Founded by Gandhi in 1903 when as a young attorney he worked in South Africa, this newspaper chronicles the genesis of the concept of “non-violent resistance,” which would become the foundation of the Indian independence movement.⁣

The publication was an important tool for the political movement led by Gandhi and the Natal Indian Congress to fight racial discrimination and win civil rights for the Indian immigrant community in South Africa. It existed between 1904 and 1915.⁣

The newspaper was published in Gujarati, Hindi, Tamil and English. Mansukhlal Nazar, the secretary of the Natal Congress served as its editor and a key organiser. ⁣

Indian Opinion features articles and editorials that highlight the discrimination and harsh conditions under which indentured laborers worked. ⁣

From 1906 onward, Gandhi’s paper became a crucial vehicle for challenging state laws and urging defiance of unjust regulations. His views evolved into the concept of Satyagraha, the philosophy and practice of non-violent resistance, which was adopted by other freedom movements throughout the latter half of the 20th-century, notably by Nelson Mandela’s  and Martin Luther King, Jr.’s campaigns for civil rights. ⁣

He later commented, “Satyagraha would have been impossible without Indian Opinion.”⁣

In India, he would publish Young India, Harijan, and Navjivan. Indian Opinion continued to publish for many decades and played a significant role in the wider civil rights struggle of South Africa. But it also suffered from not being a commercial enterprise but rather a publication committed to serving social causes.⁣

Indian Opinion continued to publish for decades and played a significant role in the broader civil rights struggle of South Africa. Today, Indian Opinion is widely regarded by scholars around the world as a valuable documentary legacy that defined the civil rights struggle in many countries. ⁣