Saturday, October 08, 2005

The Nobel Cause

The Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to International Atomic Energy Agency and its director Mohamed ElBaradei. The selection of the agency and its Director has created lot of buzz , some feel that the prize is recognition of the agency's work, and the greater challenge of keeping the world free from Nuclear War. Baradei is a Bachelor of Law from the University of Cairo, 1962, and doctorate in International Law at the New York University School of Law, 1974.

He has also been the recipient of various honorary degrees. Later he joined Egyptian diplomatic service in 1964, and has served missions to the United Nations in New York and Geneva, in charge of political, legal and arms control issues.

He was was special assistant to Egyptian foreign minister from 1974 to 1978. In 1980 became senior fellow in charge of international law program at U.N. Institute for Training and Research. From 1981 to 1987 was adjunct professor of international law at New York University.

He was appointed International Atomic Energy Agency secretary-general effective Dec. 1, 1997. again reappointed to second term in September 2001, and third term, September 2005.

However the news which really got wide coverage in India media was the issue of the Nobel Prize not being given to Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhi, revered as the Father of the nation in India, was nominated for the prize in 1937, 1938, 1939, 1947 and, finally, a few days before he was murdered in January 1948, notes Шyvind Tшnnesson, a former Nobel E-Museum Peace editor.Here’s what Professor Jacob Worm-Müller, the committee who wrote a report on Gandhi,thought about Gandhi”

He is undoubtedly a good, noble and ascetic person - a prominent man who is deservedly honoured and loved by the masses of India...(But) sharp turns in his policies, which can hardly be satisfactorily explained by his followers. He is a freedom fighter and a dictator, an idealist and a nationalist. He is frequently a Christ, but then, suddenly, an ordinary politician," the evaluator noted, according to the documents made available on the foundation's website.

Worm-Müller expressed doubts whether Gandhi's ideals were universal or primarily Indian: "One might say that it is significant that his well-known struggle in South Africa was on behalf of the Indians only, and not of the blacks whose living conditions were even worse."

The Nobel committee's advisor, historian Jens Arup Seip, wrote the evaluation report, which was not as critical as the earlier one but focused only on the Mahatma's role in India's struggle for freedom. It was not "explicitly favourable" either.

The argument that went against Gandhi in 1947 was that the Nobel Peace Prize had never been awarded for any struggle for independence. The qualifying clause is the closest the committee came to honour the 'great soul'

Well the fact that even after 57 years of being nominated for the award his candidature for the award is being reviewed and thought about, this demonstrates the greatness of the man who despite human facilities truly led the nation and was an apostle of peace.

But the irony remains that he couldn’t be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts, though he continues to inspire generations.