Dressed in traditional Burmese clothes with yellow flowers in her hair, pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi of Myanmar delivered the Nehru Memorial Lecture on the 123rd birth anniversary of the former Prime Minister of India on November 14 at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi.
SUU KYI said that Indian leaders like Mahatma Gandhi
and Jawaharlal Nehru
had been her inspirations for struggle for a democratic Myanmar. The principle of non-violence advocated by Indian leaders made her nearly 15 years under house arrest as a struggle for democracy meaningful.
"Two leaders I feel closest to are Gandhi and Nehru because their challenges were similar to ours. Our fight for democracy in Burma is non-violent. It is influenced by Mahatma Gandhi," said Suu Kyi.
“During the years of house arrest, I felt closer to those who I could identify with politically, intellectually, spiritually through their thoughts, even if they were complete strangers or figures of the past, than to those whom I know personally,” she added.
Suu Kyi's visit to India is more like homecoming because she spent several years in India as a student in the early 1960s while her mother was ambassador to India. She will also visit the Lady Shri Ram College in New Delhi where she received higher education in political science.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi has described Suu Kyi as a synthesis of the 'best of East and West'.