Bali: Condoling the death of anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma on Friday said the world has lost an iconic symbol of freedom and human dignity and his struggle and sacrifices would continue to inspire generations.
"The news of demise of Nelson Mandela, first President of post-apartheid South Africa has deeply saddened us all. In his passing, the world has lost an iconic symbol of freedom and human dignity. He was a leader who gave hope, courage and strength to the multitudes of discriminated and oppressed people across the world," a statement quoted Sharma as saying.
The history will respectfully recall Mandela`s struggle and sacrifices. The principles which he espoused shall continue to inspire generations to follow, he added.
The 95-year-old Mandela, who had been suffering from a recurring lung infection and a prolonged spell of ill-health, died early today.
He led the struggle to replace the apartheid regime of South Africa with a multi-racial democracy.
"Mandela was truly a hero and a source of inspiration for generations of young people, activists and freedom fighters. His passing away has "made the world much poorer and this day marks an end of an era", Sharma said.
Mandela is widely respected for his role in fighting racism in South Africa, and for forgiving his former white captors after his release from prison.