Being awarded a Nobel Prize is the biggest form of recognition and appreciation for anyone. The cause of humanity is forwarded by many foot soldiers who work hard so that life on this earth could be better. I am a student of science but I believe that no science can progress without a touch of humanities and thus for me Nobel Peace Prize holds a special status. The Nobel Prize for Peace goes to someone who does an outstanding job in making this place better to live for a life without peace cannot contribute anything worthwhile. This year’s Nobel peace prize was jointly awarded to Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi. If you are reading this post then chances are that you already know who Malala is and what has she done to be awarded the most honourable prize on this Earth. Mr. Satyarthi, on the other hand, is a person who has worked hard for years for the cause of abolition of child labour but had never been under the radar of media. I am a big news junkie but had never heard or seen his name in any news. After reading about the work Malala and Kailash have done there is no doubt that they deserved such an honour. Their efforts are worth being appreciated at the highest level. But, should Pakistan (country to which Malala belongs) and India (Kailash is an Indian and works in India) be proud of the achievements of their fellow citizens? Yesterday I saw a picture on twitter where Pakistanis were not only boasting of Nobel prize being awarded to a “Pakistani daughter” but they were also bragging about the counts of muslims who have been awarded the honour. India is also not less gloated about the achievement of Mr Kailash. Thankfully though, his achievement has not yet been coloured with the paints of religion.
I come back to the same question again – despite the outstanding work done by Malala and Kailash and being recognised at the highest level should India and Pakistan be proud of this achievement? I asked this question to myself and my answer is No. I don’t think that Indians and Pakistanis should be proud of their citizens being awarded Nobel Peace Prize. In fact, I feel ashamed. Malala had to take bullet in the head for forwarding a noble cause of educating girls and Mr. Kailash has spent his life saving children who had to burn their childhood slaving to earn money for their families. Had India and Pakistan protected the rights of its children these two personalities would never had to do what they did and would have never been awarded Nobel Peace Prize. An Indian and Pakistani being awarded Nobel Prize for peace simply means that these two countries have serious problems that took extraordinary efforts by some human being to tackle. Other Indians and Pakistanis have failed in their duties to protect the right of their children which is why some individual had to do take up the job. Being an Indian I feel that I failed to fulfill my duty and I am indebted to the likes of Mr Kailash for doing the job that I should have done.
If someone from some country wins a Nobel in science it means that the country has good education system and environment that fosters development of research. This is definitely a recognition of good. Everyone should be happy to know that their country has capabilities to shape talent into useful resources for the welfare of everyone. Nobel peace prize on the other hand is a recognition of chaos in this world and the Nobel peace prize of 2014 is a recognition of some serious issues in India and Pakistan. As a kid I knew many households that had children working from Indian states like Bihar and Odisha. They had to work as much as an adult but were paid just a fraction of the sum that an adult would ask. Such kids can never attend schools nor do they ever get time to play. Some are even caned if they are slow with work or cannot not work as per the expectations.
Children don’t steal, they don’t run away, they are afraid to disobey orders, and they don’t rape or murder their masters. Children are easier to enslave and thus the business of child labour thrives well in many parts of the World. But, the condition has improved a lot – at least in India. Stricter laws, media campaigns and surprise checks by Govt has put things under better control though there are more miles to cover. Educating a girl child is still a big issue in many parts of the world. In many Asian and African countries girls are not considered as money earners and are just trained to do household chores. The situation is worse in regions with traditional and extremist Islamic beliefs as traditional Islam proscribes women from going out in public and get education, especially non-religious education. Again, situation has improved a lot but many people like Malala still have to endanger their lives everyday to make the lives of other girls better.
I would say that Malala and Mr Kailash deserve all the recognition for the difference they have made in the society and they should be congratulated. But, India and Pakistan being the workplace of these activists have no reason to cheer and should work tirelessly to eliminate the reasons that forced Malala and Kailash to do what they do.
(The picture of Nobel medallion has bee taken from Wikipedia and I do not own the copyrights: The medal design itself is in the public domain in the United States, because it was published before 1923. It remains under copyright in its country of origin (Sweden) until 2037 (the first full year after 70 years following the death of sculptor/engraver Erik Lindberg (1873—1966)). The design is a registered trademark owned by the Nobel Foundation.)