INS Trishul visits Durban to mark 30 years of relations with South Africa

Johannesburg, Jun 7 (PTI): Indian Navy frigate INS Trishul arrived in the South African port of Durban on Tuesday for a three-day goodwill tour marking several historic events, including the 30th anniversary of the restart of India-South Africa diplomatic relations after a break of almost four decades due to apartheid.

The visit also marks the incident 130 years ago when Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, then a young lawyer in South Africa, was thrown off a train in Pietermaritzburg Station because he was in a compartment reserved for white passengers only.

The incident triggered him to carve the path to establish Satyagraha, leading the fight against oppression in both South Africa and India, and eventually becoming the Mahatma.

The visit is also part of India’s Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, a celebration of 75th year of independence.

“At a commemorative event in Pietermaritzburg, the ship’s band will play some of the favourite bhajans of Mahatma Gandhi. They will also pay floral tributes at the plinth where Gandhiji was thrown out,” said Consul General for India in Durban Dr Thelma David.

“We will also have Dr Bindeshwar Pathak (an Indian sociologist and social entrepreneur) there and he will speak on putting Gandhian thoughts into action through the Swacch Bharat campaign which we have adopted from the Gandhian movement,” David added.

“Because the ship is here on a friendly visit, we will also be doing a donation and community activities at the Phoenix Youth Centre in Durban. The band will again play music for about 150 youth there. We will also have the men from the ship doing yoga on the morning of 9th,” David said.

“We are encouraging schoolchildren and college youth to go on board to understand the capacities as a navy to bring peace on oceans and be briefed on her operational capabilities as well as the role played by the Indian Navy in maritime security in the ocean shared by our two countries. The visit would demonstrate to the public, especially the next generation, the friendliness of our two countries as well as the role and relevance of the Indian Navy as an instrument of bilateral relations,” she said.

In partnership with the Pietermaritzburg Gandhi Foundation and the University of KwaZulu-Natal, a round table discussion is also to be hosted on Wednesday, titled the Gandhi-Mandela-King Conference, named after the three greatest internationally-renowned leaders of the last century.

“The theme is peace and justice for all, and Joint Secretary Puneet Kundal and Deputy High Commissioner Banu Prakash will also be speaking,” the diplomat said.

During the visit, the frigate will have professional interactions with the South African Navy, further enhancing the close cooperation between the two navies.

The retreat ceremony and the unity walk in Durban are other events planned by the INS Trishul before it departs Durban on June 9.

India and South Africa share the Indian Ocean as maritime neighbours with cordial defence and warm political relations. The two Navies regularly interact and operate together with Brazil during Exercise IBSAMAR, which is held every alternate year, the last edition of which was conducted in 2022.

The Indian Navy also hosts a number of trainees from the South African Navy in various professional schools. PTI FH TIR TIR

(This story is published as part of the auto-generated syndicate wire feed. No editing has been done in the headline or the body by ABP Live.)