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New Delhi: Late South African President Nelson Mandela shared a close link with India through Mahatma Gandhi who he called his political guru. In fact when he was released from prison in 1990, India conferred him with the Bharat Ratna. This even before he got the Nobel Prize in 1993. Mandela remains the only non-Indian till date who has been given the Bharat Ratna. South Africa's beloved son Nelson Mandela will be remembered as much as an Indian leader and an inspirational figure in India. A man who led his people to freedom in much the way Mahatma Gandhi did, wrote in his early diaries from Robin Island about his inspiration for resistance that came from the Indian community that Gandhi had led in South Africa, a country often called the cradle of Satyagraha. "The Indians influenced our struggle here and especially a man like Mahatma Gandhi. So we respect them, honour them," Mandela had said. Through much of that protest movement, India supported Mandela and the ANC. In 1946, the then Prime Minister in waiting Jawaharlal Nehru announced that India would boycott South Africa until it abolished apartheid. It was a promise India kept, backing the ANC's demand at the UN and at all international forums. Mandela too kept in touch with the Indian leadership and in 1990 he was given India's highest civillian honour, the Bharat Ratna. As south Africa's first black President from 1994 to 1999, Mandela drove close relations with India and the two countries forged bonds over groupings like IBSA and BRICS as a result of that closeness described by Mandela himself some years ago when he said, "We can count today amongst our allies the most powerful countries in the world. We can however not forget for one moment those that stood by us when it was neither fashionable nor easy to do so. Amongst those India takes pride of place."

Indian fisherman in Karachi jail, third since December last year

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Indian fisherman in Karachi jail, third since December last year

Vadodara: An Indian fisherman from Gujarat died in a Karachi jail last month, a senior official has said.Additional Chief Secretary Gujarat Home department Sudeep Kumar Nanda told PTI that the fisherm...


Thai PM General Prayuth will come down hard on graft in Cabinet

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Thai PM General Prayuth will come down hard on graft in Cabinet

Bangkok: Thailand's new Prime Minister General Prayuth Chan-ocha, who seized power in a military coup three months ago, has warned his Cabinet ministers that they will be sacked for poor performance a...

Sonia, Rahul Gandhi condole the demise of historian Bipan Chandra

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Sonia, Rahul Gandhi condole the demise of historian Bipan Chandra

New Delhi: Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi on Saturday condoled the death of noted historian Bipan Chandra, hailing him an "erudite chronicler" of modern Indian history and ...

MH17 tragedy: Russia demands publication of black box data

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MH17 tragedy: Russia demands publication of black box data

Moscow: Russia is demanding to know why international investigators have yet to publish the black box data from a Malaysian airliner that was shot down over eastern Ukraine in July, a deputy defence m...

OP Singh appointed new director general of NDRF

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OP Singh appointed new director general of NDRF

New Delhi: Senior IPS officer OP Singh has been appointed the new chief of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), a central paramilitary tasked with carrying out relief and rescue operations dur...

Syrian rebels attack peacekeepers in Golan Heights

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Syrian rebels attack peacekeepers in Golan Heights

Manila, Philippines: The Philippine defense chief says Filipino peacekeepers in the Golan Heights have been attacked by Syrian rebels who are holding dozens of Fijian troops hostage.Defense Secretary ...

Kerala's first-ever pancreas transplant successfully performed in Kochi

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Kerala's first-ever pancreas transplant successfully performed in Kochi

A hospital here has successfully conducted Kerala's first combined pancreas-kidney transplant, the third such in India.The highly complex surgery was conducted on 35-year-old S. Syed Yunus Shahir, an ...