A statue for a statesman

MandelaIt warmed my heart to hear that a statue of Nelson Mandela was just unveiled in London’s Parliament Square. I consider him the greatest leader of this era. I don’t know if anyone even comes close (put your hand down, Fidel). He is the Gandhi of our time and we should be throwing away our Beyoncé  tickets and lining up to see him.

Talking to crowds who gathered for the unveiling, Mr
Mandela said: "Though this statue is of one man, it should in actual
fact symbolise all of those who have resisted oppression, especially in
my country."

Few people resisted like he did. He spent 27 years in prison. And even more inspiring was his policy of reconciliation when he came out. Elected South Africa’s first black president in 1994, he stepped down after only one term, resisting the temptation to cling to power like so many leaders (put your hand up, Fidel).

"Long after we are forgotten, you will be remembered for having taught the world one amazing truth," said Mr Livingstone.(London’s mayor)

"That you can achieve justice without vengeance.  I honour you and London honours you." [Link]

Every city in the world should honor him. Streets, schools and babies should be named after him. Boys should be named Nelson and girls should be named Nelsona. But that isn’t enough. The whole galaxy should honor him. The moon should be renamed "Moondela" and the sun should be renamed "NelSun."

If you enjoyed this piece, you'll love Melvin's novel Bala Takes the Plunge, available in North America through Amazon.com and McNallyRobinson.com You can also find it at major bookstores in India and Sri Lanka or online at FlipKart, IndiaPlaza, FriendsofBooks or other sites. A number of readers have written reviews of the novel. An excerpt of the novel can be read here.

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