The Gandhi Peace Prize for the year 2020 is being conferred on Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the culture ministry said on Monday. The prestigious prize for the year 2019 is being conferred on late Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said of Oman in recognition of his vision to strengthen relations with India, and his efforts to promote peace and non-violence in the Gulf region, the ministry said.
The Gandhi Peace Prize is an annual award instituted by the Government of India since 1995, the 125th birth anniversary commemoration year of Mahatma Gandhi. The award is open to all people regardless of nationality, race, language, caste, creed or sex. The jury for Gandhi Peace Prize is chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and comprises of two ex-officio members, Om Birla, Speaker of the Lok Sabha, and Bindeshwar Pathak, Founder of Sulabh International Social Service Organisation. PM Modi said Bangabandhu was a champion of human rights and freedom, and a hero to Indians as well. As Bangladesh celebrates Mujib Borsho, India is honoured to be commemorating his legacy jointly with the government of Bangladesh and its people, the statement said. Meanwhile, Bangladesh on Monday expressed “deep gratitude” for the Gandhi Peace Award 2020 conferred on Sheikh Mujibur Rahman posthumously. The announcement comes days ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s bilateral visit to Dhaka to partake in the ‘Mujib Barsho’ celebrations marking the birth centenary of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, also known as ‘Bangabandhu’.
Tweeting about it, Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote on Monday, “Gandhi Peace Prize 2020 has been conferred on Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, one of the greatest leaders of our subcontinent. Year 2020 marked the birth centenary of Bangabandhu. He remains an icon of indomitable courage and tireless struggle for his millions of admirers.” The award carries an amount of Rs 1 crore, a citation, a plaque and an exquisite traditional handicraft or handloom item.