Why no Nobel for Gandhiji?

about 1 year ago
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Yes, it’s a thought which never ceases to come back, every time someone, anyone, around the world wins the Nobel Prize. Talk about Mahatma Gandhi anywhere, everyone agrees he was a beacon of peace and non-violence. He was the inspiration for Nelson Mandela and Gandhiji got India the freedom through a completely new method - Satyagraha. In the current times, we are living in an era where at the drop of a hat, war is declared.  The turmoil in the Middle East speaks for itself.

Gandhiji was nominated five times and shortlisted three times for the Nobel Prize? So why was he not ever given the award? Many now say that Satyarthi was given this prize as a way to appease their guilt of not having bestowed this award on the Mahatma. Come on, let’s not take away the credit and more which this child labour activist more than deserves.

Interestingly, on the official website of the Nobel Peace Prize itself, the selection committee has listed why Gandhiji was not given this award. (http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/themes/peace/gandhi/index.html)

One of the committee members, when one reads this report, Professor Worm-Müller, said that he had doubts as to whether Gandhi's ideals were meant to be 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." Then the 1947 nomination was rejected as it was felt inappropriate to give him the award in the midst of the Indian-Pakistani conflict.  Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated on 30 January 1948, two days before the closing date for that year's Nobel Peace Prize nominations. The Committee received six letters of nomination naming Gandhi. Once again it was rejected as the Committee felt that posthumous awards, should not take place unless the laureate died after the Committee's decision had been made.

Thus one of the biggest icons of peace today is not a Nobel Peace Prize recipient. At such times, cannot help but wonder at the selection process of the Committee? Even Martin Luther King is not a recipient. Cannot help but wonder if “color” was a deciding factor then more than the work done?

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