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Nelson Mandela's love for India

Friday, 6 December 2013 - 12:52pm IST | Place: Mumbai
Mandela was conferred the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honour, in 1990.

The Parliament was adjourned today as a mark of respect for Nelson Mandela, who died on Thursday at his residence in Johanessburg. A House of the Indian Parliament being adjourned on the death of a foreign national is a very rare occurrence.  

Mandela is an avid follower of Mahatma Gandhi’s teachings. His love for India can be seen through his frequent visits. He first visited India in 1990 when he was released from jail after more than 25 years for leading the antiapartheid movement in South Africa. India was his first destination abroad after spending those years in jail. Mandela was conferred the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honour, in this year.

He again visited in 1995, "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."

1997: Nelson Mandela met the Indian cricket team led by another Bharat Ratna, Sachin Tendulkar, in South Africa in January during the Cape Town Test. The lunch break was lengthened by 15 minutes when Mr Mandela, having met the teams, made an impromptu address live on TV. AFP Photo


1997: Nelson Mandela meets then Indian Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda beneath the arches and throne of the 16th century Mughal Red Fort 28 March in New Delhi on the second day of Mandela's official visit to India. South Africa and India pledged to revitalize the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) which they said was crucial to promoting total nuclear disarmament. AFP photo


2001: Former South African president Nelson Mandela talks with the then Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee during an award ceremony at the Presidential palace in New Delhi. Mandela received the award of the International Gandhi Peace Prize for social, economic and political transformation from Indian President K. R. Narayanan. AFP Photo


2004: Nelson Mandela and India's President Addul Kalam enjoy a joke at Mandela's office in Johannesburg. An awestruck Indian President Abdul Kalam hailed anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela as a "mighty spirit" -- a term signifying near-divine status in his country -- after meeting with South Africa's most famous son. AFP Photo


2006: Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Nelson Mandela arrive at the Nelson Madela Foundation in Johannesburg. Singh's four-day visit starting last Saturday focuses on beefing up trade between the two regional powerhouses from four billion dollars last year, according to Indian figures, to three times that by the end of the decade. AFP Photo


2007: Former South African president and Nelson Mandela receives Sonia Gandhi, the President of the Indian National Congress and the leader of the ruling Indian Congress Alliance at the Mandela Foundation in Johannesburg during her four day working visit to South Africa. Gandhi presented a smiling Mandela with a book entitled 'Gandhi's Way' which celebrated a centenary of Mahatma Gandhi's philosophy of peace and humanity. AFP Photo

Actor Amitabh Bachchan also took to Twitter to recall his meeting with Mandela:

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