The prestigious Seoul Peace Prize for 2018 was conferred on Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday for his contribution to international cooperation and fostering global economic growth. With this, Modi also becomes the first Indian to be honoured with the award that was established in 1990 to commemorate the success of the 24th Olympic Games held in Seoul.
Before the award was presented to PM Modi by the Seoul Peace Prize Foundation at a grand ceremony in Seoul, a short film on his life and achievements was also screened, inviting huge applause from the audience. While conferring the award on PM Modi, the Peace Prize committee also credited him for his contribution toward regional and global peace through a proactive policy with countries around the world.
Speaking on the occasion, PM Modi said that the success that India has achieved in the last five years is due to aspirations, inspiration and efforts of the people of country.
“On their behalf, I accept the award and express my gratitude, the PM said, adding that he was honoured that the award is being conferred on him in the year that India celebrates the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
The Seoul Peace Prize was established in 1990 and since then the committee has maintained its biannual record of conferring the award. The award was established to crystalise Korean people’s yearning for peace on the Korean peninsula and in the rest of the world.
Narendra Modi is the 14th recipient of the award. Besides a diploma and a plaque, he also received an honorarium cash prize of $200,000 (Rs 1.4 crore). He donated the money to the Namami Gange Programme (National Mission for Clean Ganga).
Interestingly, many of the past Seoul Peace Prize recipients have also been nominated and awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. With this, talks about PM Modi getting Nobel Peace Prize have started doing the rounds.
The past laureates who have been honoured with the Seoul Peace Prize and later won the Nobel Peace Prize include:
1. M decins Sans Fronti res (an international humanitarian medical NGO) – Seoul Peace Prize: 1996 and Nobel Peace Prize: 1999
2. Kofi Annan (diplomat from Ghana who served as 7th Secretary-General of the United Nations between 1997 and 2006) – Seoul Peace Prize: 1998 and Nobel Peace Prize: 2001
3. Muhammad Yunus (Bangladeshi social entrepreneur, banker, economist, and civil society leader) – Seoul Peace Prize: 2006 and Nobel Peace Prize: 2006
4. Denis Mukwege (Congolese gynecologist and Pentecostal pastor) – Seoul Peace Prize: 2016 and Nobel Peace Prize: 2018
Interestingly, BJP’s Tamil Nadu unit president Tamilisai Soundararjan had in September last year nominated Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the Nobel Peace Prize. Soundararjan had nominated PM Modi for launching the world’s largest health scheme — Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana(PMJAY) also called Ayushman Bharat.
The Nobel Peace Prize is one of the most prestigious award of its kind in the world. The Nobel Prize was established by Alfred Nobel, a Swedish chemist, engineer, inventor, businessman and philanthropist, in 1895. Since 1901, it has been awarded annually. The award is recognition of those who have done the best work for fraternity between nations to abolish or reduce tensions and promote peace.