Publish: 18 Jul 2021, 11:45 am
"It is not our diversity which divides us; it is not our ethnicity or religion or culture that divides us. Since we have achieved our freedom, there can only be one division amongst us: between those who cherish democracy and those who do not”- These are the words of a man who has fought throughout his whole life against discrimination and for a democratic environment. He is Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary who is especially known as a courageous leader in the fight against racism.
(Photo Illustration: Collected)
This great leader of South Africa was born on July 18, 1918. He was the first democratically elected and black president of South Africa. The world has been divided between white and black skin for many years. This inequality persists even in today's progressive world. Nelson Mandela was born at a time when white-skinned people dominating the world.
Some people are born in the world who begin to protest against discrimination between man and woman, rich and poor or black and white skin. After that, the conception of society starts to change. Racism has not yet left the world. But it is truly a large part of human society.
Racism, however, refers to attitudes and actions that are superior to a particular trait, or authoritarianism, and broadly to the benefit or deprivation of a particular group. This difference is not confined to body colour only. Nelson Mandela is the symbol of protest against all kinds of racism. He is one of the great ideological leaders of the world. Anyway, the leader had such many valuable statements, where he expressed his determination to fight against hegemony and for democracy.
(Photo Illustration: Collected)
Mandela dreamt of a South Africa where people of all races could live together with equal opportunities. Throughout his whole life, Mandela has fought with this ideal. So, history has given him the position of a real hero. One of the teachers at the school named him Nelson. But to the people of South Africa, she was 'Madiba'.
Mandela is a symbol of democracy and social justice around the world. He was the first member of his family to attend school. Mandela became involved in politics with the help of a close friend and later he was involved in Bantustan politics and policy-making. He directed nonviolence and peaceful acts of defiance against the South African Government. He was influenced by Mahatma Gandhi.
Actively joining the African National Congress, he joined the Non-Cooperation Movement in 1952. in 1955, he played an important role and drafted the Charter of Liberation, which is considered to be the mainstay of the anti-apartheid movement. He believed in the principle of non-violence. For 20 years he directed peaceful acts of defiance against the South African Government. As a result of his involvement in the movement, he was arrested in 1956 for treason. However, after his salvation, he backed from the non-violent movement. He understood that there was no way to collapse the racist government. When the ANC started the armed struggle, he was arrested on charges of conspiracy to overthrow the government. His life sentence was announced at the trial. Mandela spent 27 years in prison. He was incarcerated on Robben Island for 18 years of his 27 years imprisonment. This long imprisonment is a difficult time in Mandela's life. Although he was imprisoned, the movement against the racist government continues. Black youths lost their lives in those movements. Shortly after Nelson Mandela was imprisoned, pressure on the government to release him.
He was released in 1990 after a long imprisonment. In a speech after being released from prison, Mandela reiterated that he dreamt of a South Africa where people of all races and ethnicities would have equal access to justice. That is, he dreamt of a non-discriminatory South Africa. On April 27, 1994, South Africa held its first democratic elections. The people of South Africa chose their favorite leader as their president. Mandela was inaugurated as the country’s first black president on May 10, 1994, at the age of 77.
Once he said that real leaders must be ready to sacrifice all for the freedom of their people. He was the real leader and a real hero. Like his political life, his personal life was full of ups and downs. He has worked for the rights of oppressed people all his life. So even after retiring, his social activities did not stop. He tried to be by the side of people till his death.
Once he was asked, how would he be happy to remember her? He replied, 'I want to be told that there is a man lying here who has done his duty on earth. Nelson Mandela was a wonderful man, an attractive personality, a good friend, and a generous man. These qualities have established him as the soul of the people of South Africa and the oppressed people of the world. He won the noble prize in 1993.