram was sent in his name. The further reading of the Bill was postponed for two days. That petition was the first ever sent by the Indians to a South African legislature. It did create an impression although it failed to defeat the Bill, the later history of which I have narrated in Chapter IV. This was the South African Indians’ first experience of such agitation, and a new thrill of enthusiasm passed through the community. Meetings were held every day and more and more persons attended them. The requisite funds were over-subscribed. Many volunteers helped in preparing copies, securing signatures and similar work without any remuneration. There were others who both worked and subscribed to the funds. The descendants of the ex-indentured Indians joined the movement with alacrity. They knew English and wrote a fine hand. They did copying and other work ungrudgingly day and night. Within a month a memorial with ten thousand signatures was forwarded to Lord Ripon, and the immediate task I had set before myself was done.”9

Mahatma Gandhi wrote, “I concluded that some movement hostile to the Indians must be on foot. I therefore left my work at Calcutta incomplete and went to Bombay, where I took the first available steamer with my family. s. s. Courland had been purchased by Messrs Dada Abdulla and represented one more enterprise of that very adventurous firm, namely, to run a steamer between Porbandar and Natal. The Naderi, a steamer of the Persian Steam Navigation Company, left Bombay for Natal immediately after the total number of passengers on the two steamers was about 800.”10 Mahatma Gandhi wrote, “The Government of Natal was at its wit’s end. How long an unjust restriction could be enforced? Twenty-three days had passed already. Dada Abdulla did not flinch, nor did the passengers. The quarantine was thus lifted after 23 days and the steamers were permitted to steam into harbour. Meanwhile, Mr. Escombe pacified the excited Committee of Europeans. At a meeting which was held, he said, “The Europeans in Durban have displayed commendable unity and courage. You have done all you could. Government has also helped you. The Indians were detained for 23 days. You have given sufficient expression to your sentiments and your public spirit. That will make a profound impression on the Imperial Government. Your action has made the path of the Government of Natal easy. If you now prevent by force a single Indian passenger from landing, you will injure your own interests and place the Government in an awkward position. And even then you will not succeed in preventing the Indians from landing. The passengers are not at all to blame. There are women and children among them. When they embarked at Bombay, they had no idea of your feelings. I would therefore advise you to disperse and not to obstruct these people. I assure you, however, that the Government of Natal will obtain from the Legislative Council the requisite powers in order to restrict future immigration.” This is only a summary of Mr. Escombe’s speech. His audience was disappointed, but he had great influence over the Europeans of Natal. They dispersed in consequence of his advice and both the steamers came into port.”11

Mahatma Gandhi wrote, “A message reached me from Mr. Escombe advising me not to land with the others but to wait until evening when he would send the Superintendent of Water Police to escort me home, and adding that my family was free to land at any time. This was not an order according to law, but was by way of advice to the captain not to allow me to land and of warning to me of the danger that was hanging over my head. The captain had not the power forcibly to prevent me from landing. But I came to the conclusion that I should accept this suggestion. I sent my family to the residence of my old friend and client, Parsi Rustomji, instead of to my own place, and told them that I would meet them there. When the passengers had disembarked, Mr. Laughton, counsel for Dada Abdulla and a personal friend of mine, came up and met me. He asked me why I had not yet landed. I told him about Mr. Escombe’s letter. He said that he did not like the idea of my waiting till evening and then entering the city like a thief or offender, that if I was not afraid, I should accompany him there and then, and that we would walk to the town as if nothing had happened. I replied: “I do not think I am afraid. It is only a question of propriety whether or not I should accept Mr. Escombe’s suggestion. And we should also consider whether the captain of the steamer is responsible in the matter.” Mr. Laughton smiled and said: “What has Mr. Escombe done for you that you must needs heed his suggestion? And what reason has you to believe that he is actuated by kindliness and not by some ulterior motive? I know more than you what has happened in the town, and what hand Mr. Escombe had in the happenings there.” I interrupted him with a shaking of the head. “We might assume,” continued Mr. Laughton, “that he is actuated by the best of motives. But I am positively of opinion that if you comply with his suggestion, you will stand humiliated. I would, therefore, advise you, if you are ready, to accompany me just now. The captain is our man, and his responsibility is our responsibility. He is accountable only to Dada Abdulla. I know what they will think of the matter, as they have displayed great courage in the present struggle.” I replied: “Let us then go. I have no preparations to make. All I have to do is to put on my turban. Let us inform the captain and start”. We took the captain’s leave.”12 

