First President of Zambia Dr. Kenneth Kaunda has been nominated for the prestigious Gandhi Mandela Award 2020. A jury of five Chief Justices from three countries has nominated him for his outstanding contribution to the World Peace. Kaunda is known to be Zambia’s founding father.
Gandhi Mandela Foundation is registered under the Govt. of India trust Act, which promotes individual freedom, civil liberties and human rights across the globe. The head quarter is situated at New Delhi and the Global presence includes America, Africa, Russia, London, Switzerland, China, Nepal and Bangladesh. The foundation instituted the Gandhi Mandela Awards during the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi to celebrate those who have carried forward the legacies of Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela. International Yoga Guru Swami Ramdev is the Patron of the Foundation while the Chairman of the Foundation is India’s Hindu Spiritual leader Swami Avdheshanand Giri ji Maharaj.
As a young African nationalist, Kenneth Kaunda received instruction about Gandhi and nonviolence from an Indian storekeeper in Lusaka, capital of Zambia, the nation of which Dr. Kaunda is now president. Early on, Kaunda became committed to the non-violent principles of Mahatma Gandhi, a position strengthened by his visit to India in 1957. In winning the campaign for political independence, Kaunda largely succeeded in practicing Gandhian methods. He played a huge role in the Independence struggle of his country from the British rule.
Kenneth Kaunda visited the United States in 1960 where he met Noble Laureate Martin Luther King. Both great ambassadors of peace came together to redefine the Gandhian principles. Both King and Kaunda were fighting for the liberation of oppressed people of African descent under white supremacist rule. Solidarity was the strongest method in fighting colonialism and racism aboard.
Dr. Kaunda formed a coalition government with Nkumbula's ANC and served as minister of local government and social welfare in 1962. Zambia slowly moved through the complications of earning independence. Much of the success is attributed to the skillful diplomacy of Kenneth Kaunda, who succeeded in allaying the fears of the huge European and smaller Asian community that black leadership would ignore their interests. In October 1964, the new nation of Zambia was born, with Kaunda as its president.
When Nelson Mandela embarked on an African nation tour after his release in 1990, he visited the African National Congress (ANC) headquarters in Lusaka, Zambia and met with Kaunda. He rejected Kaunda’s proposal that the ANC should look to better reforms in the government, rather than continue with their armed struggle. To this Madiba replied: “It is quite clear that the government is not yet prepared to meet us and you can't expect us, therefore, to make any concessions to the government.”
The Jury committee of Gandhi Mandela Foundation includes chairman Justice K.G. Balakrishna (Former Chief Justice of India & Former Chairman HHRC India), Vice Chairman Justice Dipak Misra (Former Chief Justice of India), Justice Gyan Sudha Misra (Former Judge Supreme Court of India), Justice Kedarnath Upadhyay (Former Chief Justice of Nepal & Former Chairman, NHRC Nepal) and Justice Tafazzul Islam (Former Chief Justice of Bangladesh).