CSSS gets National Communal Harmony Award 2013

Mumbai, Jan 25: The Mumbai-based Centre for Study of Society and Secularism has been selected for the National Communal Harmony Award 2013 while Mohinder Singh of Delhi and N. Radhakrishna of Kerala will get the award in the individual category, it was announced Saturday.

The award carries a citation and Rs.1 million in the organisation category and Rs.500,000 in the individual category.

Estalished in 1996 by reformist Bohra leader and Islamic scholar Asghar Ali Engineer, the CSSS is dedicated to promoting peace, secularism and communal harmony in the country.

It has also been working on human rights issues and those concerning the marginalized and deprived sections of society.

Over the years, CSSS has published a number of books and literary material highlighting different facets of violence and communalism, peace, secularism and communal harmony which have a wide readership.

It also brings out a regular quarterly “Indian Journal of Secularism”.

Mohinder Singh, 72, is a scholar and member of the National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions.

A former member of National Commission for Religious and Lingustic Minorities, in 1984, he and other social activists organised relief camps at Delhi and restored friendship between Hindu and Sikh communities in the wake of the anti-Sikh riots after the assassination of then prime minister Indira Gandhi.

In 1985, he set up a Communal Harmony Forum along with Gandhian Nirmala Deshpande which worked for nearly four years and organised inter-faith meetings and visits to holy places for its members.

N. Radhakrishnan, 69, is a well-known academic, Gandhian scholar and peace worker who initiated the Shanti Sena at Gandhigram University and extended it to other parts of India.

A former director of Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti in the national capital, he also worked actively to restore peace in communally tense areas of Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

He was instrumental in initiating and implementing many innovative activities in educational institutions by using Gandhian values and principles.

His campaign, ‘Himsamukt Bharat Andolan’ motivates people to become foot soldiers in campaigning for peace and sustainable development.

The National Communal Harmony Awards were instituted in 1996 by the National Foundation for Communal Harmony, an autonomous organisation under the union home ministry to promote communal harmony and national integration.

IANS