There have been occasional good choices like Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the fourteenth Dalai Lama. But we have had to digest farcical awards granted to the inconsequential politicians like Kim Dae Jong (South Korea 2000) and Oscar Arias Sanchez (Costa Rica, 1987). Then we had the absurd awarding of the warmonger Henry Kissinger in 1973. The greatest joke, however, is that the award never went to Mahatma Gandhi, who was nominated on as many as four different occasions.
‘What has Obama done to deserve this award?’ is what has puzzled most of us. He has not even completed a year in his office as the President! The only substantive decision that Obama has taken in terms of war and peace is to ramp up the number of American troops in Afghanistan far above George W Bush’s scale of intervention. Alfred Nobel wanted the Peace Prize to go to leaders who disbanded standing armies.
According to Nobel’s will, the Peace Prize should be awarded to the person who: ‘During the preceding year […] shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congress.’
It beats logic that the wise gurus at Oslo could have waited for Mandela and Mother Teresa to grow old, but they could not even wait for a young Obama to achieve any outstanding feat apart from his election. What exactly has Obama done apart from making some pretty speeches? If giving speeches is the criterion, the Miss Universe and Miss World winners making tall and well-rehearsed speeches on world peace are deservers of the Nobel Prize too! While all this happen, the US remains one nation that has refused to accept any international control or convention and continues to develop the most sophisticated nuclear weapons technology.
Jean Henri Dunant (May 8, 1828-October 30, 1910), aka Henry Dunant or Henri Dunant, was a Swiss businessman and social activist. During a business trip in 1859, he was witness to the aftermath of the Battle of Solferino in modern-day Italy. He recorded his memories and experiences in the book A Memory of Solferino which inspired the creation of the ‘International Committee of the Red Cross’ (ICRC) in 1863.
The 1864 Geneva Convention was based on Dunant’s ideas. In 1901, he received the first Nobel Peace Prize together with Frederic Passy. While Dunant was a noble soul who struggled through life for the sake of living up to his values, powerful and influential people manipulate their contacts to avail themselves of this honour today.
It is time that the concerned authorities gave themselves a rousing shake and reached out to encourage unsung heroes who struggle day and night to help humanity. Some self-introspection in this perspective can really help! Many of these hard-working and sincere souls working for the poor and the needy do not even have the resources to support themselves. Bringing their efforts to the spotlight would definitely make more sense.