India considers Madiba as its own: Swaraj

New York [USA]: Speaking at the Nelson Mandela Peace Conference at the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said India considers Mandela, fondly known as Madiba, as one of its own.

“We Indians consider Madiba (Nelson Mandela) to be one of our own. We are proud to call him a Bharat Ratna. India cherishes its special relationship with Africa and its people. Our close bonds are reflected in the philosophy of Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi,” she said.

During her address at the plenary event organised to commemorate Mandela’s birth centenary, Swaraj shed light on how the former South African president’s life continues to inspire people across the globe even in the present day.
“Nelson Mandela’s life is an inspiration. He showed fearlessness and courage in the face of discrimination and adversity. Values espoused by him- forgiveness, compassion, and inclusiveness of society are needed now more than ever in these turbulent times. Our collective survival as a global family requires that the wisdom of pioneering leaders such as Mandela remains our moral compass. Let us share this planet as one. Let us make a better world for our children,” she added.

Earlier, a life-size statue of Mandela was unveiled at the United Nations Headquarters in New York by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the General Assembly, Maria Espinosa and Secretary-General Guterres.
Furthermore, twin stamps of Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela were released in July this year during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with South African President Ramaphosa.