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Struggle narratives of the GCR

This project was initiated by the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation to write the history of the Transvaal Indian Congress (TIC) that was established by Mahatma Gandhi in 1904 to represent the interests of the Indian community of the province.

The TIC had a continuous history from 1904 until the mid-1960s when it became dormant due to repression meted out to its leading members. During the first six decades of its existence, the TIC oscillated between passive resistance, collaboration with the colonial/apartheid state, and from the 1940s onwards, militant mass action in alliance with the ANC. After almost twenty years of dormancy, the TIC was revived by old Congressites and a new generation of activists committed to a non-racial democracy in 1983. The revived TIC played a key role in resisting state cooption of the Indian community by PW Botha's Tricameral Parliament and suffered severe repression during that time. As a founding affiliate of the United Democratic Front, it was extremely influential in the national resistance politics of the 1980s. After supporting the ANC after the latter's unbanning in building local structures and supporting it at the Kempton Park Negotiations, it folded by the early 1990s.

The project consists of several chapters, periodised into the formative period; the conservative domination; the radical takeover; Congress Alliance; state of emergency; TIC dormancy and rise of Black Consciousness; re-emergence of Congress politics; revival of the TIC and launch of the UDF; states of emergency; unbanning of the ANC. The idea is that these chapters will be put together into an accessible popular history but which is well referenced and breaks new ground on the historiography of the organisation. It will be published by the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation.


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