Mandela’s death marks a sad day for the world

Readers pay tributes to Nelson Mandela. Other topics: India, US-China relations

A woman writes a message on a poster of Nelson Mandela outside his old house in Soweto, South Africa. Tributes to Mandela flooded in from across the world after his death was announced on Thursday. Ben Curtis / AP Photo
Powered by automated translation

Farewell, father of the South African nation, our beloved Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.

Thursday was one of the saddest days for us, and it’s a sad day for the world. Loved and respected all over the world, Mandela, the Nobel-Prize laureate and first black president of South Africa, dedicated his life to serving humanity.

We thank him for the sacrifices he made to give us freedom. He was a real fighter.

I offer my deepest condolence to his family members and all my countrymen.

Samaoen Osman, South Africa

Nelson Mandela was a leader of enormous integrity, who took personal sufferings in his strides for the sake of his countrymen. He upheld the principle of equality.

But what makes him extraordinary is the fact that he had no malice towards those who imprisoned him or disagreed with him. After his release from prison, he worked hard to unite various factions in South Africa. He did not let the past rancour and bitterness affect the future.

In 2000, when I was on a visit to Cape Town, a taxi driver told me: “I am livid with the way we coloured folks were treated in the past. But grandfather Madiba tells us no revenge. So we try to make things work.” It showed the respect that ordinary people in the country had for Mandela.

That’s because he was a leader with high principles and strong moral values. Not only did he contribute to South Africa’s development, but he influenced the thinking process of many leaders around the world, and was respected and revered universally.

He was a true Gandhian in his philosophy of making all factions work towards building a new society based on mutual respect. The world will not easily see another leader like him.

Rajendra K Aneja, Dubai

It is hard to believe that Nelson Mandela is no more. He was a true inspiration for all those fighting for freedom. His battle against racism in South Africa will never be forgotten. Mandela will continue to live in every soul in South Africa for generations.

Ramachandran Nair, Oman

Nelson Mandela, the father of freedom, had to overcome so many barriers, so many prejudices and misconceptions, lies and struggles, before he liberated his country.

But why is it so often that we have to wait for people to die before acknowledging their greatness? Why can’t we help people who do great things address their concerns when they are alive?

The UAE is a perfect example of compassion and peace and its work closely resembles those of Mandela and the Dalai Lama. Will this vision of non-violence help Tibet achieve its freedom one day?

Brigitte von Bulow, Abu Dhabi

Even though death is inevitable for everyone, Nelson Mandela’s demise is a great loss to the world. He was liked and respected globally, thanks to his idealism and commitment to peace. May his soul rest in peace.

K Ragavan, India

It’s beginning of end for Congress

The editorial Congress pays price of its failure (December 6) correctly analysed the shape of political things to come. If the performance of the Congress party in the Assembly elections in five states is any indication, it will face a similar fate in India's parliamentary election in May 2014.

Essentially, it’s an anti incumbency vote. The UPA coalition, led by Congress, has miserably failed to control corruption, inflation, economic downfall and, above all, its band of arrogant and loudmouth spokespersons, who have done immense damage to the party.

The party’s anti-Modi propaganda to hide its own failures has no takers. Besides, voters have realised for the first time that Narendra Modi is seriously trying to shed his past image as he distances himself from staunch fundamentalism to be able to deliver according to the common man’s expectations.

As for Manmohan Singh, the country has lost an erudite and eminent economist in a bad prime minister.

CS Pathak, India

US effort over China laudable

I refer to the news article Biden charmed by Chinese president's candour amid islands crisis (December 5), which quoted the US vice president, Joe Biden, telling the Chinese youth: "I hope you learn that innovation can only occur where you can breathe free, challenge the government, challenge religious leaders."

Mr Biden’s statement certainly has an underlying meaning. Nevertheless, his efforts to cool tensions between the two countries are commendable. The US should make an effort to reduce tensions in the region.

Varsha John, Abu Dhabi