This year’s Nobel Peace Prize which was awarded jointly to an Indian and Pakistani has raised quite a few questions regarding the true intent and standard of Nobel Peace Prize Committee. It has been perceived as an act of political gimmickry.
The idea of sharing the award between India and Pakistan was to generate hype around the Indo-Pakistan relations and make a politically right statement. But the language used in the statement issued in the announcement of the award and the choice of Malala as a recipient of this prestigious award raises some serious questions about the nobility of the Nobel Peace Prize.
The Nobel Committee, while announcing the Peace award, had said, “It as an important point for a Hindu and a Muslim, an Indian and a Pakistani, to join in a common struggle for education and against extremism”.
The identification of Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai along narrow religious lines is very unfortunate. Kailash Satyarthi doesn’t represent Hinduism and Malala doesn’t represent Islam, but they represent Humanity. Did the Nobel committee announce Obama as a Christian or as a son of an Atheist Man while awarding him the Nobel Peace Prize a few years back?
Moreover the statement identified India with Hindus and Pakistan with Islam. In the case of India that is totally wrong as we are a secular country and it has the third largest Muslim population in the world. The statement not only undermines our secular credentials but also creates a sense of alienation among our Muslim countrymen.
The divisive nature of the statement is highly disturbing, especially when it is coming from such a prestigious institution. The schismatic and divisive language used to promote “peace” points to the blatant political stunt of awarding peace prize jointly to a Pakistani and an Indian and the resulting hype that the Nobel Peace Prize committee hoped to create.
Is Malala Being Used by Western Forces?
In the past, Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to respected and celebrated personalities like Martin Luther King Jr. (1964), Polish Solidarity activist Lech Walesa (1983), apartheid-opponent Desmond Tutu (1984) and Mother Teresa (1979); all of whom have achieve great and noble feats through a lifetime of hard work and struggle.
Kailash Satyarthi, who has brought positive change in the lives of at least 80000 children in India and the world, may definitely be compared with such tall personalities but when it comes to Malala, I personally feel she falls short of matching their sheer greatness and the vast difference that their hard work had made. I have immense respect for Malala, as an extraordinarily brave girl who chose to stand up and defend her rights against the repressive and brutal Taliban.
But it is really saddening to see a bright young girl like Malala being used as a pawn to further the ideology of the west. She is being marketed as a brand and has become the front cover for western propaganda, which would like to portray the image of a civilized west helping poor girls from the conflict torn East, to further their ideology of unlawful foreign intervention.
Powerful people and Firms have joined the process of building her image and create the “Brand Malala”. According to The Independent, These people include Edelman, the largest global PR firm in the world that manages Malala alongside its work for clients that include Microsoft and Starbucks. Jamie Lundie, an impeccably connected senior executive for the firm and former speechwriter for Paddy
Ashdown when he was the Liberal Democrat Political leader, leads a team of five who work with Malala on a pro bono basis. So why are the Western countries so shamelessly ‘marketing’ and manipulating Malala? Why are the western countries not concerned for the little children who are killed or injured in U.S Drone strikes in Pakistan or the children displaced in Palestine due to Israeli brutal repression.
Malala is a young girl and she is being manipulated by her so called ‘mentors’. Every speech of Malala has been carefully worded so that it conforms to the interests of the West. Have you ever heard Malala talking about bombing of schools in Palestine by Israel or the killing of her fellow Pakistani children in the infamous Drone attacks? Malala has become the voice of the west and Nobel Peace Prize has become a tool for propagating western policy of double standards, selective hypocrisy and advocacy of western judgments.
In the past few years Nobel peace prize were awarded to people, who adhered to the western ideas, like Obama, a president of a nation which is responsible for drone attacks and brutal torture of prisoners in Guantanamo bay Prison, Liu Xiabo, a democratic rights activist and a vocal opponent of the Chinese Communist Party, and now Malala. Personalities like Snowden, who stood against the illegal snooping by the U.S , were quietly ignored.
We can only hope that Malala , who has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize prematurely, would be encouraged, by the Nobel Peace Prize, to live up to the expectations of the people and be motivated to work for universal children and Girl education rights in all the countries be it in Pakistan, Palestine or Iraq.
We also hope Nobel Peace Prize committee will revert back to its tradition of celebrating and motivating great people who has performed great and noble deeds and stop being a platform for political gimmickry and a tool for furthering western political interests. If in the future they cannot match the standard of the precedents set by the Nobel Peace prize committees of the yester years then the Nobility of the Nobel Peace Prize will remain a contentious issue.
By: Avinandan Choudhury