The Global Peace price awarded by the Nobel committee has always been controversial in the sense, the winner is not always accepted by the fellow nominees’ supporters. Reason simply told, measuring global peace is not as quantitative and tangible as measuring a Chemistry invention or an Agricultural innovation. “Peace” itself has been interpreted differently across the world and will continue to be so. Given that, there have been several “peace” activists who have done their part in the past and probably never got picked by the Nobel committee. This does and should not make the winners picked by the Nobel committee any less deserving or accomplished.
Even with the above background, which is being put into perspective and being highlighted with a red marker in the last couple of days, it was surprising to see President Obama getting the honor for this year. Of course, like everyone else, my first reaction was “Who?” and “For what?”. I reserved my comments for a couple of days and was sort of trying to understand the rationale. After all, no other Nobel announcement in my recent memory had stirred this much of a surprise. Everyone, including the committee members agree that Obama does not have any quantitative proof of his global peace initiatives that can be compared with some of the past Peace prize winners. So, here is my take on the prize after trying to understand the rationale and after trying to put things in perspective.
There is a way the Americans view the world through their peephole. I live in the US and I sort of understand that view even though I don’t often use the same peephole to view the world. And the rest of the world views America through a different peephole and the world through a different peephole. So, the difference between an American view of the world is very (entirely contrasting to be honest) different from someone else’s from another country. This makes it difficult for someone who is either far left in the US or far right in the US, to sum up global accomplishments of President Obama in an objective manner. Which is why, the committee’s rationale, in spite of it sounding a little strategic and futuristic as opposed to sounding past, may be hard to be understood. I feel the bottom line behind their choice this year is the amount of goodwill one person has been able earn around the world with his message. I don’t think any single individual has been able to generate this kind of goodwill around the globe through his message of Hope and Change. And may be, that summarizes the rationale. This honor certainly is going to bring more burden to Obama than pride. This may be good in its own way. Because, any future action/decision of his presidency will always bear the shadow of this honor.
And that may be more than what the world wants in these hard times we live in across the globe for peace.
Congrats Mr. President! Without trying to figure out whether you deserve it not, we hope that you will try to live up to the expectations that such an award brings on you.