Inspired by Mandela, Express readers join the world in remembering an 'exemplary life'

MandelaThis is a selection of front pages from the British National newspapers, taken Friday, Dec .6, 2013 reporting the death of former South African president Nelson Mandela. (AP photo)

Anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela passed away at the age of 95 peacefully at his residence in Johannesburg. As the news broke, tributes began pouring in from across the world.

Here are a few tributes from India, some from readers of The Indian Express:

Nandini Khaitan

His most powerful message to me was - "No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite."

Love is the only solution - I deeply believe in it. Much to my mother's chagrin - I often lecture her on this when she quotes her extremist views to me on religion and societal divides.

This man was the soul reason behind my inspiration to write an essay while in school on discrimination between Hindus and Muslims in educational institutions - it spoke about the liberty of allowing Muslim girls to wear a head scarf and so on to school which was essentialy a Hindu-backed institution.

Nelson Mandela's work on discrimination is well known. But he also worked tirelessly on prison reforms. One of his quotes (of the many) that really get to the heart is - "It is said that no one truly knows a nation until one has been inside its jails. A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but its lowest ones."

It has been my guiding light over the years in forming views over the years on capital punishment, prison reforms etc. It's because of him I believe that an eye for an eye does not become a civil society.

... contd.

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