Mahatma Gandhi wrote, “Thus though the Indian community had to suffer hardship and though Dada Abdulla incurred big losses, the ultimate result, I believe, was entirely beneficial. The community had an opportunity of measuring their own strength and their self-confidence increased in consequence. I had a most valuable experience, and whenever I think of that day, I feel that God was preparing me for the practice of Satyagraha.”13 Mahatma Gandhi wrote, “My brother introduced me to the late Sheth Abdul Karim Jhaveri, a partner of Dada Abdulla & Co., the firm in question. ‘It won’t be a difficult job,’ the Sheth assured me. ‘We have big Europeans as our friends, whose acquaintance you will make. You can be useful to us in our shop. Much of our correspondence is in English and you can help us with that too. You will, of course, be our guest and hence will have no expense whatever.’ ‘How long do you require my services?’ I asked. ‘And what will be the payment?’ Not more than a year. ‘We will pay you a first class return fare and a sum of £105, all found.’ This was hardly going there as a barrister. It was going as a servant of the firm. But I wanted somehow to leave India. There was also the tempting opportunity of seeing a new country and of having new experience. Also I could send £105 to my brother and help in the expenses of the household. I closed with the offer without any haggling and got ready to go to South Africa.  When starting for South Africa I did not feel the wrench of separation which I had experienced when leaving for England. My mother was now no more. I had gained some knowledge of the world and of travel abroad, and going from Rajkot to Bombay was no unusual affair. This time I only felt the pang of parting with my wife. Another baby had been born to us since my return from England. Our love could not yet be called free from lust, but it was getting gradually purer. Since my return from Europe, we had lived very little together; and as I had now become her teacher, however indifferent, and helped her to make certain reforms, we both felt the necessity of being more together, if only to continue the reforms. But the attraction of South Africa rendered the separation bearable. ‘We are bound to meet again in a year,’ I said to her, by way of consolation, and left Rajkot for Bombay. Here I was to get my passage through the agent of Dada Abdulla and Company. But no berth was available on the boat, and if I did not sail then, I should be stranded in Bombay. ‘We have tried our best,’ said the agent, ‘to secure a first-class passage, but in vain unless you are prepared to go on deck. Your meals can be arranged for in the saloon.’ Those were the days of my first-class travelling, and how could a barrister travel as a deck passenger? So I refused the offer. I suspected the agent’s veracity, for I could not believe that a first-class passage was not available. With the agent’s consent I set about securing it myself. I went on board the boat and met the chief officer. He said to me quite frankly, ‘We do not usually have such a rush. But as the Governor-General of Mozambique is going by this boat, all the berths are engaged.”14 

Mahatma Gandhi wrote, “After dark we reached Standerton and I heaved a sigh of relief on seeing some Indian faces. As soon as I got down, these friends said: ‘We are here to receive you and take you to Isa Sheth’s shop. We have had a telegram from Dada Abdulla.’ I was very glad, and we went to Sheth Isa Haji Sumar’s shop. The Sheth and his clerks gathered round me. I told them all that I had gone through. They were very sorry to hear it and comforted me by relating to me their own bitter experiences.”15 Mahatma Gandhi wrote, “I next went to see the friend to whom Dada Abdulla had given me a note. From him I learnt more about the hardships of Indians in South Africa. He insisted that I should stay with him. I thanked him, and told him I had already made arrangements. He urged me not to hesitate to ask for anything I needed.”16 Mahatma Gandhi wrote, “Sheth Tyeb Haji Khan Muhammad had in Pretoria the same position as was enjoyed by Dada Abdulla in Natal. There was no public movement that could be conducted without him. I made his acquaintance the very first week and told him of my intention to get in touch with every Indian in Pretoria. I expressed a desire to study the conditions of Indians there, and asked for his help in my work, which he gladly agreed to give.”17 

