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Ramon Magsaysay Award

Context:

Recently, Former Kerala health minister K K Shailaja has declined her nomination for the 2022 Ramon Magsaysay Award, considered to be Asia’s equivalent to the Nobel Prize.  

Relevance:

GS I: Personalities in News

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Who was Ramon Magsaysay?
  2. The Ramon Magsaysay Award
  3. Indian winners on the list

Who was Ramon Magsaysay?

  • Born on August 31, 1907 to a father who worked as a blacksmith and a mother who was a teacher, Ramon del Fierro Magsaysay Senior was the seventh president of the Philippines, from 1953 until his death in an air crash in 1957.
  • Magsaysay started out as an automobile mechanic before being drafted into the Pacific War (1941-1945), during World War II.
  • The Pacific War would see the Japanese occupation of the Philippines — then a colony of the US — for nearly four years. The US formally recognised the Philippines as an independent nation in 1946.
  • As a guerrilla leader resisting the Japanese occupation, Magsaysay’s bravery and leadership saw his appointment as a military governor.
  • In 1946, he would be elected under the Liberal Party to the Philippine House of Representatives, where he would serve two terms as a Congressman before being appointed secretary of National Defence in 1950.
  • On December 30, 1953, he would be elected president from the Nationalist Party, the oldest political party in the Philippines.

The Ramon Magsaysay Award

  • In 1957, the Ramon Magsaysay award was set up by trustees of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the Philippine government to carry forward Magsaysay’s legacy of service to the people, good governance, and pragmatic idealism.
  • In the six decades since 1958 — the first year the Award was given out — over 300 organisations and individuals have been recognised for their developmental endeavours crucial to Asia, and, consequently, to the world.
  • The award is given out every year on August 31, on Magsaysay’s birth anniversary.
Indian winners on the list
  • Prominent Indians who have won the award include Vinoba Bhave in 1958, Mother Teresa in 1962, Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay in 1966, Satyajit Ray in 1967, Mahasweta Devi in 1997. 
  • In recent years, Arvind Kejriwal (2006), Anshu Gupta of Goonj (2015), human rights activist Bezwada Wilson (2016), and journalist Ravish Kumar (2019) have won the award.

-Source: Indian Express


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