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The Ahimsa Award is an annual award given by Institute of Jainology in recognition of individuals who embody and promote the principles of Ahimsa (Non-violence). It was established in 2006 and has since been awarded at the annual “Ahimsa Day” event, on October 2, the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
The event is normally held at the Palace of Westminster - House of Commons of the United Kingdom in London where various members of Parliament are invited to speak. It is bestowed by the Directors of the Institute of Jainology, an international body based in UK, representing the Jainism faith.
Ahimsa Day was established by the Institute of Jainology and has been celebrated annually in London since 2002. It was created to bring awareness of Ahimsa (non-violence) as it applies in Jainism. The event takes place in early October to commemorate the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, who amongst other great leaders was inspired by the Jain philosophy of 'ahimsa'. In 2007, the United Nations declared that the International Day of Non-Violence would take place on 2 October, the birth date of Mahatma Gandhi. This annual event highlights the principle of non-violence and the worldwide desire for peace.
History & Background
Ahimsa, (The principle of non-violence), is a concept adopted by most Indic traditions, primarily Buddhist, Hindu and Jain philosophy . The political and social application of Ahimsa was given universal recognition by Mahatma Gandhi who fought the campaign for the independence of India with the doctrine of ahimsa as the cornerstone.
Ahimsa in Jainism, is a well-established core principle even before the time of Mahavira, the 24th Thirthankara in the 5th century BC,. The principle of Ahimsa in Jainism states that one should do no harm by word, thought or deed, nor ask others to, and nor condone that which is done.
- 2006 Nelson Mandela
- 2007 Dalai Lama
- 2008 Acharya Mahapragyaji
- 2009 Padmanabh Jaini -
- 2010 Nalini Balbir -
- 2011 Nitin Mehta -
- 2012 Scott Neeson -
- 2013 Melanie Joy
- 2014 Ingrid Newkirk
- 2015 Ann Cotton
- 2016 Rajendra Singh
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