Kailash Satyarthi wins the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize and we Indians have to google him to find out who he is. Satyarthi is on Twitter as @k_satyarthi, has 7,373 followers, follows 53 and has tweeted 77 times. He last tweeted on October 5 on World Teachers’ Day.
Is that the measure of the man? Obviously not, if the Nobel Committee has chosen to honour him. His silence on receiving the Nobel Prize says a lot. TV channels are hunting him down. He is probably in shock.
But, without denigrating this particular choice, which seems a most honourable one, I have to ask – what’s with this Nobel Prize Committee?
In 1973, Henry Kissinger was awarded the Peace Prize “For the 1973 Paris Agreement intended to bring about a ceasefire in the Vietnam War and a withdrawal of the American forces.”
From Fred Branfman’s, “America Keeps Honoring One of Its Worst Mass Murderers: Henry Kissinger”:
“Henry Kissinger’s quote recently released by Wikileaks, ‘the illegal we do immediately; the unconstitutional takes a little longer’, likely brought a smile to his legions of elite media, government, corporate and high society admirers. Oh that Henry! That rapier wit! That trademark insouciance! That naughtiness! It is unlikely, however, that the descendants of his more than 6 million victims in Indochina, and Americans of conscience appalled by his murder of non-Americans, will share in the amusement. For his illegal and unconstitutional actions had real-world consequences: the ruined lives of millions of Indochinese innocents in a new form of secret, automated, amoral U.S. Executive warfare which haunts the world until today.”
“Mr. Kissinger’s most significant historical act was executing Richard Nixon’s orders to conduct the most massive bombing campaign, largely of civilian targets, in world history. He dropped 3.7 million tons of bombs** between January 1969 and January 1973 – nearly twice the two million dropped on all of Europe and the Pacific in World War II. He secretly and illegally devastated villages throughout areas of Cambodia inhabited by a U.S. Embassy-estimated two million people; quadrupled the bombing of Laos and laid waste to the 700-year old civilization on the Plain of Jars; and struck civilian targets throughout North Vietnam – Haiphong harbor, dikes, cities, Bach Mai Hospital – which even Lyndon Johnson had avoided. His aerial slaughter helped kill, wound or make homeless an officially-estimated six million human beings**, mostly civilians who posed no threat whatsoever to U.S. national security and had committed no offense against it. There is a word for the aerial mass murder that Henry Kissinger committed in Indochina, and that word is ‘evil’.”
You should be asking why he was never tried for crimes against humanity. Did he deserve the Nobel Peace Prize? Hell, no.
Barack Obama won it in 2009 “for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between people”. Since taking office, Obama escalated US involvement, launched a new war in Libya and the ‘70’s quotation: “The sun never sets on blood, shed by the United States of America”, can be safely repeated because they are always involved in some form of war in some part of the world. Why? Because, remember “Read my lips”? Because the arms and oil industry decide their foreign policy. So, did Obama deserve the Peace Prize? Hell, I like the guy, would have voted for him if I was American, but you can’t run away from the sheer violence American propagates around the world. No, he did not deserve the Peace Prize.
In 2012, European Union won it, which was arguably the oddest choice so far. Perhaps they were helping them out because Europe so needed the money.
You may well ask: Why did the greatest apostle of peace and non-violence, Mahatma Gandhi, never receive the Peace Prize? He was nominated FIVE times between 1937 to 1948. He was rejected finally in 1948 when he was assassinated two days before the closing date of the nominations. They could have awarded it posthumously, but chose not to. Why did they keep rejecting him? Here are some answers. I think they kept rejecting him for a very simple reason. Not very complicated, actually. The Norwegian Nobel Committee looks so white-white-white. They just didn’t like him.
Congratulations to Kailash Satyarthi who obviously deserves it and will use the money well. Malala Yousafzai? I guess everyone in Pakistan is now googling her name.