Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and Late Sultan Of Oman Named For Gandhi Peace Prize

by Shatakshi Gupta

On Monday, the Ministry of Culture announced the Gandhi Peace Prize for the year 2019 and 2020. The year 2020 award will be conferred on Bangladesh founder Sheikh Mujibur Rahman popularly known as Bangabandhu, while the 2019 award will be given to the late Sultan of Oman, Qaboos Bin Al Said.

About the award

The Government of India started the Gandhi Peace Prize in 1995 to commemorate the 125th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. All persons irrespective of nationality, race, language, caste, creed or gender are eligible for this award. Notably, this prize was being given only to living persons. This is the very first time that this award is given posthumously. The award carries an amount of ₹1 crore, a citation in a scroll, a plaque as well as an exquisite traditional handicraft/handloom item.

The jury related to the Gandhi Peace Prize is headed by the Prime Minister, two ex-officio members, the Chief Justice of India and the Leader of the single largest Opposition Party in Lok Sabha. Two other eminent members are also part of the Jury, Speaker of the Lok Sabhaand Shri Bindeshwar Pathak, Founder of Sulabh International Social Service Organization.

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The aforementioned jury had a meeting on 19 March 2021, in which it was decided to name Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and Sultan Qaboos bin Al Said for the awards. Given the outstanding contribution of Sultan Qaboos bin Al Said, it was unanimously decided to confer the Gandhi Peace Prize of the year 2019 on him. In this meeting, it was decided to select Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman for the 2020 Gandhi Peace Prize.

What are the contributions of the two awardees

Bangabandhu or Sheikh Mujibur Rahman is one of the greatest leaders of our subcontinent. The year 2020 marked his birth centenary.  He is a symbol of indomitable courage and the tireless struggle for millions of his followers. He is also known as the father of Bangladesh, as he was the most instrumental personality in the formation of Bangladesh. He was the first Prime Minister of the Bangladesh and established a very good relationship with India.

PM Modi said that the Gandhi Peace Prize 2019 is being awarded to the late Sultan of Oman Qaboos bin Saeed, who stands as a leader of remarkable compassion as His Majesty and in advancing peace and prosperity in the region. The Ministry of Culture said that the late Sultan  Qaboos is being conferred with this award to recognize his efforts to strengthen relations with India and promote peace and non-violence in the Gulf region.

Other eminent awardees

The awardees include Dr. Julius Nyere, former President of Tanzania, Dr Gerhard Fischer of Germany, Ramakrishna Mission, Baba Amte, former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela, Bangladesh Rural Bank, Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, Chandi Prasad Bhatt. The award was awarded to Vivekananda Kendra in 2015, Akshaya Patra Foundation in 2016, Bharat and Sulabh International, Ekal Abhiyan Trust in 2017 and Yohi Sasakawa of Japan in 2018.