Harsh Mander, Karwan-e-Mohabbat Shortlisted for Nobel Peace Prize

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PRIO mentions Alt News co-founders Mohammed Zubair and Pratik Sinha also as worthy candidates for the Peace Prize

NEW DELHI — The Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) has shorlisted its list for the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize of this year. In the shortlist which was announced on September 30, 2022, PRIO has listed social activist and former IAS Officer Harsh Mander, who resigned after the 2002 Gujarat Riots, with his campaign Karwan-e-Mohabbat (Caravan of Love) for the prestigious award.

The name of the winner will be announced this month.

PRIO is not Nobel Peace Prize Committee neither it is an associated body of the Nobel Foundation, but based on their professional assessments, PRIO Directors have made it a tradition to offer their personal shortlists for the Peace Prize. 

Notably, PRIO mentioned Alt News co-founders Mohammed Zubair and Pratik Sinha also as worthy candidates for the Peace Prize.

The shortlist features Harsh Mander and Karwan-e-Mohabbat (Caravan of Love) of India; Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya of Belarus and Alexei Navalny of Russia; the International Court of Justice (ICJ); Ilham Tohti of China, Agnes Chow and Nathan Law of Hong Kong and the Human Rights Data Analysis Group (HRDAG) and the Center for Applied Nonviolent Action and Strategies (CANVAS).

Harsh Mander, author, social activist and director of the Centre for Equity Studies in New Delhi, has been among those striving in India to retain the nation’s image of religious tolerance and priority to maintain peace, as the last few years have seen a sharp increase in incidents of religion-based violence and hate crimes across the country.

In 2017, he launched the campaign Karwan-e-Mohabbat to express support to victims of such hate crimes. Mander is today a major voice for religious tolerance in Indian society, while his campaign is a force to reckon with for people opposing conflict and violence in the name of religion, said PRIO.

Zubair and Sinha were mentioned for fighting against religious extremism and intolerance in India. The fact-checking site Alt News has contributed greatly to exposing misinformation that aims at verbally abusing Muslims in India, said PRIO.

Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya and Alexei Navalny: Tsikhanouskaya and Navalny are open critics of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. They have strongly protested the Russian aggression and the assistance by Belarus, and simultaneously fought to be democratic and non-violent alternatives to Lukashenko and Putin.

International Court of Justice: Citing the example of the ICJ order to Russia in March 2022 to “immediately suspend the military operations” in Ukraine, PRIO said that the ICJ attempt to promote peace through international law is a major step in support of multilateral collaboration for peaceful relations.

Ilham Tohti, Agnes Chow and Nathan Law: Scholar Tohti, who was jailed for life in 2014, fought against human rights abuse meted out to the Uyghurs. Law has been in exile in the UK since the enactment of the national security law in 2020, while Chow has faced imprisonment for her political activity.

HRDAG and CANVAS: Based in San Francisco, HRDAG systematically documents and analyses data on human rights abuses, said PRIO, adding, that CANVAS, based in Belgrade and co-founded by Srđa Popović and Slobodan Đinović, educates activists around the world in non-violent forms of protest and resistance.”

(With inputs from VarthaBharati)

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