Congratulations to Malala and Kailash Satyarthi. They deserve the honor. They may now teach their respective governments lessons of peace and peaceful coexistence. They can show to the people of the two countries that if they combine for good objectives, together they can tell the world the true meaning of peace. If they have averted a war, they have already justified their selection
DR JAVED JAMIL
[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he Nobel Prize for Peace goes to Malala Yusafzai of Pakistan and Kailash Satyarthi of India. Strange combination, strange time. And of course, the well-known Western influence in selection. The joint award for a Pakistani and an Indian comes at a time when the clouds of war are looming large on the subcontinent. The awards raise many other questions too.
Malala was of course already an international celebrity. But hardly anyone knew Kailash Satyarthi. As often happens, the winners of almost all the prestigious awards are hardly known before the award is announced. Even a person like me who has run an NGO himself and is keeping an eye on various activities had never heard the name of Satyarthi before it was announced. While Malala has been a well-known and well-publicized contender for the coveted award for last two years, there was not even an iota of speculation in the media, international or Indian, about an Indian being in the race.
This shows the apathy of the popular media towards people who really engage in noble works. I have never heard any interview of Satyarthi on any Channel before, never seen a report on his work. Most of the experts in different fields remain unknown till they win some prestigious award. People recognise only film stars, politicians or a few experts appearing on the TV channels. The real heroes remain unsung.
This is especially true for India, even truer for Indian Muslims. We often read big reports in media about the works of different personalities after their death. I read big headlines in Muslim media about literary personalities whom I knew nothing about before they breathed last. This shows how media works, and it works only for the interests of the corporates or for the political parties and movements supported by the corporates.
This also leads us to the conclusion that Nobel Prizes have political motives. Western experts are the ones who are normally awarded. If any from the non-Western world is chosen, more often than not he/she is one whom West loves for its political or economic ends. China is one of the major powers of the world, but very few Chinese have won Nobel, and most of them are Americans of Chinese origin. Less than a dozen resident Chinese have won it. Malal too has been a darling of the West because her bravery was demonstrated against Taliban, the organisation West loathes. This is not to undermine the importance of her sacrifice and deviation for a noble cause. But if her devotion had no Western connection, she would not have perhaps ever won it.
It is well known that the Western and the corporate interests are always the driving factors in the selection. It is not that wrong choices are made but that out of numerous excellent choices, only the ones that suit Western ideologies and forces are chosen in the final reckoning. Satyarthi has been chosen because he is working in the field of Child Labour, an issue that has been extremely dear to the corporate.
It is not that Child labor is not an issue that needs attention but again it is the choice of only the good which appeals to them. Child labor helps small scale industries, which the Corporate world wants to strangulate. Child labour is a ploy to attain that purpose. In the name of helping the children, the big business helps itself. There will never be a Nobel Peace be given to a person who has campaigned against abortion, as if saving the child in mothers’ wombs is not a noble cause. Never will a Nobel be given to a person who has fought against prostitution or alcoholism as if they are not the major spoilers of health and social peace.
Congratulations to Malala and Kailash. They deserve the honor. They may now teach their respective governments lessons of peace and peaceful coexistence. They can show to the people of the two countries that if they combine for good objectives, together they can tell the world the true meaning of peace. If they have averted a war, they have already justified their selection.