Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday attended the presentation of the Gandhi Peace Prize at the Rashtrapati Bhawan.
Speaking on the occasion, Modi congratulated to all those who have been conferred the prestigious Gandhi Peace Prize. He noted that the prize is being conferred at a time when India marks the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
Modi expressed happiness that on this occasion, the devotional hymn Vaishnav Jan To, which was so dear to Bapu, had been rendered by artistes in about 150 countries across the world. He said this is an indication that the world accepts the relevance of Gandhi’s ideals, even today.
“The freedom struggle became a mass movement due to the visionary efforts of Mahatma Gandhi. He added that Mahatma Gandhi had merged the streams of Jan Bhagidari (public participation) and Jan Andolan (mass movement). Mahatma Gandhi instilled a spirit in every person that they are contributing to India’s freedom.,” Modi said.
President Ram Nath Kovind presented the Gandhi Peace Prize for the years 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.
The Gandhi Peace Prize was presented to the Vivekananda Kendra, Kanyakumari for 2015, jointly to the Akshaya Patra Foundation and the Sulabh International for 2016, to the Ekal Abhiyan Trust for 2017, and to Shri Yohei Sasakawa for 2018.
“From Martin Luther King Jr. in the United States to Nelson Mandela in South Africa and Lech Walesa in Poland, a dazzling galaxy of statespersons has learnt and borrowed from Gandhiji,” Kovind said.
“Gandhiji and his thoughts are invaluable to any understanding of contemporary human history, and of the quest to redress oppression and inequity,” Kovind added.