Congress President Sonia Gandhi conferred 'Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration' to Bollywood lyricist Gulzar, who wrote one of the songs in Oscar-winning film 'Slumdog Millionaire’.
Addressing a gathering in New Delhi late Wednesday evening, Sonia Gandhi lauded Gulzar not only for his creative work but also for standing up for national unity.
“All of you are aware of his contribution as a poet, filmmaker and author. His has always been a progressive mindset. His subjects and characters have always stood against communalism and in favour of national unity,” Sonia said.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that the award symbolises Gulzar’s contribution to the Indian society.
“Gulzar has always emphasised humanity and empathy in all his works. This is a great way of strengthening the unity and integrity of our country. I believe that if we are sensitive towards our compatriots, then no power can divide us on grounds of religion caste or region. Gulzar works teach us that we are Indians first and foremost," said Singh.
The Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration was instituted in 1985 to people promoting national unity.
Expressing gratitude, Gulzar praised Indira Gandhi for her dynamic personality.
"I get nervous very easily when I see so many distinguished people. I have been awarded in the name of Indira Gandhi ji, who was a very dynamic Prime Minister, and a symbol of courage and determination. Even men are told to look up to her as an example," said Gulzar.