NEW DELHI: The historic Tolstoy Farm in South Africa has finally got an eight-feet statute of Mahatma Gandhi. The unveiling ceremony was held on October 8, and was graced by India’s recently-appointed High Commissioner, Prabhat Kumar, along with members of the Indian community.
The new statue joins the company of sizeable busts of Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela, all sculpted with precision by Jalandharnath Rajaram Channole from India’s Sevagram Ashram.
Kumar, who assumed office on August 2, drew attention to the statue’s remarkable likeness to Mahatma Gandhi as he looked when he was leaving South Africa. Reflecting on its historical significance, Kumar underscored the special place Tolstoy Farm holds in Gandhi’s legacy.
Gandhi intermittently resided at the farm for five to six years from 1910 to 1914. The farm was donated by Herman Kallenbach, a close friend and well-wisher of Gandhi, to help the Indian community sustain itself.
Kumar expressed his admiration for the Mahatma Gandhi Remembrance Organisation (MGRO) and its leader, Mohan Hira, for their efforts in restoring Tolstoy Farm to its former glory. He pledged unwavering support from the High Commission in Pretoria and the Consulate General in Johannesburg for Tolstoy Farm, emphasising the pivotal role of community involvement and support.
In his capacity as High Commissioner of India to South Africa, Kumar has ushered in renewed hope for the India-South Africa relationship. With an illustrious career in the Indian Foreign Service and a steadfast commitment to meaningful diplomatic endeavours, Kumar is well-poised to play a pivotal role in strengthening the ties between the two nations.