Gita Press a living faith, no less than a temple, says PM Modi

Gita Press a living faith, no less than a temple, says PM Modi

Gita Press a living faith, no less than a temple, says PM Modi

Context : 

On Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended the Gita Press’ centenary celebrations in Gorakhpur. He compared the publishing business to “not less than any temple” during the concluding ceremony. In his words, the publisher is “guiding humanity” with its work.

All about Gita Press

  • The largest publisher of Hindu holy books worldwide is an Indian publishing house called Gita Press.
  • To advance the ideals of Sanatana Dharma (everlasting duty or virtue), Jaya Dayal Goyanka and Ghanshyam Das Jalan established this organisation in 1923.
  • Hanuman Prasad Poddar, also referred to as “Bhaiji,” founded and served as the journal “Kalyan”‘s longtime editor.
  • With an initial readership of 1,600 copies, Gita Press began its publishing operations in 1927.
  • Gita Press grew significantly over time; by 2012, their print order had risen to 250,000 copies.
  • Over 3,500 manuscripts, including more than 100 translations of the famed Hindu text Bhagavad Gita, can be found in the Gita Press archives.
  • Under the Societies Registration Act, of 1860 (now controlled by the West Bengal Societies Act, 1960), Gita Press works as a division of Gobind Bhawan Karyalaya.
  • The Bhagavad Gita and the Ramcharitmanas, an epic poem by Tulsidas, have both been distributed at heavily discounted prices by the organisation more than 140 million and 100 million copies, respectively.

Why did the Indian government award the Gita press with  International Gandhi Peace Prize?

  • In 2023, Gita Press celebrated its 100th anniversary. On May 4, 2023, former President Ram Nath Kovind officially launched the celebrations.
  • The centenary of Gita Press was acknowledged in 2023 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  • One of the biggest publishers in the world, Gita Press is renowned for putting out religious and philosophical works, including the Shrimad Bhagavad Gita.
  • In 14 languages, 41.7 billion volumes, including 16.21 billion copies of the Shrimad Bhagavad Gita, have been produced.
  • To generate cash for its publications, Gita Press does not rely on advertisements.
  • The institution, along with the organisations it is linked with, strives to improve everyone’s quality of life.
  • Gita Press has been chosen as the Gandhi Peace Prize recipient for 2021 by the panel, which is chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  • The honour recognises Gita Press’s extraordinary commitment to nonviolent and other Gandhian techniques for social, economic, and political development.
  • Gita Press received praise from Prime Minister Narendra Modi for its advocacy of Gandhi’s principles of social justice and peace.
  • Gita Press receiving the Gandhi Peace Prize on the occasion of its 100th anniversary is considered an acknowledgement of the institution’s work in charitable activity.

What is International Gandhi Peace Prize?

  • Establishment: To commemorate the 125th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s birth, the Government of India established the International Gandhi Peace Prize in 1995.
  • Purpose: The prize honours those who have contributed to social, economic, and political change via nonviolence and Gandhian principles and pays homage to the ideas of Mahatma Gandhi.
  • The award consists of The cash reward for the award is one crore rupees ($130,000), which can be exchanged for any other currency. In addition, a plaque and a citation are included.
  • Eligibility: No matter a person’s country of origin, colour, religion, or gender, they are eligible to receive the honour.
  • Process of Nomination: Typically, proposals from knowledgeable people are requested to propose candidates for the award. A proposition, however, is not automatically deemed invalid just because its author lacked competence.
  • Withholding of the prize: The jury has the option to withhold the prize for that specific year if they decide that none of the proposed proposals deserves to be recognised. This occurred between 2006 and 2012, during which time the award was not given.
  • Consideration of Timeframe: For the prize, only accomplishments from the ten years just before the nomination are taken into consideration. However, an older work might also be taken into consideration if its significance has recently come to light.
  • Recognition of Gandhian Principles: The International Gandhi Peace Prize is a venue for celebrating and advancing Mahatma Gandhi’s values of nonviolence, peace, and social transformation.
  • Impactful Contributions: In keeping with Mahatma Gandhi’s teachings and philosophy, the award honours people and organisations that have made remarkable nonviolent contributions to society, the economy, and politics.

Who selects the recipients, and who are the prior winners?

  • Selection Jury: The selection of the awardee is made by a jury consisting of the following members:
  • Prime Minister of India
  • Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha (Lower House of Parliament)
  • Chief Justice of India
  • Speaker of the Lok Sabha
  • One other eminent person
  • The inaugural Gandhi Peace Prize was awarded to Julius Kambarage Nyerere. He was a politician from Tanzania who presided over Tanganyika and Tanzania from 1960 until his retirement in 1985.
  • In the past, important entities including the ISRO, Ramakrishna Mission, Grameen Bank of Bangladesh, and people like Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, and Vaclav Havel have received the honour.