Saturday, December 7, 2013
Former South African leader Nelson Mandela died at the age of 95 on December 5th, 2013. Mandela was the country's first Black president and lead the country out of its dark period of apartheid. Mandela had a close connection to India and South Asia and here are some facts about his relationship with the region and its peoples:
- India was the first country Mandela visited after he was released from prison
- He received the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian award in October 1990, and then Pakistan's Nishan-e-Pakistan in October 1992
- Three Indians who worked with Mandela and the struggle for freedom in South Africa were imprisoned with him - Ahmed Kathrada Ismail Meer, and Mac Maharaj
- He was greatly influenced and inspired by Gandhi and said that "Gandhi remains today the only complete critique of advanced industrial society."
- Nelson Mandela Road was inaugurated in New Delhi, on 10 December 1988
- Mandela was awards the International Gandhi Peace prize at the Presidential Palace in New Delhi on 16 March, 2001