Is BBC playing around with Mandela’s stature?

As Nelson Mandela, the icon of South Africa, gasps for life in a Johannesburg hospital, M.S. Prabhakara, the veteran Hindu correspondent in Guwahati who served as the newspaper’s first correspondent  in South Africa, has a letter to the editor:

“It is disgusting, but not surprising, that the BBC in its online world news bulletin should consistently describe Nelson Mandela, lying critically ill in a Pretoria hospital, as “South Africa’s first black president” instead of more accurately, and more relevantly in political terms, as South Africa’s first democratically elected President. This link is the latest of such descriptions that has appeared since June 24.”

M.S. Prabhakara


Also read: Why shouldn’t old men be mad at Bangalore?


  1. KG

    I’m sorry, this criticism is a little hare brained.

    The fact that Nelson Mandela is black, is arguably as interestingand more significant than the fact that he was democratically elected. After all, breaking free from South African apartheid (and by implication, white presidents), is arguably historically more unusual than a country’s transition to a democracy.

  2. Mandela is of course far more than the first democratically elected president. He is the last of the living legends of an epic period of world history. The beating back of European colonialism was a project worthy of its own Vyasa and Mandela was the last of its heroes. As Gandhi is in India, he is considered pater familias in South Africa

  3. KT

    If he wants to get upset about racism, how about tackling notorious Asian racism towards Africans?

  4. “If he wants to get upset about racism, how about tackling notorious Asian racism towards Africans?”

    I’m not agry with you KT !!!

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