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NEWS|Current Affairs 
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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."

Happy about polio-free certification, must not get complacent: Health minister

from firstpost

Happy about polio-free certification, must not get complacent: Health minister

New Delhi: Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan says that he is happy about India being polio-free for three years and receiving WHO certification, but warned against becoming complacent and neglecting...


Curfew relaxed for four hours as Saharanpur gets a breather

from firstpost

Curfew relaxed for four hours as Saharanpur gets a breather

Saharanpur:With the situation improving inviolence-hit Saharanpur, the district authorities todayrelaxed curfew for four hours in the new city area to allowpeople to buy their daily need items from ma...

US' diplomats leave Libya as Benghazi attack return to haunt Obama

from firstpost

US' diplomats leave Libya as Benghazi attack return to haunt Obama

Washington: If evacuating US embassy staff from Libya was perilous - three F-16 fighters and Marines in Osprey aircraft flew overhead a road convoy from Tripoli to Tunisia - sending them back in could...

US-Israel tensions rise amid slowing offensive in Gaza

from firstpost

US-Israel tensions rise amid slowing offensive in Gaza

Gaza/Jerusalem:Israel sees no need for another Gaza ceasefire, an Israeli official was quoted as saying on Monday, as tensions between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government and Washington fla...

Obama calls for urgent, unconditional ceasefire in Gaza

from firstpost

Obama calls for urgent, unconditional ceasefire in Gaza

Washington: US President Barack Obama phoned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and called for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire while condemning rocket attacks by Hamas and expressing c...

Fresh incursion attempt by China in Ladakh, flag meeting held

from firstpost

Fresh incursion attempt by China in Ladakh, flag meeting held

A fresh incursion by the Chinese has been reported in the Demchok area of Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir.It was reported that Chinese herdsmen had pitched tents in the Demchok area of Ladakh. They howeve...

NDA committed to implement 'one rank, one pension' scheme: VK Singh

from firstpost

NDA committed to implement 'one rank, one pension' scheme: VK Singh

Mumbai: The BJP-led government at the Centre is committed to implement the 'one rank, one pension' scheme for ex-servicemen, Minister of State for External Affairs General VK Singh said on Sunday.&quo...