New Delhi: The Gandhi Peace Prize 2019 has been conferred on (Late) Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said of Oman, announced Ministry of Culture on Monday.
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 persons regardless of nationality, race, language, caste, creed, or sex.
Jury for Gandhi Peace Prize is chaired by PM
According to an official statement, the jury for Gandhi Peace Prize is chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and comprises of two ex-officio members, namely the Chief Justice of India and Leader of the single largest Opposition Party in Lok Sabha.
Two eminent members are also part of the Jury, namely Om Birla, Speaker of the Lok Sabha, and Shri Bindeshwar Pathak, Founder of Sulabh International Social Service Organisation.
“The Jury met on 19th March 2021, and after due deliberations, unanimously decided to select (Late) H.M. Sultan Qaboos Bin Said Al Said as the recipient of the Gandhi Peace Prize for the year 2019, in recognition of his outstanding contributions for social, economic and political transformation through non-violent and other Gandhian methods,” the official statement read.
“His Majesty Sultan Qaboos was a visionary leader whose twin policy of moderation and mediation in addressing international issues won him praise and respect across the globe. He played an important role in supporting peace efforts in various regional disputes and conflicts. H.M. Sultan Qaboos was the architect of the special ties between India and Oman… Under his leadership, India and Oman became strategic partners and our mutually beneficial, comprehensive partnership strengthened and scaled newer heights,” the statement read.
Visionary leader and statesman
The statement noted that PM Modi had recalled the contribution of Sultan Qaboos to India-Oman ties when he passed away, by saying that he was “a true friend of India and provided strong leadership for developing a strategic partnership between India and Oman”. Prime Minister had also remembered him as “visionary leader and statesman” and a “beacon of peace for our region and the world.”
PM Modi congratulated the former leader for the award and wrote on Twitter that the award was “a fitting recognition of His Majesty’s standing as a leader of remarkable compassion, and of his contributions to furthering peace and prosperity in the region.”
“His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said was a strong advocate of India-Oman friendship and took special care of the welfare of the Indian community in Oman. I cherished my interactions with His Majesty, and benefited from his wise insights on many subjects,” he wrote on the micro-blogging site.