Mahatma Gandhi's ashes immersed in Indian Ocean

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Durban (South Africa), Jan 30 (ANI): Over sixty years of his assassination, the ashes of Mahatma Gandhi were immersed in the Indian Ocean by his family in the early hours of Saturday.

Members of Gandhi's family, along with Indian Government officials and members of the South African Navy, poured the ashes into the sea off the coast of Durban in a traditional Hindu ritual.

Gandhi's ashes were brought to South Africa after his death in 1948 but only some of them were scattered into the sea at that time. The rest remained with a family friend who kept them for decades.

Gandhi's 69-year-old granddaughter, Ela Gandhi, who is a respected activist in South Africa, attended the ceremony and addressed relatives and well-wishers who had gathered to pay their respects. She spoke of the legacy her grandfather had left behind.

"I think one of the important messages of his death, which today we commemorate his death anniversary and the important message of that is the intolerance that goes on in this world, the intolerance of people for other people on the basis of religion, on the basis of race, on the basis of ethnicity, of class and of caste and so on," said Ela Gandhi.

"All these intolerances end up in violence, end up in wars and so on. And if we can just do something to control those intolerances and promote love in the world for each other," she added.

The acting premier of Kwazulu-Natal was also at Saturday's ceremony.

"The teachings of Gandhi through the satyagraha philosophy was that of us human beings universally having to love one another, having to live in peace with one another, having to uphold the truth, to uphold correct ideals. Those universal ideals have been cherished by many," said Willis Mchunu. (ANI)

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