Author: Bhai Jagwant Singh, Walsall (UK)
Nelson Mandela left a remarkable legacy. He led the ANC resistance against White apartheid rule and was sentenced to 27 years hard labour in prison. During the height of apartheid in the 80s, leaders such as Margaret Thatcher dismissed Mandela as a 'terrorist' and ironically remarked that the ANC could never come to power in South Africa. To her dismay Mandela was freed a few years later and his presidency heralded the end of apartheid rule.
Mandela treated Whites and Blacks as equals and was regarded by many as a revolutionary - a man who fought for human rights and justice. These characteristics held Mandela in great esteem by people of all walks of life, and are values that we should all uphold. There are many Mandela's even now throughout the world who sacrifice the comfort of their own lives for the sake of others. One such person is Bhai Gurbaksh Singh.
Bhai Gurbaksh Singh had the company of great saints such as Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale during the 80s. At the time of ethnic cleansing in Punjab, he spent most of his youth being tortured by the police and in prison under fabricated charges. Even now there are Sikh political prisoners languishing in India's jails after having served their sentences. To give them a voice, Bhai Sahib underwent a hunger strike for 22 long days to protest their illegal incarceration.
Thousands came out in support of Bhai Sahib however the authorities, just like South Africa's government at the time, saw him as a threat and abducted him last night. He has been moved to Ropar jail with the view to force feed him and quell any attempts to get justice. However many others have risen to take Bhai Sahib's place and continue this struggle. We all admire and remember Mandela for who he was and what he stood for. However lets practice the values that he preached and stand up for human rights and freedom against oppression, wherever that is in the world...