Amid a war of words between the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Central government and opposition parties over Gandhi Peace Prize selection, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday said that India’s glorious ancient Sanatan culture and scriptures can be read easily today only because of “unmatched contribution” from Gita Press.
Taking to Twitter, Shah said that conferring Gandhi Peace Prize 2021 on Gita Press is an honour for the work being done by it.
“If India’s glorious ancient Sanatan culture and scriptures can be read easily today, it is due to Gita Press’s unmatched contribution. Conferring Gandhi Peace Prize 2021 on Gita Press is an honour of the work being done by it,” Shah said in a tweet.
The Gandhi Peace Prize for 2021 will be conferred on Gita Press of Gorakhpur, in recognition of its “outstanding contribution towards social, economic and political transformation through non-violent and other Gandhian methods, the Ministry of Culture said on Sunday.
Gandhi Peace Prize 2021, recognizes the important and unparalleled contribution of Gita Press, in contributing to the collective upliftment of humanity, which personifies Gandhian living in the true sense.
Established in 1923, Gita Press is one of the world’s largest publishers, having published 41.7 crore books in 14 languages, including 16.21 crore Shrimad Bhagvad Gita.
However, the Congress hit out at the Centre over its decision taken by the jury headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Congress leader Jairam Ramesh termed the decision a “travesty” and is like “awarding Savarkar and Godse”.
“The Gandhi Peace Prize for 2021 has been conferred on the Gita Press at Gorakhpur which is celebrating its centenary this year. There is a very fine biography from 2015 of this organisation by Akshaya Mukul in which he unearths the stormy relations it had with the Mahatma and the running battles it carried on with him on his political, religious & social agenda. The decision is really a travesty and is like awarding Savarkar and Godse,” he said in a tweet.
The statement issued by the Ministry of Culture said that the jury headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi unanimously decided to select Geeta Press, Gorakhpur for the Gandhi Peace Prize.
This award is given every year to those who follow the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi. It was started by the Government of India in 1995.
The recipients of the Gandhi Peace Prize get Rs 1 crore, a citation, a plaque, and an exquisite traditional handicraft, handloom item.
Speaking on the same, BJP leader Jitendra Singh said that the Gita Press is an affordable literature producer and is associated with the ethos of the country.
“Gita Press is associated with the culture of India, associated with Hindu beliefs, producer of affordable literature and those who used to say that the Muslim League was secular are accusing it…,” Singh said. (ANI)
This report is filed by ANI news service.