Digital Dimdima
Under One Flag
The Light Has Gone Out
India Wins Freedom
Apostle of Peace
The Last War of Independence
Quit India
Leave India to God… or to Anarchy
Gandhi and Ambedkar
A Pinch of Salt!
Saga of Indian Revolutionaries
Bardoli
Gandhiji Withdraws from Political Activities
The Himalayan Blunder
A People Reject Their Rulers
Jallianwala — The Aftermath
Massacre at Jallianwala Bagh
The Gentle Satyagrahi
Gandhi in Champaran
Carrot and Stick
Revolutionaries Outside India
Heroes and Martyrs
Gandhi in South Africa
From Swadeshi to Swaraj
Swadeshi Enterprise
The New Spirit of India
The Great Divide
Partition of Bengal
The Battle is Taken to the Legislature!
The Monk Who Shook The Nation
Father of Indian Unrest
An Old Man's Dream
Women : Crossing the Threshold
The Battle Lines are Drawn
The Battle For A Free Press
Pressing On !
Europeans Take To The Street!
The British Raj in Black and White
Mamool Raj
The One-Man Army
Hunger Deaths
The Delhi Durbar
Return to Swadeshi
Barbarous Britannia
‘Rani Ka Hookum’
Perishing in Peace
The Blue Mutiny
English Education
The Trial of the Last Emperor
Roll of Honour
The Empire Strikes Back
British Authority Collapses
Sepoys on the Move
Tribal Uprisings
The Empire Builders
For God and Country

In August 1906 the Transvaal government proposed a legislation to make it mandatory for every Indian man, woman and child of eight years and above to register his or her name with the Registrar of Asiatics and take out a certificate of registration. The Registrar would have to note down important marks of identification on the applicant's person and take the person's fingerprints.
The certificate would have to be produced on demand. Even a person walking on the street could be asked to produce his certificate. Police officers would have the right to enter private houses to inspect certificates.
Recalling his first impressions of the ordinance, Gandhi wrote: "I have never known legislation of this nature being directed against free men in any part of the world… I saw nothing in it except hatred of Indians… it seemed to me that if the ordinance was passed and the Indians meekly accepted it, it would spell absolute ruin for the Indians in South Africa. I clearly saw it was a question of life and death for them. I further saw that even in the case of memorials and representations proving fruitless, the community must not sit with folded hands. Better die than submit to such a law."
A meeting was held on September 11, 1906. The venue was the old Empire theatre owned by a Jew.
Sheth Haji Habib, one of the speakers, in the course of his speech declared in the name of God that he would never submit to such a law, and advised 'all present to do likewise'. Gandhi was startled when Sheth Haji Habib brought God into the picture. At first he was perplexed by the turn of events. Soon "perplexity gave place to enthusiasm." Gandhi explained to the audience the significance of the oath Haji Habib had suggested. "To pledge ourselves or to take an oath in the name of God is not something to be trifled with, if having taken such an oath we violate our pledge we are guilty before God and man."
Gandhi went on to caution them about the consequences of sticking to the oath; it might result in loss of property, imprisonment or even deportation. "Every one must search his heart, and if the inner voice assures him that he has requisite strength to carry him through, then only should he pledge himself and then only will his pledge bear fruit."
The meeting concluded with everybody taking the oath to defy the ordinance if it became law.
Thus was born a unique movement which Gandhi called Satyagraha (insistence on truth). Conceived and tested in South Africa it was transplanted to India where it would give new purpose and direction to the struggle for freedom.

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