The year is being commemorated as Mujib Borsho, the Birth Centenary year of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman

In recognition of his outstanding contributions towards social, economic and political transformation through non-violent and other Gandhian methods, India on Monday announced that the prestigious Gandhi Peace Price 2020 will be conferred on Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

The Gandhi Peace Prize recognizes the immense and unparalleled contribution of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in inspiring the liberation of Bangladesh, bringing stability to a nation born out of strife, laying the foundation for the close and fraternal relations between India and Bangladesh, and promoting peace and non-violence in the Indian subcontinent.

The award Jury met on March 19 and after due deliberations, unanimously decided to select Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as the recipient of the Gandhi Peace Prize for the year 2020, the Ministry of Culture said in a press statement.

The selection procedure did not allow for the Prize to be awarded posthumously but given the contribution of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman towards peace, non-violence and amelioration of human sufferings and special relationship with India, an exception was made as a special gesture to honour him, persons familiar with the development said.

India and Bangladesh are commemorating Mujib Year marking the Birth Centenary Year of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the Father of Bangladesh. The announcement of the conferment of the award comes ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Dhaka on 26 and 27 March.

Prime Minister Modi on the occasion of 101st anniversary of Bangabandhu on March 17 had said that Bangabandhu was a champion of human rights and freedom, and is a hero to Indians as well.

The Indian Prime Minister had also said that 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.

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 past awardees include luminaries like Dr. Julius Nyerere, Former President of Tanzania; Dr. Gerhard Fischer, Federal Republic of Germany; Ramakrishna Mission; Baba Amte (Shri Murlidhar Devidas Amte); Late Dr. Nelson Mandela, former President of South Africa; Grameen Bank of Bangladesh; Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa; Shri Chandi Prasad Bhatt & Indian Space Research Organisation.

The award carries an amount of INR 1 crore, a citation, a plaque and an exquisite traditional handicraft or handloom item.

The Jury for the Gandhi Peace Prize is chaired by the Prime Minister of India and comprises two ex-officio members, namely the Chief Justice of India and Leader of the single largest Opposition Party in Lok Sabha, the Ministry’s release said.