New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has condoled the passing away of US Congressman John Lewis.
In a tweet, the Prime Minister said, “We mourn the loss of US Congressman John Lewis, a champion of civil rights, non-violence and Gandhian values. His legacy will continue to endure and inspire.”
John Lewis, a pioneer of the civil rights movement and long-time member of the US House of Representatives and a member of Congress from Atlanta who had announced in December that he had advanced pancreatic cancer, was 80. Lewis passed seven months after a routine medical visit revealed that he had stage 4 pancreatic cancer.
Lewis, who was born on Feb. 21, 1940 to sharecroppers in Troy, Alabama, attended segregated public schools and counted the Montgomery Bus Boycott and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s radio broadcasts as inspiration for his work as an activist.
Lewis wasted no time organizing, quickly finding himself on the front lines of the civil rights movement. He was the youngest person to speak at the 1963 March on Washington, an event he helped organize as the chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.
Lewis was elected to the Atlanta City Council in 1981 and then to Congress, representing Georgia’s 5th District in 1986. He has served on the Ways & Means Committee and is head of the Oversight Subcommittee. President Barack Obama awarded Lewis the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011 for his lifetime of advocacy and activism.