New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh August 20 presented the Rajiv Gandhi National Sadhbhavana Award to noted
Islamic scholar Maulana Wahidudddin Khan.
While presenting the award, the prime minister said
the award is given every year to a personality who had contributed
to increasing social unity.
"India needs the services of people
who work for strengthening social unity", he added.
He said that former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi had taken
"unprecedented initiatives to sign accords and start dialogue to end
strifes in different parts of the country".
Congratulating Maulana Wahidudddin Khan who won the award for 2009,
the prime minister said, the Islamic scholar had spent his whole life
spreading the message of unity and peace and his books had attempted
to find a peaceful solution to challenges of terrorism.
Khan had taken out a peace march with Acharya Sushil Muni and Swami
Chidanand after the 1992 happenings in Ayodhya and the step had
helped in normalising the situation.
Manmohan Singh said that Khan had carried India's message of love,
peace and togetherness to different parts of the world.
In her remarks, Congress president Sonia Gandhi said her husband
Rajiv Gandhi and leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi
had never compromised on the principles of secularism and social
She said that secularism should become a way of life to strengthen
The Sadbhavna award was presented on Rajiv Gandhi's birth