A Bit(d) for Peace

Usually, I try to avoid articles about politics, political parties and their ideologies on my web-log.  However, I am writing one today which is not exactly about a politician, rather a recipient of a new ‘responsibility’.

This year’s Nobel peace prize has been awarded to the current US President Barack Obama.  You will hear a lot about this in the media (some in print, more on TV) in the coming weeks.  There will be debates about how a person can win a Nobel peace prize by just showing the right intentions!!  Mahatma Gandhi did not win one, even though he was a metaphor for peace. Times have changed and I think Mahatma Gandhi would have been happy to see President Obama receiving the Nobel Prize. It might be a coincidence that President Obama recently said that Gandhi was his inspirational hero. (I know that I shouldn’t have used red to ‘right’ this)

No one can deny the towering influence USA on foreign policies of other countries.  The last decade has seen global turmoil in all forms and USA has had a central role to play in many of that (sometimes at the receiving end, and sometimes on the offensive).  After Obama’s election as the US president, things have calmed down a little, although he may not have played a direct role in all the good things that have happened since then.

In 2007, a former US presidential candidate Al Gore received the Nobel peace prize along with IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change).  Sadly enough, people did not take notice.  This year the Nobel committee has cleverly given an award to someone who is still in power. It really is a stroke of genius. Now, Obama has a publicly bestowed ‘responsibility’ of taking the path of peace.

No country exists in isolation and any treaty between two countries always has repercussions in at least two other countries. Global peacemaking efforts have been in bits and ‘peaces’.  You paste a band-aid on a recent wound, and an old band-aid falls off, opening an old-wound.  Although personally, I like political autonomy for every country, the global economic imbalance does not allow this to take shape.  It continues to exist in ‘bits’, and may ‘peaces’ also be there.

Some Additional Comments in favour of the above views:

Let us try and draw a similarity between Nobel prize and Bharatha Ratna (the highest civilian award for an Indian in India)
We haven’t had a “Bharatha Ratna” for a long time now. Can we give it to someone and hope that they become one? I don’t think so.
The same applies to physics, chemistry, economics, and physiology Nobels.

The Peace Nobel is different from all the above because it affects people more than others.
Peace is very dynamic (as is war) and can have an impact within a short time.

I have not done an analysis.  If we do, I wouldn’t be surprised to see that time between ‘peace achieved’ and “peace Nobel’ will be shorter than “great discovery” and “science Nobel”.

The turmoil to achieve Peace may last for a long time.  However, after it is achieved, it doesn’t take long to get a Nobel prize.

Most of the Nobel prize winning scientific discoveries were not Nobel winning when they were actually made.  They may have put in years to come up with that discovery.
However, it does not have an immediate impact.  The discoveries evolved over time (10 to 20 years) and affected people in a good way.  Then, the scientists involved get a Nobel prize.

Peace exists and can be achieved. It is certain. It need not be discovered each time. Where as giving a science Nobel in advance may not guarantee a great discovery. Science is more uncertain than peace.

Almost every sane person on this planet knows that Obama can achieve PEACE in this world and Nobel peace prize is just a gentle (powerful) reminder.

4 thoughts on “A Bit(d) for Peace”

  1. Thats really is an out of the box thinking I should say Srikanta, I was shocked to hear the news but may be as you said we hope that the peace prize given to a person in power makes a difference….good going, keep writing

  2. Sorry sir…but i m not with you on this….The prize is not for an effort or for a responsibility…that way the other nobels can also be given to people who are in power and also capable of making a change….but the point to be noted is that the prize has always been given for achievements…and Mr. Obama has no notable achivements in the field of peace……
    if one had to give prizes for good intentions then a lot more people are more deserving….

    just a thought…..

    1. Thank you Parvathi. You have given the other perspective on this issue very effectively.
      Many, who do not agree with me have told me in person to write an additional comment (in detail) on why I justify that.
      I will be updating my article with additional comments.
      Please reread the article and hopefully, I have something new to say.

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