Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday was marking a historic train journey by ndependence leader Mohandas K. Gandhi during the final day of his South African visit.
Modi’s ride was commemorating the incident in which a young Gandhi in 1893 was ejected from a South African train when he refused an order to move from a first-class carriage because of his race.
The encounter shaped Gandhi’s decision to resist racial segregation and other injustices with non-violent protest, first while living in South Africa and then in India.
Modi also was opening an exhibition on Gandhi’s life at the train station in Pietermaritzburg, where Gandhi was ejected.
In his meeting with South African President Jacob Zuma on Friday, the two leaders paid tribute to what Zuma called “two liberation icons,” Gandhi and Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first black president.
Modi has also met with members of South Africa’s community of Indian origin, which numbers more than 1 million.
Modi moves on to Tanzania later Saturday and then to Kenya on a four-nation tour meant to raise India’s profile in Africa, where China’s presence has been strong. He began his visit in Mozambique.