by Staff Correspondent in Dhaka ;
Dhaka – India has awarded Bangladesh’s slain founding father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman with the Gandhi Peace Prize 2020 for his contributions towards social, political and economic transformation through non-violent approach.
The Indian government announced the award on Monday to honour Bangabandhu on Bangladesh’s 50th anniversary of independence from Pakistan. Sheikh Mujib led a long struggle for his country’s independence, which was eventually culminated in an armed battle for nine months in 1971.
India under the leadership of the then prime minister Indira Gandhi assisted Bangladesh achieve liberty.
In a statement, Indian Ministry of Culture said the Gandhi Peace Prize, named after Mahatma Gandhi who led non-violent movement for India’s independence from British colonial rule in the 1940s, recognizes the immense and unparalleled contribution of Bangabandhu in inspiring liberation of Bangladesh, bringing stability and laying foundation for India-Bangladesh relations and promoting peace in the region.
Indian government have been awarding the Gandhi Peace Prize every year to persons and entities pursuing non-violent approach as a means of protest, since in 1995.
On the 125th Birth Anniversary commemoration year of Mahatma Gandhi, the prize was given to Bangabandhu, whose birth centenary was celebrated in 2020. The award is open to all persons regardless of nationality, race, language, caste, creed or sex.
The Jury for Gandhi Peace Prize is chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Chief Justice of India and Leader of the single largest Opposition Party in Lok Sabha are also the ex-officio member of the jury board.
The jury met on March 19, 2021 and after due deliberations, unanimously decided to select Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as the recipient of the Gandhi Peace Prize for the year 2020.
Former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela, Former President of Tanzania Julius Nyerere, Dr. Gerhard Fischer from Germany and Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa were among the recipients of this prestigious prize in the past years.
The award carries an amount of 10 million Indian rupees, a citation, a plaque and an exquisite traditional handicraft or handloom item.
Indian Prime Minister Modi said that Bangabandhu was a champion of human rights and freedom, and is a hero to Indians as well.
“The legacy and inspiration of Bangabandhu has made the heritage of both countries more comprehensive and deep-rooted and that the path shown by Bangabandhu has laid a strong foundation for the partnership, progress and prosperity of both countries over the last decade,” Modi said.