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"Unity of Humanity under one God" by Steve Payne

Author says: what if Mahatma Gandhi never left South Africa? Might he have fought the apartheid system with the same tactics that he deployed to contest the Partition of India? Please note that the opinions expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of the author(s).

April 27: on this day in 1950 the long-standing struggle for racial justice in South Africa escalated into a state of national emergency when the "Great Teacher" Mohandas K. Gandhi began a fast-unto-death to protest the passage of the Group Areas Act.

This Act of Parliament was the thin end of the wedge, just the first of a package of measures upon which the National Party had won the 1948 general elections, sweeping away the old order symbolised by Prime Minister Jan Smuts. Rigid separation would be enforced and those who worked in other areas would have to carry documentation at all times. Because apartheid was a step change in the system of white minority rule that had existed in South Africa for over two hundred and fifty years.
"You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty" ~ Gandhi

The intention was that racial groups would be assigned to different residential and business sections in urban areas. Those four groups comprised whites, coloureds of mixed race, Asiatics and Bantus; the latter being the indigenous Africans who represented 70% of the native population and who were themselves subdived into two groups.

Yet Gandhi had an altogether different vision, the unity of humanity under one God. Since his arrival in 1893 as a young man of twenty-four, Gandhi preached not only his own Hindu ethics, but also Christian and Muslim ideas throughout South Africa. His non-violent protest would internationalise the actions of the South African Government. And inspire a twenty-two year old man from the Transkei; his name was Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.

Steve Payne

Editor of Today in Alternate History, a Daily Updating Blog of Important Events In History That Never Occurred Today. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit differently. Who says it didn't, somewhere? These fictional news items explore that possibility. Possibilities such as America becoming a Marxist superpower, aliens influencing human history in the 18th century and Teddy Roosevelt winning his 3rd term as president abound in this interesting fictional blog.


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