Address: 140 Denis Hurley St
The M.K. Gandhi Library was officially opened on 10 September 1921 at 140 Queen Street (renamed Denis Hurley Street), at a time when public library services for Indians were severely neglected. The library was the vision of Parsee Rustomjee, a retailer and merchant from India who settled in South Africa. The Bai Jerbai Rustomjee Trust, named for his wife, administers the library and the Parsee Rustomjee Hall, which is part of the library. The first librarians were Essop Bapu and A.M. Kotwal. They assembled books and magazines with a focus on history (including of India), politics, religion, language, tradition and culture, as well as a large collection of vernacular newspapers from India. The valuable library archive is now kept at the UKZN Documentation Centre. The motivation for the Gandhi Library was to “enhance the social, moral, intellectual and political upliftment” of the Indian community. The library was used mainly for study as it did not lend out books to users, and time was set aside on Fridays exclusively for women.
Prominent visitors to the library included Srinivasa Sastri, Sir Radhakrishna, George Bernard Shaw, Professor G.M. Theale and Dr Keppel of the Carnegie Trust. The Parsee Rustomjee Hall was used for meetings, public lectures and social functions by a wide variety of organisations. These included the Indian Teachers Association, the Indian War Memorial Committee, the Hindu Tamil Institute as well as the Natal Indian Congress, Communist Party of South Africa and trade unions. It was rightly “a hub of social and political activity”.
Lo mtapo wolwazi wavulwa ngokusemthethweni ngo-10 Septemba 1921 kuQueen Street (manje osuqanjwe kabusha waba nguDenis Hurley Street), ngesikhathi lapho ukuhlinzeka amaNdiya ngemitapo yolwazi kwakuyinto enganakiwe nguhulumeni. Lo mtapo wolwazi ungumbono kaParsee Rustomjee, umdayisi nomhwebi owayeqhamuka eNdiya owafike wahlala lapha eNingizimu Afrika. I-Bai Jerbai Rustomjee Trust, eyaqanjwa ngegama lomkakhe, iyona ephethe lo mtapo wolwazi kanye ne-Parsee Rustomjee Hall, okuyingxenye yomtapo wolwazi. Abasebenzi bokuqala balo mtapo wolwazi kwakungu-Essop Bapu kanye no-A.M. Kotwal. Babehlanganisa izincwadi kanye namabhuku begxile emlandweni (kuhlanganisa nowaseNdiya), ezombusazwe, inkolo, ulimi, inqubo kanye namasiko, kanye neqoqo elikhulu lamaphephandaba ayengolimi lwendabuko lwaseNdiya. Indawo yomtapo wolwazi egcina izinto ezindala manje isigcinwe e-UKZN Documentation Centre. Isizathu sokwakhiwa kweGandhi Library “ukwenza ngcono ezomphakathi, ukuziphatha, ukuhlakanipha kanye nokukhuphula ulwazi ngezombusazwe” emphakathini wamaNdiya. Lo mtapo wolwazi wawusetshenziselwa kuphela ukufunda njengoba wawungabolekisi ngezincwadi kulabo ababezisebenzisa, kanti kwakubekwa eceleni isikhathi sangoLwesihlanu sibekelwa abesifazane kuphela.
Izivakashi eziqavile ezazisebenzisa lo mtapo wolwazi zibandakanya oSrinivasa Sastri, Sir Radhakrishna, George Bernard Shaw, uSolwazi G.M. Theale kanye noDokotela Keppel weCarnegie Trust. Ihholo iParsee Rustomjee lalisetshenziselwa imihlangano, izifundo zomphakathi kanye nemicimbi yomphakathi yezinhlangano ezinhlobonhlobo. Lezi zinhlangano zazihlanganisa i-Indian Teachers Association, Indian War Memorial Committee, iHindu Tamil Institute kanye neNatal Indian Congress, Communist Party of South Africa kanye nezinyunyana zabasebenzi. Kwakuyindawo eyayisizinda seminyakazo yomphakathi nezombusazwe.