Fri, Oct 21, 2016 | updated 01:03 AM IST

South Africa visit a 'Teerth Yatra' for me: PM Modi

Updated: Jul 31, 2016 12:46 IST

New Delhi, July 31 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said that his two-day visit to South Africa was like a 'Teerth Yatra' (pilgrimage).

Addressing the nation in the 22nd edition of his 'Mann Ki Baat' programme, Prime Minister Modi said, "Recently I had the opportunity to visit South Africa for diplomacy purposes, but for me the visit was a 'Teertha Yatra' (pilgrimage)."

"I had the opportunity to meet such people who struggled for equality. When we talk about South Africa, it's natural to think about Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela and their great work," he said.

During his visit to South Africa earlier this month, Prime Minister Modi had made similar comments, saying his visit was like a pilgrimage to him as he was getting the opportunity to visit three places that are significant to Indian history and Mahatma Gandhi's life.

He had made these comments after alighting from a train at Pietermaritzburg railway station, where Mahatma Gandhi was thrown out of a train compartment in 1893 on account of his skin colour.

"This is the place where the seed was laid for Mohandas (Karamchand Gandhi) to start the journey of the Mahatma," he said.

On the night of June 7, 1893, Gandhi, then a young lawyer, was on his way to Pretoria for a court case when the conductor asked him to move to a third class compartment because of his race. When he refused, saying that he held a valid first class ticket, he was evicted from the train.

The Prime Minister, during his two-day visit to South Africa, had also visited Constitution Hill in Johannesburg, where Gandhi was incarcerated in 1906 for resisting racism and apartheid. (ANI)