A Creditable Award of the Nobel Peace Prize

 SANSAD News Release, Oct 14, 2014


The Nobel Peace Prize, which has been discredited by its recent awards to such entities of dubious merit as the European Union and Barak Obama, has gone some way toward reclaiming credibility by its award of the prize for 2014 to Malala Yousefzai of Pakistan and Kailash Satyarthi of India, both of them activists for the rights of children.

The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded within the context of global politics, so that its list of recipients also includes such notorious warmongers as Henry Kissinger. This year’s award is no less political. This year’s contenders included Edward Snowden and Chelsey Manning, who have made contributions of historical proportions toward human freedom from state surveillance and yet remain one in exile and the other in prison. But since Snowden and Manning had dared to challenge the imperial power of the United States of America, they could not be awarded the prize they richly deserved. It is by default that the prize was awarded to the greatly worthy champions of the most powerless, female children of Pakistan and all the enslaved children of India.

Malala Yousefzai and Kailash Satyarthi are remarkable people who have put their lives on the line for the empowerment of suppressed and enslaved children, and Pakistan and India ought to be proud of the recognition they have received. The political leaders of both countries have acknowledged this honor. Yet this global recognition shines a spotlight on national shame: the cause for which these champions have been awarded. In Pakistan the recognition of Malala has generated a vitriolic attack, not only from the expected quarters of the Taliban but also in mainstream media. In India the occasion has brought to attention the extent of the problem of clild labour in conditions of slavery, the laxity of effort in curbing it, and the complicity of politicians in enabling it.

South Asian Network for Secularism and Democracy (SANSAD), an organization of the South Asian diaspora in Canada, congratulates Malala Yousefzai and Kailash Satyarthi on the recognition their noble and inspiring work for downtrodden children has received and applauds the Nobel Peace Prize committee for their wise decision. We applaud the expressed desire of Yousefzai to invite the prime ministers of Pakistan and India to Oslo for the award ceremony as a contribution to bringing peace to the subcontinent. We condemn those who belittle the contribution of Malala Yousefzai in Pakistan as the voice of the oppressor of the weak. And we urge the governments of Pakistan and India to follow the path of peace and address the issues to which the Nobel Laureates for 2014 have dedicated their lives.


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