Mandela's India connection: Not just footsteps, he left his mark too!

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New Delhi, Dec 6:Mandela might have left us for a better world, but his ideas will remain with us forever. Shocked by his sudden demise, the entire world remembers him as a 'giant for justice'.

He met people with equal respect and humbleness, irrespective of p litics, caste, creed and race. And it goes without saying, he earned the same respect too.

Mandela, however, has a special connection with India, especially when this was his first travel destination after his release from jail. And why not? An ardent follower of Mahatma Gandhi, Mandela visited Bapu's land in 1990, just a few months after being released from jail where he was held for 25 years for championing the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa.

Here is a look at his journey in India:

South African President Nelson Mandela met the Indian and the South African cricketers wishing them best for their performance in the third day of the second cricket

Test match between South Africa and India at the Newlands cricket ground.

The then President Nelson Mandela met his Indian counterpart Shankar Dayal Sharma and Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda on 27th March at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi. He had arrived after attending Bangladesh's independence celebrations that called for the restructuring of the United Nations so that powers are evenly distributed. Mandela had said,"We don't believe a few countries should undermine what the international community decides."

Nelson Mandela also won the award of the International Gandhi Peace Prize for his contribution in social, economic and political transformation. He received the award from the then President KR Narayanan at the Presidential palace in New Delhi on 16 March 2001. Mandela received the 10-million rupees ($217,391) as prize money.

Mandela has also met former Prime MInister I K Gujral and the former Chief Minister of West Bengal Jyoti Basu.

He has also had interactions with the former Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee.

Nelsom Mandela also earned the name of "mighty spirit" by India's former President Abdul Kalam when they both met at Mandela's office in Johannesburg on 16 September 2004. The term signified "near-divine" status in his country.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met Nelson Mandela at the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Johannesburg on 02 0ctober 2006.Sonia Gandhi also met the Nobel Laureate at the Foundation during her 4-day working visit to South Africa. She presented him a book entitled "Gandhi's way" that celebrated a centenary of Mahatma Gandhi's philosophy of humanity and peace.

Nelson Mandela with Congress President Sonia Gandhi

File photo of former South African President Nelson Mandela with Congress President Sonia Gandhi. Mandela, 95, died on Thursday in Johannesburg.

Nelson Mandela with the Atal Bihari Vajpayee

File photo of former South African President Nelson Mandela with the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee a the Non Aligned Movement (NAM) summit in Durban in Sept 1998. Mandela, 95, died on Thursday in Johannesburg.

Nelson Mandela with the A.P.J. Abdul Kalam

File photo of former South African President Nelson Mandela with the then President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam in Johannesburg in Sept 2004. Mandela, 95, died on Thursday in Johannesburg.

Nelson Mandela with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh

File photo of former South African President Nelson Mandela with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at a function in Johannesburg on October 2, 2006. Mandela, 95, died on Thursday in Johannesburg.

elson Mandela with the Shankar Dayal Sharma P.V. Narsimha Rao

File photo of former South African President Nelson Mandela with the then President Shankar Dayal Sharma and Prime Minister P.V. Narsimha Rao in New Delhi in Jan 2005. Mandela, 95, died on Thursday in Johannesburg.

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