Hailing Aung San Suu Kyi as "one of the most remarkable figures of our time", Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday said her visit to India after a quarter of a century is "something of a homecoming" and an opportunity to renew links that go back to two generations.
Gandhi said that Suu Kyi’s vision of "politics as an ethical calling" has inspired people all over the world.
Inviting her to deliver the Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial lecture in Delhi, Gandhi said that just like Nehru, the Burmese leader is a synthesis of the best of East and West, but rooted in her own country and its culture.
"She exemplifies all qualities he (Nehru) most admired - fearlessness, integrity, moral and intellectual courage, perseverance,freedom from anger and bitterness and unqualified devotion to betterment of the life of her people through the path of dialogue and national reconciliation," she said.
Gandhi said Indian people revere Suu Kyi for sacrifices she has made and recalled the warmth of relations between Nehru and her father, General Aung San adding they held each other in high esteem.
"At a more personal level, I am delighted to have this opportunity to renew links that go back two generations," Gandhi said recalling that in January 1947, when Aung San was on his way to London for talks on Burma’s independence, he stayed with Nehru as his personal guest in his home.
"Both shared a vision of the people of Asia, newly emerging from colonial rule, meeting together, holding together and advancing together. As a first step towards this goal, your father had proposed a pan-Asian conference, which materialised in Delhi in March 1947.
"A few months later on receiving the news of your father’s tragic assassination, Nehru wrote to your mother, mourning the loss of a friend and comrade to whom Burma and Asia had looked with hope. You are the worthy inheritor of a noble father’s legacy... I am deeply privileged to extend to Suu Kyi a most heartfelt welcome," she said.