India Insight

Reactions from India to the death of Nelson Mandela

December 6, 2013

Nelson Mandela, who emerged from 27 years in apartheid prisons to help guide South Africa to democracy, died on Thursday.

Mandela had been inspired by Mahatma Gandhi’s decades-long non-violent resistance to British rule. India’s revered independence leader had also spent some of his early political years in South Africa, where he was involved in the struggle against racial discrimination.

The Indian government, which in 1990 honoured Mandela with its highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna, declared five days of official mourning on Friday. Both houses of parliament were adjourned for the day.

Here are some reactions from India on Twitter (lightly edited for clarity):

SHASHI THAROOR, Congress minister
Mourning Mandela and recalling my thoughts on him from a book review 2 years ago.

OMAR ABDULLAH, Jammu and Kashmir chief minister
RIP Madiba. I’m honoured to have met you. Thank you for one of my most prized possessions – your signed book.

NARENDRA MODI, Gujarat chief minister and Bharatiya Janata Party leader
Many of us are not fortunate to see Gandhiji alive. We are blessed to see the life of Nelson Mandela, who embodied his values and ideals.

MANMOHAN SINGH, India’s prime minister
A giant among men has passed away. This is as much India’s loss as South Africa’s. He was a true Gandhian. His life and work will remain a source of eternal inspiration for generations to come. I join all those who are praying for his soul.

KAPIL SIBAL, Congress minister
Mandela, an inspiration for future generations. Sad that he is no longer with us.

RPN SINGH, Congress minister
When a man has done what he considers to be his duty to his people and his country, he can rest in peace. RIP Mandela.

KIRAN BEDI, retired senior police officer
The world leadership is poorer without Nelson Mandela. He was an epitome of the patriotic world citizen. Also a shining African success.

ARUN JAITLEY, Bharatiya Janata Party leader
Deeply saddened by the news of the demise of Nelson Mandela, the most inspirational personality of modern times.

MUKHTAR ABBAS NAQVI, Bharatiya Janata Party leader
Mandela demise …we have lost anti-apartheid hero and most courageous leader of the world.

KAUSHIK BASU, chief economist at World Bank
Nelson Mandela goodbye. He was among the very few for whom one could truly say it would have been a worse world but for him.

AMITABH BACHCHAN, veteran Bollywood actor
Nelson Mandela – a giant of a man; of will, belief and perseverance, passes away. But leaves behind a legacy of fight for right. I had the greatest honour to meet and spend time with him on two occasions. His humility his greatest asset, among countless others.

SHAH RUKH KHAN, Bollywood actor
RIP Nelson Mandela … Some people should not die … for the sake of the lack of goodness left in this world.

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