Why Mandela is a Symbol of Freedom

Nelson Mandela (1918-2013) - Source: history.com

Nelson Mandela (1918-2013) – Source: history.com

Nelson Mandela is a symbol of freedom.

These are not hollow words as the true meaning of freedom can only be understood by those who are incarcerated and harassed by authoritarian forces and those who are constantly discriminated for one reason or another. Especially when it is the color of the skin.

Some people learn the price of freedom, peace and democracy the hard way. Even if they would apparently not even understand these ideas fully. Nelson Mandela became the greatest embodiment of this realization over time.

Nelson Mandela is a symbol of freedom because he experienced authoritarian oppression first hand and in one of the cruelest of ways that any political leader of the modern times could suffer.

Nelson Mandela was a Democratic Socialist by political persuasion, who had been a lifelong communist, therefore gathering the criticism from the anti-communist West at the time, who would demonize communists at any opportunity that presented itself.

His critics in the West may have a point, but Mandela did not establish an authoritarian government in South Africa on the abolition of Apartheid. But it also goes to show the hypocrisy of the democratic West, which would support Apartheid regimes while trumpeting principles of liberty and democracy.

But more than his later commitment to non-violence, it is his struggle against colonial and racist captors of his people that immortalizes this great man. Arguably, the greatest since Gandhi.

Who but Mandela could be the greatest inspiration to the West and to everyone else for how demonizing someone for their ideology is wrong, and authoritarian in its own right.

But this is not the first time, or last for that matter, that you would find people taking refuge in an authoritarian ideology in order to fight the persecution from another. Anything that offers some hope. In this case, social equality and justice.

Most sympathizers of authoritarian ideologies are kind, well meaning and passionate people, who just don’t know what they are taking about. Some of them then end up discovering the price of freedom the hard way.

Who but Mandela would know the price of freedom. Who but he can tell what authoritarianism and totalitarianism mean.

RIP Nelson Mandela

It has been a privilege to be alive during your lifetime.

I hope you keep on inspiring for the pursuit of freedom, which continues to elude those who value it.

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The Words of Mahatma Gandhi

Source: Wikimedia Commons

In the past century, you can hardly find a person more charismatic and inspiring as Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. His message of peace and humanity and his unfaltering devotion to firmness in truth (Satyagraha) and non-violence (Ahimsa) make him the most influential figures on a humanitarian level. Maybe not rated highly by the students of history as a politician, but anyone who reveres the sanctity of the truth and humanity, reveres Mahatma Gandhi as well.

His birthday, October 2, which is also the day of the publishing of this post, is celebrated as the International Day of Non-Violence. It was his message and education which inspired figures like Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, Lech Walesa and Aung San Suu Kyi.

Many people often wonder why Gandhi was not awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Maybe it was George Bernard Shaw who very aptly put that only a devil in the disguise of a man could come up with the idea of putting a prize for peace. How true! For souls like Gandhi, and in our times Abdus Sattar Edhi, no prize for peace is needed. In fact, it would be insulting to the work and mission of their lives. Peace is the prize itself. Let us not dishonor them by feeling sad that they did not receive an award for peace.

A few pearls of Wisdom from Mahatma Gandhi in this montage from the DVD of Gandhi (1982), one of my favorite movies, an epic biopic of Gandhi directed by Oscar winner Richard Attenborough, which could change your life.

For more Gandhi quotes, follow his Wikiquote page.

Albert Einstein offered his tribute to Gandhi in the following words.

“The generations to come will scarce believe that such a one as this walked upon this Earth.”