Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday hailed Nelson Mandela as the conscience of the world as well as a true Gandhian.
“He represented the conscience of the world. He was beacon of hope for those struggling against oppression”, Singh said in his opening speech at the Hindustan Times Leadership summit.
“A giant among men has passed away. This is as much India's loss as South Africa's. He was a true Gandhian," PM's office tweeted after the news of Mandela's death at the age of 95.
“His life and work will remain a source of eternal inspiration for generations to come. I join all those who are praying for his soul.”
In a separate statement, President Pranab Mukherjee hailed Mandela as "a statesman, world leader and icon of inspiration of humanity".
India was the first country to sever trade relations with the apartheid regime in Pretoria back in the 1940s and South Africa is where father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi had his political baptism.
BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi said the world has lost an apostle of peace in Mandela’s demise.
“RIP Nelson Mandela. The world has lost an apostle of peace & non-violence who redefined the journey of his nation for the good of humankind,” Modi wrote on twitter.
“Many of us are not fortunate to see Gandhi ji alive. We are blessed to see the life of Nelson Mandela, who embodied his values and ideals,” he said.