Dharamsala: Spiritual guide of the Tibetans, His Holiness Dalai was conferred the Gandhi Mandela Award by Governor Rajendra Vishwanath Arlekar at an impressive ceremony held at main Tibetan temple , McLeod Ganj, Dharamshala on Saturday.
The Dalai Lama thanked Gandhi Mandela Foundation for bestowing the award to him.
On the occasion, the Dalai Lama said that non-violence and compassion were essential for world peace and both these principles have been ingrained in Indian culture for thousands of years. “Any problem can’t be solved in war but through dialogue and peace”, he said and added that for world peace we have to adopt non-violence and compassion. Both these principles were the guiding force of existence.
The Governor, on the occasion said that His Holiness the Dalai Lama was perhaps the most deserving person in the world today for this award as he was a universal ambassador of peace and his honor was to carry forward Indian culture and ideas. He said that he was fortunate to have got the opportunity to honor the Dalai Lama.
Governor Arlekar said that the Dalai Lama has given two principles, non-violence and compassion, which were required in today’s time as it was more effective than the power of the army. He said that our culture has a sense of goodwill, compassion and love towards others and it has been running for thousands of years, which the Dalai Lama has done the work of taking forward. Congratulating the Gandhi Mandela Foundation, he said that by giving this award to the Dalai Lama, he has taken forward our thousand-year-old culture in a true sense. He said that after Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama Ji has the potential to become a world citizen as he was not a person bound by borders.
Gandhi Mandela Foundation has been promoting the values and ideals of Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela in the interest of global peace and freedom. The Award serves to recognize the Global leaders who inspire citizens for peace, unity and freedom.
Earlier, Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, Jury Chairman & Former Chief Justice of India said that spiritual leader Dalai Lama ji was the saviour of the large community and the younger generation must follow the teachings of Dalai Lama ji. He said that he was a great leader and the foundation felt honoured to choose him for the Gandhi Mandela Award.
Justice Gyan Sudha Misra, Jury Vice-Chairman & Former Supreme Court Judge said that His Holiness showed the path of peace to the whole world. “We are facing the unrest in the world but, at that time Dalai Lama ji preaches peace which tells us that peace is not outdated but it finds the way out”, she said.
Gandhi Mandela Awards is an highly prestigious International award for promoting Gandhian and Nelson Mandela’s values, community service and social development (in Asia & African countries), selected by the top constitutional jury members including 5 former top Justices of three countries. The award was established in 2019.
The award is given annually, and the nominations are invited from the Head of the States that includes the President, Vice president, Prime Minister of Asian & African Countries or a leading International figure.
Nandan Jhaa, General Secretary of the foundation told , ” we are here to facilitate none other than his Holiness Dalai Lama ji with the first ever Gandhi Mandel Award. We made the biggest jury of the world headed by the former chief justices of India, Nepal and Bangladesh… After receiving more than 500 nominations around the world including former Prime ministers and presidents finally the selection of Dalai Lama ji happens in the year 2020 and he is the winner of Gandhi Mandel award 2019. The selection was done in 2020 but because of the pandemic we were not able to deliver this award to His Holiness earlier and now time has come today.’
Secretary to the Governor Rajesh Sharma, Deputy Commissioner Kangra Nipun Jindal and other prominent people were also present on the occasion.
Arvind Sharma is an award winning bi-lingual journalist with more than 20 years of experience.
He has worked with Divya Himachal, Dainik Jagran, Dainik Bhasker, Vir Partap, Ajit and PTI.
In 2010, he was conferred the Himachal Kesri journalism award. He reports on the Tibetan Government in Exile, politics, sports, tourism and other topics. He lives in Dharamshala.