To mark the 100th birth anniversary of Shri Nelson Mandela, a lecture on “Nelson Mandela in the Footsteps of Gandhi: Centenary Tributes” was jointly organized by Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti (GSDS) and Zakir Husain Delhi College within the premises of later on July 27, 2018.
Prof. N. Radhakrishnan, Chairman, Indian Council of Gandhian Studies including two other eminent speakers namely Dr. Uma Shankar, Dean Political Science Department and Dr. Ramesh Mishra (Faculty Member, Shyamlal college).The session was coordinated by Dr. Sanjeev Kumar (Faculty Member, Zakir Husain Delhi College) and Ms. Tripta (Faculty Member, Zakir Husain Delhi College) whilst attended by almost 70 students.
The session began with the students presenting an insight to the life of Shri Nelson Mandela. Ms. Tanya Arora gave a presentation on “A Brief Introduction on the life of Madiba”. Whereas, Ms. Alia and Ms. Deepshikha recited poems titled: “A Confession” and “A Positive Power” penned down by Ms. Syeda Rumana Mehdi.
Mr. Harshit threw light on the moral dimension behind the journey of Mahatma and Madiba and Ms. Madiha Akhter talked about the constraints of Peace and Ms. Khushboo described that how Nelson Mandela become the first black man in white man’s coat.
Dr.Vedabhyas Kundu (Programme Officer, GSDS) outlined the essence of Madiba’s life and asked the participating to self-introspect while walking through the footsteps of Shri Nelson Mandela. He also stressed that whatever students would learn from the lecture they should carry those teachings in such a way that they can practice in their own lives.
The keynote address was delivered by Prof. N. Radhakrishnan appreciated the efforts of the students in braving the inclement weather to participate in this discussion. Calling Nelson Mandela as the greatest revolutionary of the 21st Century, he began with an instance of Nelson Mandela’s homecoming from prison after 27 years. He said that the crowd was following him and was urging to take steps for a big change. There Nelson asked all: “What do you want me to do? Young people in the crowd shouted ‘Revenge’. He further asked will’ Revenge’ solve the problem? Where would it take us? Then he asked what was the opposite of ‘Revenge’” and answered it as ‘Love’ ‘Understanding’ and asked the people to cultivate it.
Prof. Radhakrishnan said that it demonstrated the upliftment of self-consciousness in Madiba while living in struggling conditions of Prison. He further gave reference to the Autobiography of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru i.e. Discovery of India where he had written that Wonder of Life lies in the wonder of being together.
While remembering Nelson Mandela’s visit to Gandhi Smriti after his release from imprisonment, Prof. Radhakrishnan informed that July 18 is being declared as the Nelson Mandela Day by the United Nations and congratulated all that we are the first to commemorate the anniversary.
An insight to the TRC concept which is Truth and Reconciliation Commission was also provided by him, which was a court-like restorative justice body assembled in South Africa after the end of apartheid and added that as per their method of ‘justice’ three thoughts should be taken into consideration before pronouncing the verdict. These are Wrong to be punished; with awareness to be God’s Child; Power to Forgive. So,
Dr. Uma Shankar, who has done research on conflicts in Afghanistan stressed that we need to find out a Global Universal Message based on how to look at conflict and how we should strive to frame an understanding to resolve it. He focused on some crucial issues such as domination of capitalist class and sedition of power, centralization and militarization, methods of non-violence, need to empower human beings internally, requirements to enrich internal capability of compassion, tolerance and truth.
Further Dr. Ramesh (Faculty member, Shyamlal College) began his lecture by comparing the two legends i.e. Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela with the motive to gain best out of their direction. He said that Gandhi never received/accepted any award, but Mandela did. Further, he asked to build Mandela Chairs in the footsteps of current Gandhian Chairs.
Interactive sessions were organized. Ms. Alia, Mr. Shadab, Mr. Kalam and others took part.
The lecture concluded with the vote of thanks proposed by Ms. Tripta, faculty member, Zakir Husain Delhi College.