NEW DELHI: Noted spiritual scholar Maulana Wahiduddin Khan has been awarded with Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavana Award on Friday.
He is 21st person to get this award since it was constituted in the memory of late Rajiv Gandhi in 1992 on the occasion of the golden jubilee of 1942 Quit India movement. Khan has authored over 200 books on Islam and other religious issues.Prominent among them is ‘Ilme Jadid Ka Challenge’, ‘The Prophet of Peace’, "The Teachings of Prophet Muhammed’ and ‘Jihad, Peace and Inter-Community Relations’.
In 1992, after the demolition of the Babri Masjid, he undertook Shanti Yatra to restore peace and amity between the two communities, a contribution which the Prime Minister also mentioned in his speech.The awards carries a citation and a cheque of Rs 5 lakh.
Speaking on the occasion Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, said, "A country like India in which people of different beliefs and languages live and where there are diverse religions and cultures, needs people like Maulana Sahab…people, who can unite the society and the country and put an end to separatism and differences."
Congress President Sonia Gandhi on occasion expressed grave concern over using caste and communal feelings for personal gains, saying there can be no compromise with people who do such things.
"There are still some people, who use the poison of communalism and casteism for their personal interest. How can we compromise with such people? We have always fought against such people and will continue to do so," Gandhi said
Gandhi said that respect for all religions and socialism is a culture and tradition and those who have been brought up under this culture always stand by it.
Khan said the Indian muslims were getting better opportunities than any of the 57 Muslim countries.
He said the world today needs India’s spiritualism and his mission is to make the country the "spiritual super power" of the world.
Chairman of the Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavana Award Advisory Committee Karan Singh recalled the initiatives taken by late Rajiv Gandhi for peace and communal harmony.