No grieving as they want to celebrate Mandela’s life & work

We have lost a father figure and the world has lost an iconic leader,say city’s south african students.

Written by PRASAD JOSHI | Pune | Published: December 7, 2013 4:21 am

South African students in Pune said they have ‘lost their father’ in the demise of Nelson Mandela,crediting anti-apartheid revolutionary for shaping the destiny of many ‘blacks’ by freeing them from ‘white domination’.

“Mandela was a great human being and an iconic leader not only for South Africa,but for the whole world. I feel as though I lost my father today. The world has lost a great leader,who had deep belief in the principle of non-violence. He spearheaded the battle against racial division based on colour of skin across the globe,” said Simon Kuany Kiir Kuany,a commerce student from Symbiosis International University.

Recalling Mandela’s faith in Gandhian ideology of non-violence and peace,Simon said the South African leader would continue to act as a bonding force between India and his home country. Mandela died late on late Thursday in Johannesburg after a long battle against lung infection.

Fabrice Pokanya,an alumnus of MIT College who is preparing for Graduate Record Examination,said Mandela secured the fate of South Africa by bringing the country on a par with other countries. “Each of us from the young generation are proud of him. He was a messiah for our countrymen suffering from racial discrimination. We did not want to mourn his death,but to celebrate his inspiring life and work,” he said. Abbas Pyarali,a second-year student of Sinhgad College of Pharmacy,said Mandela unified people of South Africa to live cohesively. “He was an idol for us youngsters. We worshiped him like God. We will try to get things done for the benefit of the country as he wished,” he said.

Jean Eric Matunga,student from the Republic of the Congo,said Mandela would continue to inspire many future generations.

‘The alienation he faced in Jail sowed in him seeds of love,compassion’

For Atul Kahate,writing a biography of Nelson Mandela in Marathi was an enriching experience.

“While writing the biography,I came across a rare inner transition of otherwise ordinary man into a legend. It was enlightening to know how a supporter of violence in young age,he became an apostle of peace and how he could carry on his a characteristic smile,” said Kahate.

Released in October,2012,by Saket Publication,Kahate’s book on Mandela has been receiving rave reviews and the second edition of the book is being printed. Kahate said he had plans to meet Mandela while writing book,but it never materialised.

“When I started writing a book,the great leader was in poor health. I could not meet him. I had to go through history books throwing light on racial division based on colour and documentaries themed on Mandela,” he said.

On the secret of Mandela’s greatness,Kahate said,“He was in jail for 27 years. In his autobiography,Mandela recalls the horrific days when he befriended with cockroaches and ants. This unimaginable life,alienated from humans,sowed the seeds of love and compassion in him.”

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