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India remembers late Nelson Mandela as a true Gandhian in spirit and idea
South Africa's first black president, an Anti-apartheid hero, who inspired a generation of people around the world, from actors and directors to famous footballers is no more between us. South Africans mourn the loss of their former president Nelson Mandela and people gathered outside Nelson Mandela's home in Johannesburg Thursday evening after hearing that the revered icon of the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa had died at the age of 95.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh while expressing his condolence over the death of former South African president said that India regarded Mandela as a true Gandhian in spirit and idea. PM Singh described him as an example of working for harmony in a world marked by division. He represented the conscious of the world, added the Indian PM.

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President Pranab Mukherjee in his condolence message said that Mandela was a statesman, world leader and icon of inspiration of humanity. Indian President remembered the former South African President as a great friend of India while saying that Mandela's contribution for strengthening the close ties between the two countries will be always remembered".

Mandela was awarded the Bharat Ratna in 1990 in honour of his contribution to the friendship between the two countries.

Nelson Mandela was one of the towering figures of modern history - a symbol of freedom and forgiveness which extends far beyond the borders of South Africa, the country he helped liberate from apartheid rule. He was a global brand - adorning clothes, books and even a range of wines.

The former president was admitted to hospital repeatedly in the last few years for a recurring lung infection. His hospital visits became more frequent, and the African nation began to accept that the end was near, but they still continued to pray for him, reported AFP.

Mandela was born in Thembu Royal family, in 1918, he studied Fort Hare University and the University of Witwatersrand became a lawyer. Living in Johannesburg he became a key player within the brand African National Congress (ANC). Mandela's political activism lead to his arrest in 1964, and he spent the next 27 years in prison. Mandela was finally released in 1990, due to a strong international pressure.

Mandela was countries first black president in 1994. His reach extended beyond South Africa, becoming an unparallel driving statesmen. His personal charm was Mandela's most powerful weapon, which helped in building bridges. Remembering his contributions, some of those who knew him well share their thoughts about the man and his legacy.

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