Sadbhavana Diwas or Sadbhavna Day means a day dedicated to promotion of social peace and harmony. The day is observed on 20 August - birthday of our former PM Rajiv Gandhi - every year commemorating his contribution to society and the nation.
Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated by a LTTE-sponsored suicide bomber during an election rally in Sriperumbudur (Tamil Nadu) on 21 May 1991. He was honoured with the Bharat Ratna - nation's highest civilian award - after his death.
Why do we celebrate Sadbhavana Diwas?
The celebration aims to encourage national integration through building long-lasting peace and communal harmony among people of various castes, sects and religions of India.
Important facts about Rajiv Gandhi:
- He is so far the youngest Prime Minister of India becoming so at the age of just 40.
- He is the third and so far the last PM from the politically significant Gandhi Family; the first two being his grandfather JL Nehru - and his mother Indira Gandhi.
Rajiv Gandhi Achievements:
- Announced a National Policy on Education in 1986 to modernise and expand higher education programs
- Founder of Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya System - providing free, quality, and residential education across rural india from 6th till 12 class.
- Played a key role in establishing MTNL in 1986.
- For those of you who have seen PCOs (Telephone Booth) in their childhood, should know that it was Rajiv Gandhi behind this. It connected rural India with telephone service.
- He brought down age of voting rights from 21 to 18 as a message to the nation that he believes in the power of the youth to change the nation for the better.
- He pioneered Panchayati Raj System in India, decentralising power of decision making to villages across India.
- It was he who launched the ambitious Jawahar Rozgar Yojana in 1989, giving employment opportunities to poor people across India.
Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavana Award:
- The Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavana award was created in 1992 - an year after his death in 1991.
- It was instituted by All India Congress Committee of the Indian National Congress Party (INC) as a tribute to their leader and his contribution to the party and the nation.
- This award consist of a citation and cash Prize of Rs 10 Lakh.
- It is awarded on Sadbhavna Diwas (August 20) to those who have promoted social peace and harmony through their works.
Recipients of Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavana Award:
- The First (1995): Jagan Nath Kaul
- The Last (2018): Gopalkrishna Gandhi
- 2017 (the only year it was given to two recipients): Mohammad Azharuddin (Cricketer), and M.Gopala Krishna (Retired IAS Officer)
Be mindful of the fact that it has not been awarded every year since its inception. So you can expect a gap of few years between two consecutive recipient.
Lata Mangeshkar, Sunil Dutt, Kapila Vatsyanan, S.N.Subba Rao, Swami Agnivesh, Nirmala Deshpande, Hem Dutta, N Radhakrishnan, Gautam Bhai, Wahiduddin Khan, SPIC MACAY, D.R Mehta, Amjad Ali Khan, Muzaffar Ali, Shubha Mudgal,
Sadbhavana Diwas Pledge:
Indian citizens are expected to make the following pledge on every Sadbhavna Day, and Sadbhavna Day 2022 is no different:
"I take this solemn pledge that I will work for the emotional oneness and harmony of all the people of India regardless of caste, region, religion, or language. I further pledge that I shall resolve all differences among us through dialogue and constitutional means without resorting to violence."