Ministry of Culture31-January, 2007 20:35 IST
President Kalam Confers Gandhi Peace prize 2005 on Archbishop Desmond Tutu

President Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam has conferred the prestigious Gandhi Peace Prize for the year 2005 on  Archbishop Desmond Tutu. At a glittering function at Ashok Hall, Rashtrapati Bhawan here today, the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, several of his cabinet colleagues, UPA Chairperson Smt. Sonia Gandhi and other distinguished guests were present on the occasion. 


Born on October 7, 1931, Archbishop Desmond Tutu is a South African Cleric and activist, the first black person to lead the Anglican Church in South Africa.  He rose to world-wide fame as an opponent of apartheid.  He consistently worked for reconciliation among all parties involved in apartheid through his writings and lectures at home and abroad.  For his role as a unifying leader figure in the campaign to resolve the problem of apartheid in South Africa, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in October, 1984.  After the fall of apartheid he headed the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for which he was awarded the Sydney Peace Prize in 1999.


He has strongly advocated human rights and democracy in Palestine and Indonesia. His championship of democratic rights and criticism of human rights abuse has been consistent and a great moral support to the oppressed everywhere.


According to the citation released on the occasion, “The 2005 Gandhi Peace Prize is being awarded to Nobel Laureate and Human Rights Activist Archishop Desmond Mpilo Tutu, in recognition of his invaluable contribution towards social and political transformation and forging equality in South Africa through dialogue and tolerance.  He has been a tireless and staunch exponent of Mahatma Gandhi’s methodology of non-violent action…”


The citation further said, “By honouring this noble human being with the Gandhi Peace Prize in this historic year of the centenary of the birth of Satyagraha, India acknowledges her debt to South Africa for helping a young lawyer find his moorings and take him to the heights of becoming a Mahatma – a great soul. Like Mahatma Gandhi, Archbishop Tutu, too, became the ‘voice of the voiceless’….”


It further said, “Archbishop Desmond Tutu is a rare person who has kept the faith in the efficacy of Truth and Non-Violence alive and inspired hope that in these testing times mankind’s salvation lies in the application of the power of Satyagraha.”



            Government of India had launched the Gandhi Peace Prize in 1995 on the occasion of 125th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.  The Award is given for outstanding work and contribution to social, economic and political transformation through non-violence and other Gandhian methods.  The Award carries an amount of Rs.1crore or its equivalent in foreign currency and a Citation.  The Jury for selection of the awardees from amongst the nominees comprises of five members i.e. Prime Minister of India (Chairman), the Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, The Chief Justice of India and two other eminent persons. Presently, Shri R. Venkataraman, former President of India and Shri I.K. Gujral, former Prime Minister of India are the two members of the Jury in this category.


So far the prize has been awarded to:


(i)            Dr. Julius Nyerere,                                                                       1995

Former President of Tanzania


(ii)            Dr. A.T. Ariyaratne                                                                     1996

Founder President of Sarvodaya

Movement in Sri Lanka


(iii)           Dr. Gerhard Fischer (Federal Republic of Germany}            1997


(iv)            Ramakrishna Mission (India)                                                   1998


(v)            Baba Amte (Shri Murlidhar Devidas Amte), India                 1999


(vi)           Dr. Nelson Mandela, Former President of South                2000

Africa and Grameen Bank of Bangladesh


(vii)          Mr. John Hume (Ireland)                                                 2001


(viii)          Bhartiya Vidya Bhawan (India)                                       2002


(ix)           Mr. Vaclav Havel                                                                            2003

               Former President of Czechoslovakia




(Release ID :24450)