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Sadbahavana Diwas or Harmony Day 2023 – August 20

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Sadbahavana or Harmony Day - August 20 2023Sadbahavana Diwas, also known as Harmony Day, is annually celebrated on 20th August across India to celebrate the birth anniversary of India’s 6th Prime Minister (PM) Rajiv Gandhi.

  • Sadbahavana Diwas aims to encourage peace, national integration, and communal harmony among all religions.
  • The day offers a platform for the people to take the pledge to establish peace and harmony around them.

The Sadbahavana Diwas 2023 marks the 79th birth anniversary of former PM Rajiv Gandhi, who was born on 20 August 1944.

Note: ‘Sadbhavana means ‘Goodwill’ in English.


i.In memory of Rajiv Gandhi, the All India Congress Committee (AICC) of the Indian National Congress (INC) started the Sadbhavana Diwas and instituted the Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavana Award in 1992.

ii.The first Sadbhavana Diwas was observed in 1992, a year after Rajiv Gandhi was assasinated by a suicide bombing in Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu on 21st May 1991.

  • 21st May, the death anniversary of Rajiv Gandhi was declared National Anti-Terrorism Day.

iii.Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavana Award recognises people who have dedicated their lives to promoting social harmony.

About Rajiv Gandhi:

i.Rajiv Gandhi was born on 20th August 1944, in Bombay (now Mumbai, Maharashtra). He was the grandson of the first PM of India, Jawaharlal Nehru and son of Indira Gandhi, India’s first female PM.

ii.He became PM of India after the assassination of his mother Indira Gandhi in 1984.

iii.At the age of 40, he became the youngest PM of India, perhaps even one of the youngest elected heads of Government in the world, and served from 31st October 1984 to 2nd December 1989.

iv.The Indian Government honoured him with the Bharat Ratna (posthumously) in 1991 for his public service.

Reforms during Rajiv Gandhi’s Period as PM:

i.In 1986, he suggested a National Education Policy (NEP) to upgrade and expand higher education in India.

ii.He launched a federal government-based institution, the Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya (JNV), to increase rural society by offering free residential education from Class 6th to Class 12th in 1986.

iii.Rajiv Gandhi’s initiatives resulted in the establishment of Mahanagar Telephone Nigam (MTNL) in 1986 to support the distribution of the telephone network.

  • Rajiv Gandhi, the architect of digital India, is hailed as the ‘Father of Information Technology (IT) and Telecom Revolution of India’.

iv.Under the Rajiv Gandhi government, the Parliament passed the Constitution (61st Constitutional Amendment) Act, 1988 in Lok Sabha which lowered the voting age for elections to Lok Sabha from 21 years to 18 years by amending Article 326 of the Indian Constitution.

Observance of 2023 Sadbhavana Diwas:

Since the Sadbahavana Diwas 2023 (20th August 2023) falls on sunday, the annual Sadbhavana Pledge taking event was orgnaised on 18th August 2023 in all Government Offices.

  • The officials of Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD) in the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment facilitates led by Secretary Rajesh Aggarwal took the ‘Sadbhavana Pledge’ in the Conference Room of Antyoday Bhawan, CGO Complex, Delhi.
  • The Sadbhavana Pledge was taken in all government offices, to avoid violence and to support goodwill among the people.

Akshay Urja Diwas:

i.The Akshay Urja Day or Akshay Urja Diwas is celebrated annually on 20th August. It is a significant awareness campaign launched in 2004 by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, to raise awareness about the advantages of renewable energy and how to use energy resources efficiently in India.

ii.The initiative focuses on the adoption of various kinds of renewable energy forms, including solar, wind, and biofuels through technological innovation and decentralised power production.

It also serves as a tribute to the former PM, Rajiv Gandhi, as it coincides with his birthday.