Sadbhavana Diwas 2023
Sadbhavana Diwas, also known as Harmony Day, is an annual celebration observed on 20th August in India. 20th August 2023 marks the 79th birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. This day commemorates the birthday of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, a visionary leader who championed the cause of national integration, peace and public harmony among the diverse population of India.
The Meaning of Sadbhavana
The term “Sadbhavana” in English refers to “goodwill and bonafide”. Being the youngest Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi’s thought process was modern and different from others. He had the vision of a developed nation via many national as well as international projects that he pioneered. The main theme of Sadbhavana Diwas is to promote national integration and communal harmony among people of all religions and languages.
About Rajiv Gandhi: A Visionary Leader
Rajiv Gandhi, born on 20th August 1944, is the former Prime Minister of India. He held office from 1984-1989 and made significant contributions to the development of the country. He introduced several progressive policies aimed at modernizing India’s education system and economy. Some of his notable achievements include:
- National Policy on Education: Rajiv Gandhi introduced a National Policy on Education in 1986 to modernize higher education plans and promote intellectual growth.
- Jawahar Navodaya Vidhyalaya System: Rajiv Gandhi founded a central-government-based institution namely Jawahar Navodaya Vidhyalaya System in 1986 for the upliftment of the rural section of the society providing them free residential education from 6th to 12th class.
- Telecommunications Development: Due to his efforts, MTNL (Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited) was established in 1986 and also created public call offices (PCOs) for spreading telephones in rural areas.
- Economic Reforms: In post-1990, he introduced measures for reducing License Raj allowing businesses and individuals to purchase capital, consumer goods and import bureaucratic restrictions.
- Youth Empowerment: Rajiv Gandhi introduced the voting age as 18 to encourage the youth involvement in the voting process. He emphasized the potential of the country’s youth and introduced schemes like the Jawahar Rozgar Yojana to provide employment opportunities.
Significance of Sadbhavana Diwas
Sadbhavana Diwas serves as a reminder of Rajiv Gandhi’s aspirations for India’s development and progress. The celebration emphasizes the promotion of national unity, peace, empathy and communal harmony among people of different faiths and cultures. The central theme of the day is to foster goodwill and understanding among diverse communities, creating an atmosphere of mutual respect and coordination.
Sadbhavana Diwas’ Pledge
Sadbhavana Diwas is observed throughout the country and citizens take the following pledge on this day:
“I take this solemn pledge that I will work for the emotional oneness and harmony of all the people of India regardless of caste, religion, region or language. I further pledge that I shall resolve all differences among us through dialogue and constitutional means without resorting or violence.”
Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavana Award
The Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavana Award was established in 1992 by the All-Indian Parliamentary Commission of the Indian National Congress to commemorate the former PM Rajiv Gandhi. This award is given annually to those who have devoted their lives to understanding and promoting the spirit of harmony. The awardees are provided with a prize of Rs.10 lakh and a prize. Some of the awardees are: Lata Mangeshkar, Shubha Mudgal, Sunil Dutt, Amjad Ali Khan, Mohammad Azharuddin, Gopalakrishna Gandhi and more.