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Gopalkrishna Gandhi recieves 24th Rajiv Gandhi Sadbhavana award

New Delhi, Aug 20 (UNI) Former West Bengal governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi was on Monday conferred with the 24th Rajiv Gandhi Sadbhavana award.
Mr Gandhi, grandson of father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi, was conferred the award at a function at Jawahar Bhavan by chairperson of the Congress Parliamentary party Sonia Gandhi, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and chairperson of the advisory committee for the award Karan Singh.
The award carries a citation and a cash award of Rs 10 lakh.
Speaking at the function, Mrs Gandhi said, ''in conferring the award on Mr Gopalkrishna Gandhi, we collectively express our resolve to reject any attempt to change the spirit of harmony that forms the very essence of Indian society.’’
Mrs Gandhi said that for the late Rajiv Gandhi, ‘Sadbhavana’ meant an acceptance of the diversity of Indian society.
‘’He was a firm believer that India’s unity was derived from its diversity. He believed in active engagement to ensure that the citizens of the country lead a life of dignity and self respect. For him, growth, prosperity and social liberalisation were two sides of the same coin,’’she said.
She said that the recipent of this the 24th Rajiv Gandhi Sadbhavana award for 2016-17 Gopal Krishna Gandhi was a distinguished public servant and a person devoted to the values enshrined in the Constitution.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Manmohan Singh said,’’Mr Gopalkrishna Gandhi has had a distinguished career in public service. He is also a man of deep scholarship which is reflected in his works. He is also a liberal voice of sanity.’’
Dr Singh said the function to confer the award was an occasion to pay homage to the late Prime Minister and recall the values that he stood for.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Karan Singh said in a short span as Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi achieved a lot.
‘’In a short time as PM, Rajiv Gandhi achieved a lot. During his tenure as PM, relations with China reached a new high,’’ Dr Karan Singh said.
In an apparent reference to some forces trying to obliterate his legacy, he said,’’his memory will never go away from our hearts.’’
He also lauded Mrs Sonia Gandhi for steering the Congress party as its party president for 20 years.
The award, given on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Rajiv Gandhi, was instituted to “commemorate the lasting contribution made by him to promote peace, communal harmony and fight against violence.”
Former recipients of the award include Mother Teresa, Ustad Bismillah Khan, Mohammed Yunus, Lata Mangeshkar, Sunil Dutt, Dilip Kumar, Kapila Vatsyayan, Teesta Setalvad, Swami Agnivesh, K R Narayanan, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, Muzaffar Ali and Shubha Mudgal.
UNI AR SD 1927
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