Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Mr Mandela

Today, I finished reading Nelson Mandela's auto-bio – 'A long walk to freedom'. What a man! I felt obligated to purchase this book while I was staying in Johannesburg :)

I wonder what would have happened in South Africa if not for Mandela !! Just imagine India without Gandhi. I think Mandela has gone through more pains than Gandhi did for India. 27 years in jail is no joke. Just a curious observation – both Mandela and Gandhi were lawyers by profession. Lawyers have to fight by profession. They have no other choice. I think in a natural way they extend it outside their profession as well.

I still remember that as a kid, we were watching TV at home and saw a sudden text message on the screen that Mandela has been released after being in jail for 27 years. Dad told that he was a freedom fighter.

While working at Bank of Athens (a Greek Bank) in Johannesburg, There was a Management committee which I had to attend and suddenly an old man in suit entered into the board room. I dont know why, but by reflex I stood up as a matter of showing respect. This old man was George Bizos who served many times as a lawyer to Mandela. I am proud that I could atleast meet Mr. Bizos if not Mr. Mandela :) Mr. Bizos is on the board of Bank of Athens and is a Greek himself.

I think Mr. Mandela is a great negotiator and who had one and only goal - the freedom of South Africa from the shackles of Apartheid. He did acheive it in the end.

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