The concepts of forgiveness and reconciliation are as old as religion itself. All the world's great faiths preach forgiveness, from Christianity's parable of the Prodigal son to Islam's tenet that Allah is the source of all forgiveness. Famous instances of forgiveness pepper recent history, from a dying Mahatma Gandhi forgiving his assassin to Pope John Paul II making peace with his own would-be killer in a prison cell meeting two years after his attempted assassination. There's Nelson Mandela, who exited prison after 27 years only to preach forgiveness and unity with his erstwhile captors. Now, perhaps, we can add the example of Priyanka Gandhi, daughter of assassinated former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
Priyanka was still a teenager when her father was murdered, torn apart in a suicide bombing by a Tamil activist angry about India's involvement in the civil war in neighboring Sri Lanka. According to friends of the family quoted later, Priyanka cared for her distraught mother Sonia and helped make preparations for the funeral.
Last month, 17 years on, the daughter of India's most famous family sought out a woman serving a life sentence for her role in the assassination conspiracy. It was a private affair, "a purely personal visit that I undertook completely on my own initiative," Priyanka said in a statement released after news of the meeting with Nalini Murugan leaked to the Indian press earlier this week. "I would be deeply grateful if this could be respected."Comment: I love people who are forgiving others. I think they have a kind of big soul for forgiving others