Dhaka, Mar 26 (PTI) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday handed over the Gandhi Peace Prize 2020, being conferred by India upon Bangladesh's 'Father of the Nation' Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, to his daughter Sheikh Rehana and the younger sister of premier Sheikh Hasina.
Modi arrived in Bangladesh on a two-day visit to attend the celebrations of the golden jubilee of the country's independence, the birth centenary of ‘Bangabandhu’ Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and hold talks with his counterpart Hasina.
Speaking at the 50th National Day programme of Bangladesh at the National Parade Square, Prime Minister Modi said it was an honour for India to confer Gandhi Peace Prize on Mujibur Rahman.
Modi, who was wearing a 'Mujib Jacket' as a tribute to Bangladesh's Father of the Nation, said that Bangabandhu’s leadership and bravery had ensured that no power could enslave Bangladesh.
'This is one of the most memorable days of my life. I am grateful that Bangladesh has included me in this event. I am grateful that Bangladesh has invited India to take part in this function. It is a matter of our pride that we got the opportunity to honour Sheikh Mujibur Rahman with Gandhi Peace Prize,' said Modi.
He handed over the award, a citation, a plaque and a shawl to Sheikh Rehana in the presence of Prime Minister Hasina.
Hasina in his address thanked Prime Minister Modi and the Government of India for bestowing the prestigious honour on her father, who is also the Father of the Nation.
The Gandhi Peace Prize is an annual award instituted by the government of India since 1995, the 125th birth anniversary commemoration year of Mahatma Gandhi.
The Gandhi Peace Prize 2020 was conferred on Bangabandhu early this week. It was for the first time that the award was given away posthumously.
Modi earlier said Bangabandhu was a champion of human rights and freedom, and a hero to Indians as well.
The award carries an amount of Rs 1 crore, a citation, plaque and an exquisite traditional handicraft/ handloom item.
Mujibur Rahman was imprisoned in Pakistan when Bangladesh was born. Pakistan was forced to set him free on January 8, 1972.
He returned to Dhaka on January 10, 1972. He later took over as Prime Minister of Bangladesh but was assassinated by some military officers during a coup d'etat on August 15, 1975. His wife, brother, sons and daughters-in-law were also assassinated along with him. Hasina and her sister Sheikh Rehana survived as they were in Europe. PTI NSA AKJ NSA