Special peace prayers organised at farm set up by Gandhi in SA

Johannesburg: Special peace prayers have been
organised at the Tolstoy Farm, the once-thriving commune set
up south of here by Mahatma Gandhi during his tenure, as part
of a project to highlight the historic heritage of the South
African-Indians.
    The prayers were hosted by 150 youths from the
Swaminarayan Santha of South Africa.
    The event was part of a mission by youth of the
organisation to visit 25 historic sites across South Africa
for peace prayers ahead of a gala weekend celebration to mark
the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the first
Swaminarayan Mandir in South Africa later this month.
    "This sometimes forgotten historic heritage of the South
African-Indians, was earmarked by the BAPS Swaminarayan
Sanstha of South Africa as one of the 25 historic landmark
sites for their 25 Peace Prayers project," the organisation
said in a statement.
    The youth, all dressed in white, chanted prayers invoking
peace, prosperity and progress in South Africa.
    Tolstoy Farm was one of the 25 sites chosen because of
the deep links that they hold with the South African-Indian
community and its history.
    Over the past few months, the peace prayers have been
held at several important sites, such as the Constitutional
Court of South Africa,(where Gandhi and later Nelson Mandela
were once imprisoned as he opposed discriminatory laws); the
sugarcane plantations in Natal, (where the first Indians
arrived to work as indentured labourers) and the
Pietermaritzburg Train Station, (where Gandhi was thrown off a
train compartment).

PTI