Natal Indian Congress (NIC)
The NIC (Natal Indian Congress) was the first of the Indian Congresses to be formed. It was established in 1894 by Mahatma Gandhi to fight discrimination against Indian traders in Natal. From the 1920s the organization functioned under the umbrella organization, the SAIC (South African Indian Congress). However, in the 1930s-1940s the NIC experienced more radical leadership when Dr. G.M. Naicker emerged on the scene (see SAIC history). Dr. Naicker was elected to the organisation's leadership in 1945. Due to more militant protests, by the 1950s and 1960s several of the NIC?s leaders were in jail. Although the NIC itself was not banned, this harassment of its leaders and the repressive conditions at that time, led to a halt in its activities. It was only in 1971 that the NIC was revived with a focus on civic work. The organisation was prominent in the establishment of the United Democratic Front (UDF) in the mid-1980s.