Both the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha were adjourned for the day after paying homage to the South African leader. (Agencies)
Speaker Meira Kumar and Chairman Hamid Ansari made obituary references as soon as the two Houses met for the day.
Describing Mandela as South Africa's Father of the Nation, Ansari said, "Inspired by Mahatma Gandhi in his long walk and struggle against apartheid, he along with other leaders organised mass boycotts, especially against the laws supporting racial discrimination and oppression." Kumar said Mandela was conferred Bharat Ratna in 1990 and the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993. She said her visit to Robben Island where Mandela was jailed for 27 years was like a pilgrimage and one of the most inspiring moments of her life.
UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi lauded the courage, sacrifice and forgiveness of "Madiba", whom she described as South Africa's Mahatma Gandhi. "He was a leader who belonged to all humanity...he voluntarily renounced politics after serving as President (of South Africa), though the country wanted him to be President for life," she said.
Home Minister and Leader of Lok Sabha Sushilkumar Shinde said while Mandela fought all his life against injustice, he also battled against illness till he breathed his last.
Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj said the foot prints left by Mandela can not be washed away by time. Though people come and go from this world, Mandela will remain immortal, she said.
Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh recalled Mandela's visit to Lucknow. "He said he wanted to go for a boat ride in Kashi (Varanasi). We spent a day together in Lucknow and Varanasi," Yadav recalled. He said while Mahatma Gandhi was a model for Mandela, the South African leader will also be a model for coming generations as he fought against injustice and inequality.
Dara Singh Chauhan (BSP) said it is a coincidence that Mandela died on a day when the nation is observing the death anniversary of B R Ambedkar. He said the two followed same principles.
JD(U) President Sharad Yadav said during his visit to India, when Mandela supported Mandal Commission recommendations, media projected a perception that he was more of a "liability" than a guest. He said till social injustice and inequality remain in India, the country cannot prosper.
Basudeb Acharia (CPI-M) described him as "leader of the exploited masses" and recalled his visit to Kolkata. Saugata Roy (Trinamool), TKS Elangovan (DMK), B Mahtab (BJD), Sanjeev Naik (NCP), M Thambidurai (AIADMK), Gurudas Dasgupta (CPI) and Raghuvansh Prasad Singh (RJD) also condoled Mandela's demise.
In the Rajya Sabha, Ansari said, "As an anti-apartheid revolutionary, he was convicted to life imprisonment in 1964 and was released in 1990. Inspired by Mahatma Gandhi in his long walk and struggle against apartheid, he along with other leaders organised mass boycotts especially against the laws supporting racial discrimination and oppression...
"Mandela was a living symbol of his people's quest for freedom and dignity against tyranny and injustice. While his courage, determination and sacrifice inspired millions of people during the anti-apartheid movement, his message of peace, forgiveness and reconciliation thereafter, united them and led the rainbow nation on the path to peace and progress," he said.
Both the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha were adjourned for the day after paying homage to the South African leader.