Mandela was South Africa`s Father of the Nation: CWC
Congress Working Committee on Friday expressed profound grief over the death of Nelson Mandela, saying he ranked alongside Mahatma Gandhi and both of them were the two greatest leaders of the 20th century.
New Delhi: Congress Working Committee on Friday expressed profound grief over the death of Nelson Mandela, saying he ranked alongside Mahatma Gandhi and both of them were the two greatest leaders of the 20th century.
"What he achieved in South Africa during his presidency and afterwards contains many lessons for many countries that face the challenges of poverty, inequality and discrimination," it said in a resolution at a meeting presided by party chief Sonia Gandhi.
CWC said that Mandela`s voice was one of the oppressed, his words brought solace to the poor and deprived, his moral authority transcended all boundaries, and he worked ceaselessly for amity and harmony among communities, races and religions.
It recalled that Mandela led the African National Congress and the people of South Africa in their struggle for freedom against oppression and racial discrimination.
"No one in recent history endured more hardships, suffered more years in prison and walked longer to freedom than Nelson Mandela. In every sense, he was the Father of the Nation of South Africa... His life of 95 years is the finest example of sacrifice, selflessness and humility," it said.
In her opening remarks, Gandhi said Madiba, as Mandela was fondly called, was a towering figure of our times. "An icon of human strength and dignity in the face of injustice. He heroically led the long struggle to liberate his people from the evils of apartheid, emerging from a brutal imprisonment of 27 years with a luminous message of compassion and reconciliation rather than retribution," she said.
Besides, Gandhi said the ideal for which he fought a just, democratic and harmonious society, in which all humans are respected as equals is one that will "always guide us".