Minister Sajad Lone while receiving Dr S P Mukherjee Award in Goa
Minister Sajad Lone while receiving Dr S P Mukherjee Award in Goa



Kashmir lawmaker and a minister in PDP-BJP coalition, Sajad Gani Lone, has won top Indian right wing award, the Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Award for Politics, 2015 in this year’s Swarajya Awards.

Lone was honoured with the right wing award at “India Ideas Conclave-2015” in Goa on Monday. The award has been constituted in memory of Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee who is founder of Rashtriya Swamsevak Sangh (RSS), the ideological fountainhead of the Sangh Parivaar.

Lone, who heads his faction of Peoples Conference won maiden assembly elections last December from Handwara and was inducted as Minister for IT and Animal Husbandry from Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) quota in J&K’s ruling coalition.

The award was bestowed upon Lone at “India Ideas Conclave” by the RSS think-tank India Foundation in Goa in its just-concluded three day conclave. In one of the sessions J&K Chief Minister Mufti Sayeed delivered a key note address.

“Sajjad Lone was awarded for his transformation from separatist-to-mainstream politician and participating in the democratic process,” a statement by the organizers said. Son of assassinated Hurriyat leader Abdul Gani Lone, Sajad is younger brother of Bilal Gani Lone, who heads his own faction of Peoples Conference which forms part of Mirwaiz-led Hurriyat Conference. “As a minister of J&K government, he has set an example for those concerned with the wellbeing and prosperity of Jammu and Kashmir, and has also shown that democracy, peace and development are mutually complementary.”

 “As the leader of the Jammu and Kashmir People’s Conference, Lone has an inspirational record of public service. His entry into the democratic arena of India in 2008 came amidst dire threats from those who would have suffered from such a move,” the statement said. “Yet, Lone kept the interest of the people above all else, and has since contributed immeasurably for ensuring lasting peace in Jammu and Kashmir.”

“With his spirit of service and his commitment to Indian democracy, Lone embodies the values espoused by the late Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee. Lone, in his capacity as a senior leader of Jammu and Kashmir has furthered that noble cause.”

“With his participation in the electoral process, Lone has demonstrated his enduring commitment to peace and his belief in the opportunities which democracy offers. As a Minister in the Government of Jammu and Kashmir, Lone has assumed the noble yet arduous responsibility of furthering the development of his state. As both, a political leader and an administrator, Sajjad Lone’s contributions to peace and development are immense and far-reaching,” the statement said. “It is thus befitting that Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Award for 2015 be given to Sajjad Lone.”

India Foundation has constituted an award in memory of Dr S P Mukherjee, the RSS founder and it will be presented every year to an “active politician who has consistently strived to uphold values that Dr Mukherjee epitomised – commitment to constitutional values, and thoughtful interventions to enrich the quality of public life”. Lone is the first recipient of the award.

Interestingly Dr Mukherjee was arrested by Sheikh Abdullah government on May 11, 1953 for flouting state laws while spearheading a campaign against the special status to Kashmir. He died in custody in a Nishat home on June 23, 1953 triggered widespread disturbances across India. Sheikh was deposed in August 1953 by Nehru dispensation.


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