Mahatma Gandhi wrote, “I approached Tyeb Sheth and requested and advised him to go to arbitration. I recommended him to see his counsel. I suggested to him that if an arbitrator commanding the confidence of both par-ties could be appointed, the case would be quickly finished. The lawyers’ fees were so rapidly mounting up that they were enough to devour all the resources of the clients, big merchants as they were. The case occupied so much of their attention that they had no time left for any other work. In the mean-time mutual ill-will was steadily increasing. I became disgusted with the profession. As lawyers the counsel on both sides were bound to rake up points of law in support of their own clients. I also saw for the first time that the winning party never recovers all the costs incurred. Under the Court Fees Regulation there was a fixed scale of costs to be allowed as between party and party, the actual costs as between attorney and client being very much higher. This was more than I could bear. I felt that my duty was to befriend both parties and bring them together. I strained every nerve to bring about a compromise. At last Tyeb Sheth agreed. An arbitrator was appointed, the case was argued before him, and Dada Abdulla won.  But that did not satisfy me. If my client were to seek immediate execution of the award, it would be impossible for Tyeb Sheth to meet the whole of the awarded amount, and there was an unwritten law among the Porbandar Memans living in South Africa that death should be preferred to bankruptcy. It was impossible for Tyeb Sheth to pay down the whole sum of about £ 37,000 and costs. He meant to pay not a pie less than the amount, and he did not want to be declared bankrupt. There was only one way, Dada Abdulla should allow him to pay in moderate installments. He was equal to the occasion, and granted Tyeb Sheth installments spread over a very long period. It was more difficult for me to secure this concession of payment by installments than to get the parties to agree to arbitration. But both were happy over the result, and both rose in the public estimation. My joy was boundless. I had learnt the true practice of law. I had learnt to find out the better side of human nature and to enter men’s hearts. I realized that the true function of a lawyer was to unite parties raven asunder. The lesson was so indelibly burnt into me that a large part of my time during the twenty years of my practice as a lawyer was occupied in bringing about private compromises of hundreds of cases. I have not lost anything thereby even money, certainly not my soul.”18

Mahatma Gandhi wrote, “Many of the local merchants were of course enrolled, note worthy among them being Sheths Dawud Muhammad, Muhammad Kasam Kamruddin, Adamji Miyakhan, A. Kolandavellu Pillai, C. Lachhiram, Rangasami Padiachi, and Amad Jiva. Parsi Rustomji was of course there. From among the clerks were Messrs Manekji, Joshi, Narsinhram and others, employees of Dada Abdulla and Co. and other big firms. They were all agreeably surprised to find themselves taking a share in public work. To be invited thus to take part was a new experience in their lives. In face of the calamity that had overtaken the community, all distinctions such as high and low, small and great, master and servant, Hindus, Mussalmans, Parsis, Christians, Gujaratis, Madrasis, Sindhis, etc., were forgotten. All were alike the children and servants of the motherland.”19 Mahatma Gandhi wrote, “The upshot of this discussion was that about twenty merchants gave me retainers for one year for their legal work. Besides this, Dada Abdulla purchased me the necessary furniture in lieu of a purse he had intended to give me on my departure.”20

Mahatma Gandhi wrote, “I applied for admission as an advocate of the Supreme Court. I held a certificate of admission from the Bombay High Court. The English certificate I had to deposit with the Bombay High Court when I was enrolled there. It was necessary to attach two certificates of character to the application for admission, and thinking that these would carry more weight if given by Europeans, I secured them from two well-known European merchants whom I knew through Sheth Abdulla. The application had to be presented through a member of the bar, and as a rule the Attorney General presented such applications without fees. Mr. Escombe, who, as we have seen, was legal adviser to Messrs Dada Abdulla & Co., was the Attorney General. I called on him, and he willingly consented to present my application. The Law Society now sprang a surprise on me by serving me with a notice opposing my application for admission. One of their objections was that the original English certificate was not attached to my application. But the main objection was that, when the regulations regarding admission of advocates were made, the possibility of a coloured man applying could not have been contemplated. Natal owed its growth to European enterprise, and therefore in the bar. If coloured people were admitted, they might gradually outnumber the Europeans, and the bulwark of their protection would break down. The Law Society had engaged a distinguished lawyer to support their opposition. As he too was connected with Dada Abdulla & Co., he sent me word through Sheth Abdulla to go and see him. He talked with me quite frankly, and inquired about my antecedents, which I gave.”21

