A pivotal moment in history, which catalyzed Gandhi's subsequent actions was his ejection from a first-class train carriage in South Africa by the train conductor, a story which is recounted in his autobiography: "My Experiments with Truth".

Was it ever identified who this South African train conductor was, who unintentionally laid the seeds of many a freedom struggle. Thanks.

  • It is true that we know the identity of Rosa Park's bus driver, so it appears such things are of interest.
    – T.E.D.
    Commented Aug 14, 2017 at 14:19
  • 2
    @T.E.D. Commenting on his death, Rosa Parks said, "[I'm] sure his family will miss him."
    – AllInOne
    Commented Aug 14, 2017 at 16:00
  • @AllInOne - That line really jumped out at me too. At the end of an entry trying to say how he was really a nice guy after all, just doing his job in bad system, loved his family, etc. LOL. Gotta be one of my favorite interview answers ever.
    – T.E.D.
    Commented Aug 14, 2017 at 16:08

1 Answer 1


As far as I can tell, no. There are no recorded eyewitness accounts or other direct historical evidence of the incidents that I can find other than Gandhi's memoirs.

According to the article, "Transforming our townscapes: the Pietermaritzburg experience" by Robert F. Haswell, a historical marker was placed at the likely spot of the incident, but the location is based on inference. An older article published in the same journal discusses certain historical details of the incident that were inaccurately portrayed in the relevant scene from the 1982 biopic, Ghandi and includes a relevant observation, again based on inference:

the official who ejected Gandhi would probably have been Scots, not Dutch or Afrikaans

That seems to be about all we know, and unless a surprising new source of information emerges, all we will ever know.

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