Friday, October 9, 2009

Barack Obama wins the Nobel Peace Prize

I remember shadowing Hillary Clinton for a race that - even with its most obvious diplomatic connotations - did not matter to the average Indian me. And how I was a bit bummed when this chappie called Barack Obama eventually won the Democratic nomination. Then I got to know him better, read him a bit more, understood why people got goosebumps everytime he spoke, had stingers in my eyes everytime I saw him and when I realised what he stood for: for America, for the world, for every individual, if you looked at it in a really intent way. When he won, I was proud - proud unlike how I've ever been for any Indian election winner - and I cried.

But I felt no pride or tears of joy today when I read that Barack Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. There was shock, disbelief and anger. Shock at how much this puts into perspective the fact that what he signifies to me and the world and his country has done little actual, real-time difference, when compared to those who won the Nobel before him. Disbelief that Oslo, one of the world's few 'fair' awards, would spark such a massive international debate, honouring a serving president, one whose country is waging three wars currently, someone who has yet to cross even one major foreign-policy milestone. Anger, because there were far more deserving candidates: peace means and demand much, much more today. Anger, because this award has stinted Obama's chances of making real change happen - he has been stymied by this medal, which will take his every future effort to the bottom of the diplomatic cess-pool.

Give the Nobel back, Obama.

17 comments:

choxbox said...

Was a bit shocked as well.

ra said...

Am totally shocked too. Am trying to console myself with the thought that the prize might force him to do something and that he might feel he has to live up to, maybe he'll try to earn it in reverse...

Sujatha said...

The award has become so politicized. Felt the same way with Gore last year. The Nobel committee is trying to send messages to world about their political preferences, not reward people for their work and effort. The award will just lose its credibility now. I echo your sentiment in the last sentence. I hope he makes a statement today and that's what he says.

Sujatha said...

No such luck - http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/europe/10/09/nobel.peace.prize/index.html

Sands said...

Totally with you on this one. I love this guy and agree with every word in the first para and also agree the award is extremely premature. Sometimes it's all political and that sucks :(

Swati said...

I feel nothing but shock and disgust too. Some of the last Nobels in this category have been surely debatable, but this one takes the cake. What has he done yet to deserve this? Except perhaps increase the voter turnout in the Indian elections immediately following his victory - because the American elections inspired in us a sense of possibility, of change, of the power of the ballot.

If you are going to start a facebook group called Give it back, Obama! - I'd gladlly subscribe!

SBora said...

am with you on this one..just because he gives hope, doesnt qualify him for a nobel ..i am not sure how this will influence the rest of his presidency.

dipali said...

Yes- it's too much, and way too soon.
Has anyone refused it yet?

OrangeJammies said...

I so agree. It's terribly premature. Which is not to say it would be well-deserved later. We'd have to wait and watch and see if the man put his money where his big mouth is.

Sujatha said...

Dipali:

"Henry Kissinger and Le Duc Tho shared a 1973 Peace Prize for negotiating the end of the Vietnam War. Tho rejected his award, saying that there was no peace in his country."

From this Time article - http://www.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,1847407,00.html. Lots of interesting stuff in there. Sartre was another one.

preetischronicle said...

I am so with you on this. I too was in awe of him, when I thought what he stood for and I was actually in a way so proud of his success.
But this nobel is so not deserved right now, I too wish he gives it up.

dipali said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dipali said...

@Sujatha- Thanks- interesting article!

Anonymous said...

I agree with ra! May be he would be pressured into building more peace in the world.

Best wishes,
Anjali

preetischronicle said...

havent seen a post from you in so long. Hope you are well.

sher khan said...

Are you fine? Its been a long time.

nitya said...

Cyclone coming your way? Stay safe. Hugs to Nino.