Dr. Avnish Jolly, Winnipeg, Canada : People paid tribute to Mandela a year after his death worldwide, agreeing that his contributions for the mankind should never be forgotten. The legacies Mandela and Gandhi transcend time, in terms of the impacts they each had on civil rights. They were men of different times with similar ideas. They inspired similar admiration among followers worldwide.
While each of these men took unique paths to prominence, a shared sense of equality and belief that society’s oppressed citizens must stand together is foundation of their philosophies for bringing change for the masses.
Mandela send into the same Johannesburg prison as Gandhi before him; both arriving by different paths at an idea marked this way by Gandhi in his autobiography: “When we come to think of it, the distinction between heterogeneous and homogeneous is discovered to be merely imaginary. We are all one family.”
While Gandhi initially supported prevailing racial segregation in South Africa, his personal journey enlightened him to the issues related the common man, fostering changes in his world view. As a result of their individual experiences, both men embraced unity, brotherhood and hope as tool of their mass movement. In both cases, inner consciousness guided them to adopt non-violent approaches to social change, projecting deeply held personal beliefs for the sake of mass change. Both also understand the value of manual labor and what it teaches. Although both are no longer physically with us but their legacy remains to guide us.