Friday, December 06, 2013

Where is the the Palestinian Mandela, they ask; the Pakistani Mandela

Photo taken crom "Gallery Ezakwantu". Read their page.
Way too often, people ask "Where is the Palestinian Mandela?" Or the Palestinian Gandhi. Or the Pakistani Mandela. Well, they're most probably where Mandela was at a comparable point in his journey: being tortured in prison.

A friend posted this morning on Facebook seeming to say that assassinations, dronings, torture, detention, etc. are what prevent us from having the next Mandela.

 But those were the tactics that formed and groomed him in the first place. Nelson Mandela (or, for that matter, Gandhi or Dr. King) did not achieve their potential by sitting comfortably; they went to jail and took the beatings and the torture and whatnot. That process killed some who could also have been great--Steve Biko comes to mind. In other parts of Africa, Lumumba comes to mind. And further still Allende. But they also gave us Mandela. And Thambo. And Sissulu. And Mbeki. And Zuma. And Ramaphosa. And on and on and on.

The best way to honour the life and struggle of this father of ours (as Jacob Zuma described him yesterday) is for us, who claim a conscience, to find tomorrow's Mandela and do what the world did with Mandela: recognize them and provide a support structure. In the palestinian case, if someone gets too pushy I sometimes throw out the name of Marwan Barghouti, for example. He's in jail for a murder conviction just like Mandela was. I can give you names from Pakistan, too...

Who would you mention? Let's get a list going?

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