Gita Press, Gorakhpur, awarded Gandhi Peace Prize for 2021

It is one of the largest publishers of religious texts such as the Bhagavad Gita, the Ramayana and the Upanishads.

Updated - June 19, 2023 12:11 pm IST

Published - June 18, 2023 06:02 pm IST - New Delhi

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 Bhagavad Gita, a Union Culture Ministry statement said.

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 Bhagavad Gita, a Union Culture Ministry statement said. | Photo Credit: Twitter/@GitaPress

The Gandhi Peace Prize for 2021 will be conferred on Gita Press, Gorakhpur, one of the largest publishers of religious texts such as the Bhagavad Gita, the Ramayana and the Upanishads.

The decision to confer the award on Gita Press was taken by a jury headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi after due deliberations on Sunday in recognition of the publishing house’s “outstanding contribution towards social, economic and political transformation through non-violent and other Gandhian methods”, the Culture Ministry said in a statement.

Also read | Akshaya Mukul’s book on Gita Press, an eye opener on Hindutva’s growth

While recalling the contribution of Gita Press in promoting the Gandhian ideals of peace and social harmony, Mr. Modi observed that the conferment of the award was a recognition of the work done by the institution in community service.

The annual Gandhi Peace Prize was instituted in 1995 on the occasion of the 125th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. The award carries an amount of ₹1 crore, a citation, a plaque and an exquisite handicraft or handloom item.

The previous awardees include organisations such as the Indian Space Research Organisation, Ramakrishna Mission, Grameen Bank of Bangladesh, Vivekananda Kendra, Kanyakumari and Sulabh International, New Delhi.

It has also been awarded to former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela, social worker Baba Amte, Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, environmentalist Chandi Prasad Bhatt and Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman of Bangladesh.

Centenary year

Gita Press is one of the world’s largest publishers, having published 41.7 crore books in 14 languages, including 16.21 crore Bhagavad Gita. It completes 100 years of its establishment in 2023. “The institution has never relied on advertisement in its publications, for revenue generation. Gita Press along with its affiliated organizations, strives for the betterment of life and the well-being of all,” the Ministry said.

According to the official website of the Gita Press, the institution’s main objective is to “promote and spread the principles of Sanatana Dharma, the Hindu religion among the general public by publishing Gita, Ramayana, Upanishads, Puranas, Discourses of eminent Saints and other character-building books and magazines and marketing them at highly subsidised prices”.

Gandhi Prize to Gita Press a travesty, says Congress

The Congress on Sunday criticised the decision to award the Gandhi Peace Prize to Gita Press, calling it a travesty.

“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,” Congress general secretary (communications) Jairam Ramesh tweeted.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in

Comments

Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.