India: Ahead of his Dhaka visit later this week, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called Bangladesh’s father of nation Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as “one of the greatest leaders of our subcontinent”. In a tweet, PM Modi said, “He remains an icon of indomitable courage and tireless struggle for his millions of admirers.”
Modi during his two-day Bangladesh visit will travel to Tungipara village of Gopalganj District to pay homage at his mausoleum. Tungipara is the birthplace of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. He will also inaugurate Bangabandhu Bapu digital exhibition during his visit. Bangladesh is celebrating Mujib Barsho from 2020-21, the centennial birth anniversary of Bangabandhu.
This comes even as India conferred the Gandhi Peace Prize for 2020 on Bangabandhu. The government in a release said, “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.”
Bangladesh government was quick to express its “deep gratitude” to New Delhi’s decision to confer the Gandhi Peace Prize 2020 to Bangabandhu. The Bangladeshi foreign ministry in a statement said, “award is also a befitting tribute to the ever-deepening Bangladesh-India relations in a year when both countries are jointly celebrating the Golden Jubilee of Bangladesh’s Independence, 50 years of diplomatic relations and the birth centenary of Bangabandhu.”
The award carries an amount of Rs. 1 crore, a citation, a plaque and an exquisite traditional handicraft/handloom item. The award instituted in 1995 has been in the past conferred on Late Dr Nelson Mandela, former President of South Africa, Grameen Bank of Bangladesh, Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, Ramakrishna Mission, Baba Amte.