Monday, June 4, 2012

COMMENT: Great sentiments alone do not make great men —Mir Mohammad Ali Talpur

Compromises with the oppressive system only strengthen the shackles of slavery of both mind and body of the oppressed
“It is not the strength but the duration of great sentiments that makes great men.” This axiomatic quote of Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), the German philosopher-poet underlines the overwhelming importance of consistency and persistence in any honourable struggle. Persistence and constancy eventually succeed.
Black Africans suffered immeasurably in an apartheid era South Africa, and there must have been many who vowed to undo that abhorrent system of injustice and struggled against it, but it was Nelson Mandela and his comrades who succeeded. The secret of his success was persistence of great sentiments; others failed because their sentiments, though intense, lacked the consistency that accompanied Mandela’s struggle. Mandela remained incarcerated for 27 years, 18 of which he spent in the notorious Robben Island prison. Classified as a D-group prisoner, he was allowed a single visitor and one letter every six months. He could walk the length of his cell in three paces and when he lay down his feet touched the wall, while his head grazed the opposite wall. In February 1985, President P W Botha offered Mandela his freedom on condition that he ‘unconditionally rejected violence as a political weapon’. He refused saying, “What freedom am I being offered while the organisation of the people remains banned? Only free men can negotiate. A prisoner cannot enter into contracts.” He persisted as did the brave people of South Africa and eventually, the racists were defeated.\06\03\story_3-6-2012_pg3_2

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