Nelson Mandela found motivation in his struggle for freedom from oppression in Mahatma Gandhi?

Nelson Mandela found motivation in his struggle for freedom from oppression in Mahatma Gandhi?
Approach:
  • Briefly explain about Nelson Mandela
  • Throw light on the factors and values which deeply impacted Mandela and his struggle
  • Conclude Appropriately
Model Answer :
I could never reach the standard of morality, simplicity and love for the poor set by the Mahatma. While Gandhi was a human without weaknesses, I am a man of many weaknesses.” ~ Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela was a South African anti-apartheid political leader who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. He was the country’s first democratically elected black head of state. Mandela called Gandhi his ‘political guru’ and a ‘role model’.
Gandhi and Mandela:
Gandhi is most revered in South Africa for his commitment to non-violence and the Mandela-led Movement against apartheid in South Africa was strongly influenced by this Gandhian philosophy. Gandhi and Mandela had a shared conviction that all suppressed people, whatever their differences of religion or ethnicity or caste, must stand together against their oppressors.
Inspiration from Satyagraha:
It was in South Africa that Gandhi first experimented with truth, and developed Satyagraha as a philosophy and a method of struggle. Gandhi’s Satyagraha campaign, a compelling act of passive protest against oppression, inspired the formation of the African National Congress (ANC) as well as strengthening Mandela’s belief in the shared humanity. Inspired by Satyagraha campaign’s way of passive, nonviolent political resistance, the ANC launched the first mass movement against apartheid.
Non-violence: Nelson Mandela truly believed that Gandhi’s nonviolent ways of protesting were stimulating, and saw saw nonviolence as an integral part of the anti-apartheid movement. But he wasn’t as absolutist as Gandhi when it came to violence, and he wasn’t bound to non-violence when peaceful protest was met with violence. However, the use of violence by the ANC overall was limited.
Forgiveness: Mandela learned from Gandhi the essential virtues of forgiveness and compassion, values that served him and his country very well when he became the President.
After his release in prison, Mandela often visited India, and was also conferred with the Bharat Ratna. As a strong follower of Gandhi’s teachings, he was awarded the International Gandhi Peace Price in 2001 for his peacemaking efforts by the Indian government. Both the leaders are recognized for their contribution in world peace.

Subjects : Ethics – Essence

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