No Nobel for Edhi and Gandhi- But For Obama and Suu-Kyi- Reputation of Nobel Committee?

ET: by Aaker Patel: Edhi, Gandhi and the Nobel Committee

A recent movie made by two Pakistanis, Bassam Tariq and Omar Mullick, has made me revisit a subject about which I have written often. The film called These Birds Walk is about a man many regard as the greatest living Pakistani, Abdul Sattar Edhi. Not many outside the subcontinent know of Edhi. One reason is that he has wrongly been denied the Peace Nobel. In that, he resembles another South Asian.

No Nobel Prize for Peace was given in 1948. This was because the Nobel Committee was so embarrassed by its repeated ignoring of Gandhi, who was killed on January 30 of that year, that it chose to observe his passing in silence. It remains the most striking omission in the history of the prize. Much later, in 1999, the organisation published the background of why it continually rejected the man who transformed Hinduism, liberated India, inspired Martin Luther King to liberate Americans from their bigotry and is now called the apostle of peace.

In 1937, Gandhi was first nominated for the prize by the Norwegian parliament and Ole Colbjornsen of the Labour Party. “He is undoubtedly a good, noble and ascetic person,” the committee assessing him was told by an expert. On the other hand, he was “too much of an Indian nationalist”. On that ground, the prize that year was given to Viscount Cecil of Chelwood. History remembers him as the man famous for wanting all nations to speak the common language called Esperanto.

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Categories: Europe

1 reply

  1. Nobel Prices, especially the Nobel Peace Prize and also the Nobel Prize for literature, is clearly political. Regarding the Nobel Peace Price the Committee should come out and say: Sorry, we do not see any one worthy of the price.

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