Monday, December 09, 2013

Tribute to Nelson Mandela

The man who won racism by peace


"I hate race discrimination most intensely and in all its manifestations. I have fought it all during my life; I fight it now, and will do so until the end of my days."

These above were the determined words of the late Nelson Mandela who was a South African anti-apartheid fighter and politician who served as first black President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999.He fought racism not just when he was young and idealistic but till he died at the ripe old age of 95.

Mandela served 27 years in prison spanning over the prime of his life, not for crimes he committed but for going against an apartheid white regime. Mandela was a controversial figure for much of his life and was even denounced as a terrorist for his revolutionary anti- racist activities. In fact he said he was made, by the law, a criminal, not because of what he did, but because of what he stood for, because of what he thought and because of his conscience.

We are told that truth will always prevail, and it was true in Mandela’s life. After years of suppression and unfair political detentions he finally gained international acclaim for his activism, and received more than 250 honors, including the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize.
Like Mahatma Gandhi before him, he won his fight against racism and the discriminating policy of “White Supremacy” in his country not by violence but by peace. He won the war against racism by winning the battle against hate and racism within himself. By his victory he has proved that it is the hatred in our hearts for others of different race, creed or color that is the cause of our failures to bring justice and peace among the people. 

Mandela’s life is a message to us is peace and love for all man regardless of race, creed or color. If we cultivate this in our hearts, racism will be automatically wiped out from face of the earth. His thoughts on hate and love were clear in his message, "No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite”

World leaders and leaders at all levels in our society should try to follow him in what he did not just to praise him for what he did just as a political rhetoric. They must not make a great hut humble man like him who is an icon of anti-racism a political tool for their own racist agenda. That would be hypocrisy in highest order.

The world mourns the death of a great son whose struggles in life for justice and death should not be in vain but be a useful lesson for all. We must get rid of the inherent racist tendencies from our hearts and strive to build a united and prosperous multiracial and multi-religious society.

May his soul rest in peace.

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