(TibetanReview.net, Nov20’22) – Calling him the most deserving candidate, Governor Rajendra Vishwanath Arlekar of Himachal Pradesh on Nov 19 presented a prestigious Indian international peace award to His Holiness the Dalai Lama of Tibet. The venue was the Tsuglakhang, the main Buddhist Temple in Dharamshala located in the Thekchen Choeling residential complex of the exile Tibetan spiritual leader.
The Governor said the Dalai Lama was “perhaps the most deserving person in the world today” for the Gandhi Mandela Award and called him a “universal ambassador of peace”.
The award is in recognition of promoting the values and contributions of Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela for global peace and freedom.
Complimenting the Gandhi Mandela Foundation, which instituted the award in 2019 and organised the ceremony, Arlekar said only the Dalai Lama had the potential to become a world citizen after Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela as he was not bound by borders.
In his acceptance speech, the Dalai Lama said non-violence and compassion were essential for world peace and these principles had been ingrained in Indian culture for thousands of years.
“Any problem cannot be solved by war but through dialogue and peace,” he said.
Earlier, former Chief Justice of India KG Balakrishnan, the Jury Chairman who was present on the occasion, said the Dalai Lama was the saviour of a large community and the younger generation must follow his teachings.
Also, Justice Gyan Sudha Misra, Jury Vice-Chairman and former Indian Supreme Court judge, said His Holiness showed the path of peace to the whole world. “We are facing the unrest in the world but, at that time Dalai Lama-ji preaches peace which tells us that peace is not outdated but it finds the way out,” the IANS news service Nov 19 quoted her as saying.
The Dalai Lama was selected for the award in 2020 but it could not be presented to him due to the Covid pandemic restrictions.
The jury of five included former chief justices of India, Nepal and Bangladesh.
The award medal is “one of the most expensive Gold Medals made by the INDIAN GOVERNMENT MINT, A Unit of Security printing and Minting Cooperation of India Limited.”
The award honors exemplary work and achievements of the Heads of State and Government and other distinguished persons/organizations around the world. It is aimed at honoring those who have been inspired by and furthered the ideas and ideals of the two great men bearing the name of the award with the view that this will go a long way promoting individual freedom, civil liberties and human right across the globe.
The foundation is chaired by Indian Hindu spiritual leader Swami Avdheshanand Giri Ji Maharaj (President of Hindu Dharma Acharya Sabha, a Board Member of World Council of Religious Leaders) while its Patron is Swami Ram Dev.
The foundation is headquartered in New Delhi and its global presence includes the USA, Africa, Russia, London, Switzerland, China, Nepal, and Bangladesh.