People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 50

December 15, 2013





Homage Paid to Mandela


ON December 9, 2013, a condolence meeting organised at A K Gopalan Bhavan, the CPI(M) headquarters in New Delhi, paid homage to Nelson Mandela, the legendary figure who led the fight against apartheid in South Africa. Addressing the party workers on this occasion, Sitaram Yechury, member of the CPI(M) Polit Bureau, underlined some aspects of Nelson Mandela’s life and work which the bourgeois media, even while eulogising Mandela, seeks to hide from the people. In the context, Yechury referred, among other things, to Mandela’s relations with the South African Communist Party (SACP) whose Central Committee had Mandela as its member. He also referred to the fact that Mandela was the chief of Umkhonto we Sizwe which was the armed wing of the South African people’s liberation struggle.


The CPI(M) leader also described how, after the overthrow of the hated apartheid regime, it was under Mandela’s guidance that the alliance of African National Congress, SACP and COSATU began to chart out the country’s course. Drawing attention to this united struggle, Yechury drew attention to the fact that land reforms are as yet an unfinished task in South Africa. He also made it clear that peaceful struggle was a tactical question for Mandela, determined among other things by the action of the enemy forces, and not a strategic question as it was for Gandhi.


Earlier, in the afternoon, Sitaram Yechury went to the high commission of South Africa in New Delhi and paid homage to Nelson Mandela on behalf of the CPI(M). On December 9 night, Yechury left for South Africa as part of a five-member delegation from India.


On December 6, CPI(M) offices all over the country lowered the party flags as soon as the news of Mandela’s demise the previous night was received. On the very next day, December 7, the All India Peace and Solidarity Organisation (AIPSO) organised a mass meting in front of the South African high commission to pay homage to the legendary warrior.