Kanakagiri Siddhartha

Rest in Peace Madiba

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Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them – William Shakespeare

We live in times of such gratuitous ascription of greatness that we now have great actors, great actresses, great sportspersons and even great local politicians. But if we actually consider the words literal meaning, the entire human race might have produced a couple of hundred great people in all. We are extremely fortunate to have lived alongside one of those bonafide greats - Rolihlahla Mandela, and are that much poorer for it after he passed away on Thursday the 5th of December 2013.

I do not presume I could add anything to the several reams written about his life and fight. In my humble opinion, his greatest achievement was, having spent 27 prime years of his life in prison, having become the president of South Africa in the first national elections held in 1994, he was able to display magnanimity no other human in the history of mankind in that position was able to. He was able to rise above the obvious calls for justice and retribution for himself and his people and instead focused on reconciliation. A closure nonetheless, but with far less bitterness. Any other course of action would probably have resulted in South Africa ending up like Zimbabwe now. That is the true mark of greatness. The difference between statesmen and politicians. Nelson Mandela was a statesman like no other.

Furthermore, he retired from active politics less than a decade after being freed from 27 years of imprisonment. Just after five years of presidency, all the same continuing his work for the betterment of humanity. Great in the truest literal sense of the word.

Now that he has gone, his memory lives on and continues to inspire those handful of tireless warriors who fight on to make this world a better place. May his spirit find solace and quiet so deserved by him.


Siddhartha's books

A Christmas CarolMidhunamLate Victorian Holocausts: El Niño Famines and the Making of the Third WorldThe HobbitThe Emperor of All MaladiesThe Compleat Angler, or the Contemplative Man's RecreationThe Lord of the RingsMan Against MythOne Last Story and That's It
ChowringheeHarry Potter Boxed SetThe Sense of an EndingThe Man Who Knew Infinity: A Life of the Genius RamanujanThe AlchemistThings Fall ApartA Time to KillThe Hungry TideSea of Poppies
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August 18, 2019

2017 Reading Challenge

Siddhartha has read 0 books toward his goal of 29 books.
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