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Updated: July 19, 2012 11:47 IST

Embrace Mandela as our own: Rajmohan Gandhi

Madhur Tankha
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SHARED HISTORY: School children performing at a function in New Delhi on
Wednesday to celebrate Nelson Mandela's 94th birthday. Photo: Rajeev Bhatt
The Hindu SHARED HISTORY: School children performing at a function in New Delhi on Wednesday to celebrate Nelson Mandela's 94th birthday. Photo: Rajeev Bhatt

On the occasion of anti-apartheid crusader Nelson Mandela’s 94 birthday on Wednesday, noted academician and humanitarian Rajmohan Gandhi called upon Indians to embrace the South African leader and consider him as their own.

Addressing a distinguished gathering at Gandhi Darshan here, Prof. Gandhi said he had the privilege of visiting South Africa where Mahatma Gandhi was regarded as a South African. “The locals were surprised to learn that Gandhi was an Indian. I want Indians too to embrace Mandela and make him an Indian hero.”

Remembering the South African leader’s visit to the country during the 1990s, Prof. Gandhi said he was a Rajya Sabha member then and had the fortune of accompanying him to Agra.

Compassionate fighters

Describing Gandhi and Mandela as “compassionate fighters for justice and reconciliation”, Prof. Gandhi said Gandhi was involved in the healing process. “He worked for leprosy patients. If he was alive today he would have been working for HIV/AIDS patients. This is what unites him with Mandela, who is an exceptional, rare and lovable person.”

South African High Commissioner Harris Majeke said: “While Nelson Mandela is the father of South Africa, Mahatma Gandhi is our grandfather. Mandela was inspired by the Satyagraha campaign led by Gandhi. It was a compelling act of passive protest against oppression. This would later inspire the formation of ANC and strengthen Mandela’s belief in our shared humanity and leading a movement of passive resistance against the apartheid regime.”

The 94-minute show was a charity event for HIV/AIDS victims and many donated money to Touch of Hope Foundation.

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Mandela is more a follower of Gandhi than many Indians.He has grown up to be the Gandhi of South Africa. When I was in teens he went to jail taking a non violent fight against the South African dictators. He only came out after about 20 years! He has led his Nation to his best ability towards the values he cherished. He spends most of his time for upliftment of his nation so much so that his personal life has suffered.He has been a truthful crusador of human rights, women's rights, environment,education of masees, mitigation of poverty and personal economic inequities and international harmony.Whenever hs has made errors in life he has admitted them unlike many! Even in his 90s he is agile and fit. He plays with children and has a healthy life style.Now that South Africa is emerging he and his tribe are vital......may he live to be a centenarian!

from:  Dr.Rekha Jagannath
Posted on: Jul 19, 2012 at 13:11 IST
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