Gandhi, Nehru are two Indian leaders I feel closest: Suu Kyi

Aung San Suu Kyi

The democracy leader, who was freed by the military junta in 2010, is also due to visit the Lady Shri Ram college in New Delhi, where she graduated with a degree in politics.

"You have been the keeper of Mahatma Gandhi's flame in your own country." Sonia told Suu Kyi. "To stand alone against power, whatever the cost, even to the point of defying the pointed rifle, requires extraordinary inner strength and resolve. To do so, not in order to acquire power or high office, but to empower a whole people, is even more heroic," she added.

Suu Kyi recalled that the year of Nehru's birth centenary--1989--was the year she was placed under house arrest for the first time and that could be said to have been the year of her political coming of age.

She said the thoughts and actions of the leaders of the Indian Independence movement provided her with ideas and inspiration.

Talking of her house arrest, the pro-democracy leader said among the 'maps' that used to see her through the years that headed into the unknown were Nehru's autobiography and 'Disovery of India'. She spent nearly 15 years under house arrest.

She said that during the house arrest she felt closer to those with whom she could identify politically, intellectually or spiritually through their thoughts, even if they were complete strangers or figures of the past, than to those whom she knew well personally.

Suu Kyi also said the lesson Nehru learnt is one everyone has to learn and relearn, again and again, along the long and difficult journey to goals that can only be won through hard work and persevarance.

Please read our terms of use before posting comments
TERMS OF USE: The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writer's alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of The Indian Express Group or its staff. Comments are automatically posted live; however, reserves the right to take it down at any time. We also reserve the right not to publish comments that are abusive, obscene, inflammatory, derogatory or defamatory.