Sadbhavana Diwas 2019
Sadbhavana Diwas is celebrated to commemorate the birth anniversary of the former Prime Minister of India, Sri Rajiv Gandhi. This year his 75th Birth Anniversary was observed on August 20th.
Congress chairperson Sonia Gandhi, her son Rahul Gandhi, daughter Priyanka Gandhi, son-in-law Robert Vadra paid floral tribute to Rajiv Gandhi at Vir Bhumi, where he was cremated.
Former Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh and other senior Congress leaders were also present at the event to pay their respect to the former Prime Minister.
Congress had also planned a grand celebration throughout the country on Rajiv Gandhi’s 75th Birth Anniversary. Several programs throughout the country were organized by the Congress workers and office-bearers.
The party has resolved to promote one of Rajiv Gandhi’s achievements every day of the week. Today, it started with the Information Technology Revolution.
Congress connected with the people and portrayed Rajiv Gandhi’s works for establishing international peace and harmony. Party functionaries of all states carried out programs at the district and block levels.
The day was observed not only by paying floral tributes but by also organizing social welfare camps like blood donation, cloth distribution, tree plantation, etc.
The state government of Madhya Pradesh had organized a youth conference in state capital Bhopal. The program was organized by the Higher Education Department of Madhya Pradesh and was attended by senior state politicians and bureaucrats. Also in Ujjain and Dewas “Sadbhavana Marathon” was organized by the administration.
Indian Youth Congress had also organized a pan India blood donation drive which was highly successful.
Rahul Gandhi inaugurated the Rajiv Gandhi Socio-Technical, Knowledge, Innovation and Learning Lab in New Delhi today. An exhibition entitled “Memories & Archives of Rajiv Gandhi” was also inaugurated by Sonia Gandhi.
Rahul Gandhi along with Congress Chairperson Sonia Gandhi distributed scooters to the Rajiv Gandhi foundation working for differently able persons.
Indian National Congress took it as an opportunity to take the personality of its former Prime Minister and his ideology to the masses, in a bid to change their general perception about the party and its leadership.
The Sadbhavana (means having good feelings for others) Diwas or Harmony Day is celebrated to commemorate the birth anniversary of the sixth Prime Minister of India, Rajiv Gandhi. Having good feelings for others was the only mission of the government of Rajiv Gandhi.
It is celebrated every year on 20th August by Congress by cutting a cake in order to encourage national and international peace and harmony, national integration, love, affection, and communal harmony among the Indian people of all religions. The government of India, under the leadership of Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, played a major role in restoring peace in neighboring countries like the Maldives and Sri Lanka as well as in quelling terrorism from the state of Punjab.
Sadbhavana Day Pledge
“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.”
Peace Initiatives Taken by Rajiv Gandhi
Rajiv Gandhi was the sixth Prime Minister of India, in office from 31st October 1984 to 2nd December 1989. A descendant of India’s one of the most powerful political families, Rajiv was the grandson of Jawaharlal Nehru and elder son of Smt. Indira Gandhi.
During his tenure as the Prime Minister of India, Rajiv Gandhi was instrumental in establishing world peace and harmony, a reason why his Birth Anniversary is celebrated as Sadbhavana Diwas or Harmony Day.
He had sent Indian peacekeeping forces to countries suffering from internal conflicts or rebellion.
In 1988, when a group of Maldivian revolutionaries under the leadership of Abdullah Luthufi were just about to overthrow the government, the coup was reversed at the last moment by the interference of the Indian Army. Abdullah was supported by the Tamil secessionist organization PLOTE (People’s Liberation Organization of Tamil Eelam).
In November 1988, armed PLOTE mercenaries took hold of the Maldives’ capital Male, forcing President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom to frequently change his location form house to house.
Though the President sought military intervention from the United Kingdom, the USA, and India; India, under the Prime Ministership of Rajiv Gandhi was the first to send 1600 troops by air to the Maldives as a peacekeeping measure. This measure by India to establish stability in its neighborhood was hugely praised by the world.
Gandhi’s efforts in restoring peace in neighboring Sri Lanka were unprecedented. Sri Lanka was under constant threat from LTTE (Liberation of Tamil Tigers Eelam) and organization of Tamil mercenaries, whose demand was to establish an independent Tamil state.
The government of India, under the Prime Ministership of Rajiv Gandhi, sent Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) to restore peace and quell civil war in Sri Lanka.
Sadbhavana Diwas Celebration
On this day, a variety of cultural festivals and competitions are held in various states of the country. People celebrate this day by conserving the greenery, preserving the natural beauty, planting the tree, protecting the environment as well as conserving the natural resources. This day is celebrated mainly to commemorate the birth anniversary of Rajiv Gandhi and make his peace efforts known to the public.
Sadbhavana Diwas is celebrated by the Congress party, political leaders, friends, close associates and family members in India by decorating the statue of Rajiv Gandhi with garlands and flowers. People pay respect and honor to the memorial of the Rajiv Gandhi at Veer Bhoomi. They pay tribute to the former Prime Minister by offering wreaths at the Veer Bhumi (the place of cremation).
Groundworkers of Congress and other functionaries arrange several social programs like blood donation camps etc to convey the message of peace and brotherhood.
This day is mainly observed to remember the international peacekeeping efforts of the former Prime Minister. At his 69th birth anniversary, a Sadbhavana Cycle Rally was organized in Bhubaneswar under the leadership of Loknath Maharathi which was started from Congress Bhawan in Master Canteen square (covering areas of Vanivihar, Rasulgarh and Kalpana Chhack) to the Mausima Temple in Old Town. Student rallies are also organized at many schools on this occasion in India.
Importance of Sadbhavana Diwas
Sadbhavana Diwas is celebrated every year in the memory of Rajiv Gandhi who dreamed to make India a developed country. His vision of making India a developed country is clearly seen by the number of economic and social works for the country. His enthusiastic and inspiring words quoted for the country development during his speech are still remembered on his birth anniversary. According to him, India could progress only when her neighbors are stable. A philosophy reflected in the foreign policies of his Government. His quotations are very inspiring which inspires the youths of the country to lead India. One of his quotations is as follows:
“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.”
Recipients of the Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavana Award are:
The Rajiv Gandhi National Awards is distributed on this day by the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation in order to know the distinction attain by the competitors in different fields. Following are the names of Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavana Award recipients:
> Mother Teresa
> Sunil Dutt
> Lata Mangeshkar
> Ustad Bismillah Khan
> KR Narayanan
> Jagan Nath Kaul
> Dilip Kumar
> Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
> Kapila Vatsyayan
> Muhammad Yunus
> Hiteswar Saikia and Subhadra Joshi (jointly)
> Nirmala Deshpande
> Teesta Setalvad and Harsh Mander (jointly)
> S N Subbarao, Swami Agnivesh and Madari Moideen (jointly)
> N Radhakrishnan
> D. R. Mehta
> Hem Dutta
> Muzaffar Ali (a noted filmmaker of India)
> Gautam Bhai
> SPIC MACAY