bhavan weekly



Vol. 6.8, 9 December 2013



*     Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan is indeed saddened by the departure of the Great Soul Madiba Nelson Mandela and expresses deep condolences


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 Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan expresses deep condolences for the great soul to Madiba Nelson Mandela’s widow Graca Machel, his children and to the people of South Africa, who have lost their nation’s transforming father and its greatest son apart from a true Gandhian and South Africa’s first black President who led the peaceful transition from white-only rule. After suffering from a long illness, Nelson Mandela died on 5 December 2013 at the age of 95.

A Brief Life-History of Nelson Mandela


Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was born in Transkei, South Africa on 18 July 1918. His father was Hendry Mphakanyiswa of the Tembu Tribe. Mandela got education at University College of Fort Hare and the University of Witwatersrand where he studied law. He joined the African National Congress in 1944 and was engaged in resistance against the ruling National Party’s apartheid policies after 1948. He went on trial for treason in 1956-1961 and was acquitted in 1961.


Banning of the ANC

After the banning of the ANC in 1960, Nelson Mandela argued for the setting up of a military wing within the ANC. In June 1961, the ANC executive considered his proposal on the use of violent tactics and agreed that those members who wished to involve themselves in Mandela's campaign would not be stopped from doing so by the ANC. This led to the formation of Umkhonto we Sizwe. Mandela was arrested in 1962 and sentenced to five years’ imprisonment with hard labour. In 1963, when many fellow leaders of the ANC and the Umkhonto we Sizwe were arrested, Mandela was brought to stand trial with them for plotting to overthrow the government by violence.


The Prison Life and Release

On June 12, 1964, eight of the accused, including Mandela, were sentenced to life imprisonment. From 1964 to 1982, he was incarcerated at Robben Island Prison, off Cape Town and later at Pollsmoor Prison, nearby on the mainland. During his years in prison, Nelson Mandela’s reputation grew steadily. He was widely accepted as the most significant black leader in South Africa and became a potent symbol of resistance as the anti-apartheid movement gathered strength. He consistently refused to compromise his political position to obtain his freedom.


Nelson Mandela was released on 11 February 1990. After his release, he plunged himself wholeheartedly into his life’s work, striving to attain the goals he and others had set out almost four decades earlier. In 1991, at the first national conference of the ANC held inside South Africa after the organization had been banned in 1960, Mandela was elected President of the ANC.


Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi

“I could never reach the standard of morality, simplicity and love for the poor set by the Mahatma...While Gandhi was a human without weaknesses, I am a man of many weaknesses.”

-Nelson Mandela about Mahatma Gandhi during his India visit in 1995.

Nelson Mandela initially fought for the right of blacks, but after learning Mahatma Gandhi’s teachings, he went on to include all who were unjustly treated in South Africa. Often calling Mahatma Gandhi his role model and referred to as one of Gandhi’s heirs, Mandela was a statesman of international repute and a man whose belief in non-violence impressed the whole nation.

Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi both achieved independence for their countries through non-violent means. Later on, a Gandhian philosophy shaped the African National Congress (ANCs) liberationist school of thought. In a message broadcast in 2007, Mandela, the Father of the nation said that Gandhi’s ideas had played a vital role in South Africa’s transformation. With the help of Gandhi’s teaching, apartheid had been overcome. Following Gandhi’s teachings, India conferred Mandela Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award of India in 1990 after his release from prison, International Gandhi Peace Price for his “exemplary work for promotion of peace and non-violence” in 2001 and he received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993. Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr and Nelson Mandela are prominent examples of how freedom and democratic rights can be won through non-violent methods.

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*     Essay Competition 2013 Open

Topics; on Relevance of Mahatma Gandhi Today Essay topics:

1. Social Responsibility OR, 2. World Peace OR, 3. Environment OR 4. Non Violence in Action. 

       For More Info Contact: or Click:



bullet 1 Mahatma Gandhi Says:

Non-violence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man.



Bhavan Australia supports the following organisations :


Art Gallery of NSW

Soka Gakkai International Australia

Asia Link

Sunnataram Forest Buddhist Monastery

Australia India Institute

Sydney Community Foundation

Bhavan Cares

Sydney Peace Foundation

Brahma Kumaris

The Great Synagogue Sydney

International Centre of Nonviolence Australia

The Sydney Institute

Islamic Foundation for Education & Welfare

Vedanta Centre of Sydney


White Ribbon Foundation

(Action against Domestic Violence)

MEFF – Multicultural Eid Festival & Fair



bullet 1 Bhavan's Membership Program


New Members:  Jeyendran Swarlaya (Life Member - $1500)


Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan Australia will be issuing Membership Cards to all the Members. We are organizing special discounts/promotions offered by various organisations including Dance and Music Schools, Yoga Centers, etc.


All members will be able to avail the following benefits on production of the Membership Card:


- 15% Discount on all Bhavan Australia's Ticketed Events.


- A Membership Card to all Bhavan Australia Members to avail special discounts at events supported by Bhavan Australia, where applicable.


Publisher and General Editor:

Gambhir Watts;



Editorial Committee:




Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan Australia
Suite 100 / 515 Kent Street,
Sydney NSW 2000

The views of contributors to Bhavan's Weekly are not necessarily the views of Bhavan's Weekly or the Editor.

*Bhavan's Weekly reserves the right to edit any contributed articles and letters submitted for publication.

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