Monday, 9 December 2013

The world has lost one of the greatest figures of the 20th century in the passing of Nelson Mandela, iconic revolutionary who ended apartheid in South Africa. Africa’s last great statesman, Mandela presided over a largely peaceful political transition and stepped aside after only one term in power. He was the first black President of South Africa and under his aegis, the country dismantled the institutional legacy of apartheid and racism. He remained the country’s moral compass in the silence of his twilight in much the same way he served as the liberation movement’s rallying cry through 27 years of incarceration. He appointed a Truth and Reconciliation Commission that might have fallen short of conclusively addressing apartheid-era atrocities but saved the nation from a descent into bloodshed. The former President is being mourned across the nation. His loss is most acutely felt at the headquarters of the African National Congress (ANC), the party he joined in 1943 and subsequently led to electoral victory in 1994. In a manner reminiscent of the Indian National Congress (INC) in post-Independence India, the ANC has long used Mandela’s name and liberation credentials to cement its position as the natural party of government. The prolonged and often acrimonious squabbling between the government, his heirs and sections of the party about his hospitalisation, burial site and memorial foundation underscored his continued importance to the ANC’s project of political hegemony long after his retirement.
Mandela’s death comes at the time when the ANC is preparing for an election that may see its share of the vote fall below 60 per cent, illustrating creeping voter discontent. Moving forward, the ANC’s greatest challenge is likely to be the “born frees”, a generation of South Africans born after the collapse of the hated colonial regime, who are less susceptible to the party’s emotive message of liberation. For these young citizens, the most poignant reminder of oppression is the one that Mr. Mandela did not address — land, natural resources and the ownership of Africa’s richest economy. Rather than democratising the economy, Mr. Mandela’s successors have used so-called black empowerment programmes to enrich a tiny elite, creating space for a mass politics as espoused by Julius Malema, a firebrand former ANC Youth League leader who has launched his own political front, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF). Mr. Malema is himself facing charges of corruption, suggesting the EFF may not be the ANC’s most potent foe. Statesmen are forged and ultimately limited by the circumstances of their struggles. By leading his country out of the horrors of racial segregation, Mr. Mandela has won his place in history. His successors must now seek their own.

Nelson Mandela — The Liberator of South Africa December 6, 2013

A legend departsDecember 6, 2013

Up close and personalDecember 7, 2013

From prisoner to P
residentDecember 7, 2013

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Dear M.SOMASEKHAR PRASAD, thank you for your wonderful comment on Nelson Mandela.

from:  kurt waschnig
Posted on: Dec 9, 2013 at 16:06 IST

We cannot compare Mandela with Gandhi because Gandhi failed to bring
peaceful transition as well as to keep nation united post independence.

from:  Lav
Posted on: Dec 9, 2013 at 10:52 IST


In the death of African leader,Nelson Mandela,the world has lost
a great leader known for his sense of commitment for the freedom and
welfare of 'all' people in South Africa.Like Martin Luther King in
America,Mandela fought tooth and nail against 'apartheid' in his home
country.In fact Mandela carried on the fight where Luther King left it
for the equality and freedom of black people.Both of them drew
inspiration for their selfless fight from the life and work of
Gandhi.India was of the few countries which lent unconditional support
to Mandela in his fight against 'apartheid'.India also had the
temerity and game enough to even snap all sports ties with South
Africa and led other countries to follow the suit.Like Tennyson's
Ulysses, Mandela longed for'to strive, to seek,to find and not to
yield',in spite of many troubles and tears in his personal life.It is
only natural that Mandela was one of the few leaders who won about
250 honours including the Nobel Peace Prize. About man Shakespeare
says that' What a piece of work is a man, how noble in reason,how
infinite in faculties, in form and moving,how express and admirable in
action, how like an angel in apprehension,how like a god!' .I think
Mandela was one of the few men who deserving fit into this quote of
the Bard. And Mandel,RIP.

Posted on: Dec 9, 2013 at 08:57 IST

Mandela lived a full life, made of immense sacrifice, personal
tragedies, hope for the nation and his long walk to freedom has come
to an end. He is no ordinary mortal and GOD sends such angels to earth
once in a century. If it was Gandhi for 19th century, it was Mandela
for 20th century.
Gandhi was not surrounded by many political components, but only a
feeble voices here and there. But Mandela had to fight alone and the
way he came out of solitary confinement for 27 years, in one piece,is
beyond ordinary mortals.
South Africa continues to face a big challenge in these times. It was
not as if, hatred and distrust erased completely but he was the one
single force , which managed to keep it under control.
Gandhi rightly said that poverty is the worst form of violence and if
the status of the so called majority in the rainbow nation is anything
to go by, it requires great leadership from ANC to keep the party and
country together.

from:  fathima
Posted on: Dec 8, 2013 at 23:13 IST

“What I will remember most about Mr. Mandela is that he was a man whose heart, soul, and spirit could not be contained or restrained by racial and economic injustices, metal bars, or the burden of hate and revenge. He taught us forgiveness on a grand scale.”

Mohamed Ali

The messiah who carried destiny on his shoulders used his life for the growth and strength of his character. To usher in an era not through retribution but with reconciliation needs moral courage and that is what made him great as he used that courage to rebuild his nation.Democracy according to him should be rooted in tolerance.
His wisdom taught him that reconciliation should be accompanied with justice and peace with forgiveness.
Unpretentiousness was the essence of his personality and along with his humor and optimistic attitude he took on the challenges of a shattered nation beleaguered by inequality and poverty.
He used his power for transformation without succumbing to the trappings of control and vainglory.

from:  vyjayanthi
Posted on: Dec 8, 2013 at 15:02 IST
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