Sadbhavana Diwas – Its Importance and Celebration
Celebrated on August 20 every year, Sadbhavana Diwas commemorates the memory of our late erstwhile Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi. Paying homage to his memory and legacy, close family members and senior Congress party members lay down wreaths and garlands on Veer Bhoomi, where he was cremated.
In English, ‘Sadbhavana’ means goodwill and bonafide. Shri Rajiv Gandhi as the youngest Prime Minister of the nation tried to propagate communal harmony, peace, and national integrity within India and was known a goodwill ambassador to the world. Being young, his thought process was modern, and he had the vision of a developed nation through many national as well as international projects that he pioneered.
Brief View of Rajiv Gandhi
Born into perhaps the most powerful political family of India in the post-independence era, Rajiv Gandhi became the country’s youngest-ever Prime Minister at the age of 40. He was the grandson of Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first PM. His mother, Indira Gandhi had been the PM of India, post whose assassination Rajiv Gandhi became the Prime Minister. Serving from 1984-89, he was often called a reluctant Prime Minister. However, the young leader was visionary and worked in his capacity to serve the nation. He was unfortunately assassinated in May 1991, while campaigning in Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu for the forthcoming national elections.
The Sadbhavana Day is celebrated across India with great enthusiasm by those who admired the man. Cultural festivals, competitions are conducted in different parts of the country. Many people also celebrate by planting trees, taking care of the environment. In multiple schools, a Sadbhavana rally is organized.
Family members and Congress party leaders pay respect to Rajiv Gandhi by visiting Veer Bhoomi, the place where his last rites were performed.
Sadbhavana Diwas Pledge
Sadbhavana Diwas is celebrated across the nation with great zeal and enthusiasm. On this day a pledge is also taken by the people across the country, which is as:
“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.”
Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavana Award
In 1992, a year after Rajiv Gandhi’s death, the Indian National Congress instituted Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavana Award. It was established to recognize outstanding contributions in the field of promoting national integration, harmony, and peace.
Aside from citation, the award also includes a cash award of Rs 10 Lakh. It is presented on 20th August every year, Rajiv Gandhi’s birth anniversary. A few of the renowned recipients of the award include Mother Teresa, Shehnai maestro Ustad Bismillah Khan, freedom fighter Subhadra Joshi, Lata Mangeshkar, and former President K R Narayanan.
Importance of Sadbhavana Diwas
The day is celebrated to mark the birth of our sixth and youngest Prime Minister. Contributions to the betterment of our society are made on this day, paying respect to Gandhi and his vision for the country. He left a deep imprint on several hearts, not just with his persona, but also his inspiring words.
“India is an old country, but a young nation; and like the young everywhere, we are impatient. I am young and I too have a dream. I dream of an India, strong, independent, self-reliant and in the forefront of the front ranks of the nations of the world in the service of mankind,” said Gandhi. One can only hope that his dreams for India get realized as we progress towards a better tomorrow.
On the occasion of his 75th birth anniversary on August 20, 2019, apart from Congress leaders, even Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tributes to him on Twitter.