Mahatma Gandhi wrote, “So I addressed a letter to the Press, in which I explained why I had to leave Calcutta so abruptly, and set off for Bombay. Before starting I wired to the Bombay agent of Dada Abdulla & Co. to arrange for my passage by the first possible boat to South Africa. Dada Abdulla had just then purchased the steamship Courland and insisted on my travelling on that boat, offering to take me and my family free of charge. I gratefully accepted the offer, and in the beginning of December set sail a second time for South Africa, now with my wife and two sons and the only son of my widowed sister. Another steamship Naderi also sailed for Durban at the same time. The agents of the Company were Dada Abdulla & Co. The total number of passengers these boats carried must have been about eight hundred, half of whom were bound for the Transvaal.”22 Mahatma Gandhi wrote, “The white residents of Durban had been agitating for our repatriation, and the agitation was one of the reasons for the order. Dada Abdulla and Co. kept us regularly informed about the daily happenings in the town. The whites were holding monster meetings every day. They were addressing all kinds of threats and at times offering even inducements to Dada Abdulla and Co. They were ready to indemnify the Company if both the ships should be sent back. But Dada Abdulla and Co. was not the people to be afraid of threats. Sheth Abdul Karim Haji Adam was then the managing partner of the firm. He was determined to moor the ships at the wharf and disembark the passengers at any cost. He was daily sending me detailed letters. Fortunately the late Sjt. Mansukhlal Naazar was then in Durban having gone there to meet me. He was capable and fearless and guided the Indian community. Their advocate Mr. Laughton was an equally fearless man. He condemned the conduct of the white residents and advised the community, not merely as their paid advocate, but also as their true friend.”23 Mahatma Gandhi wrote, “I was conscious of my responsibility. I knew that Dada Abdulla and Co. had incurred grave risks on my account, the lives of the passengers were in danger, and by bringing my family with me I had put them likewise in jeopardy.”24 So we can say that Dada Abdulla was first supporter of Mahatma Gandhi in South Africa Satyagraha movement. He taught and supported him like his father.


  1. VOL.1: 1884 - 30 NOVEMBER, 1896, Page- 261
  2. VOL.1: 1884 - 30 NOVEMBER, 1896, Page-  279
  3. VOL.1: 1884 - 30 NOVEMBER, 1896, Page-  429
  4. VOL. 2: 13 JANUARY, 1897- 11 JULY, 1902, Page-  29 
  5. VOL 2: 13 JANUARY, 1897 - 11 JULY, 1902, Page-  306
  6. VOL 2: 13 JANUARY, 1897 - 11 JULY, 1902, Page-  307  
  7. VOL. 9: 23 JULY, 1908 - 4 AUGUST, 1909, Page-  320 
  8. LETTER TO RAMDAS GANDHI, June 1, 1919
  9. VOL. 34: 11 FEBRUARY, 1926 - 1 APRIL, 1926, Page-  37
  10. VOL. 34: 11 FEBRUARY, 1926 - 1 APRIL, 1926, Page-  46
  11. VOL. 34 : 11 FEBRUARY, 1926 - 1 APRIL, 1926, Page-  49
  12. VOL. 34: 11 FEBRUARY, 1926 - 1 APRIL, 1926, Page-  50
  13. VOL. 34: 11 FEBRUARY, 1926 - 1 APRIL, 1926, Page-  55
  14. VOL. 44: 16 JANUARY, 1929 - 3 FEBRUARY, 1929, Page-  166
  15. VOL. 44: 16 JANUARY, 1929 - 3 FEBRUARY, 1929, Page-  176
  16. VOL. 44: 16 JANUARY, 1929 - 3 FEBRUARY, 1929, Page-  180
  17. VOL. 44: 16 JANUARY, 1929 - 3 EBRUARY, 1929, Page-  184
  18. VOL. 44: 16 JANUARY, 1929 - 3 FEBRUARY, 1929, Page-  190
  19. VOL. 44: 16 JANUARY, 1929 - 3 FEBRUARY, 1929, Page-  196
  20. VOL. 44: 16 JANUARY, 1929 - 3 FEBRUARY, 1929, Page-  199
  21. VOL. 44: 16 JANUARY, 1929 - 3 FEBRUARY, 1929, Page-  199
  22. VOL. 44: 16 JANUARY, 1929 - 3 FEBRUARY, 1929, Page-  228
  23. VOL. 44: 16 JANUARY, 1929 - 3 FEBRUARY, 1929, Page-  231
  24. VOL. 44: 16 JANUARY, 1929 - 3 FEBRUARY, 1929, Page-  232



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