AN INDIAN AND A PAKISTANI SHARE PEACE NOBEL: NOTHING REALPOLITIKAL ABOUT IT

It was all so good. It looked brilliant on screens wherever the broadcast was being shown. The rounds of applause were spontaneous. The value addition of musical performances by artists from India and Pakistan was a treat to eyes and ears.

It happens like this every year, except the value addition.

What was announced two months ago had its final movement today, like it happens every year.

Yes, it echoes more in the niches that belong to the winners – their field of work and the part of the world they come from.

But, the echo remains more on the airwaves and in black and white words and for masses, it, at best, serves the purpose of giving recognition and spreading the symbolism that recognizes the cause and the efforts being made by the person/organization for it.

That is the limit and the reality of it, irrespective of the value additions done.

In terms of engineering change, it is nowhere close to the realpolitik of the ground reality in most of the cases and when the case in question is India Vs Pakistan, then a Peace Nobel jointly to an Indian and a Pakistani doesn’t make any ground for a ‘India + Pakistan’ scenario.

Kailash Satyarthi has made India proud but it is equally true that he is still not widely known in India and there are many other social activists in his league.

Malala Yousafzai has successfully highlighted the plight of girls in Pakistan once again but it is equally true that she is not the voice that can reach deeply in Pakistan, to the subjects that she mentions in each of her speeches. No one can say when she would be able to travel back to her country to take on the field work.

Apart from talking points, the joint Peace Nobel 2014 doesn’t hold any ground for the two Asian rivals where one is an emerging global power and a giant when seen on the scales of economy and military while the other is a chaotic nation following the policy of state sponsored terror pushed by its military, the strongest institution in the country.

Pakistan, born out of India, on religious divide, could never reconcile with the dominant status which India naturally had, being an old civilization with a rich and diversify history and a much larger country. The unsolved border issue and Jammu & Kashmir gave an early start to the aspirations of people heading the military there and a limping start of democracy soon gave them the avenue to usurp the power. Since then, it has been the inferiority complex of the Pakistan’s military complex that has pushed it to wage many wars with India to prove its superiority. Pakistan has lost all – the only natural consequence possible.

And in desperation, it has led its military establishment to try all, including sponsoring and exporting proxy war and terrorism in India.

And it all began and has sustained in the name of religious fanaticism.

That religious fanaticism and Pakistan military’s over-dependence on it are the basic elements of the realpolitik that guide the way Pakistan keeps up with India and the ground reality is really hostile, with increased ceasefire violations and anti-India rhetoric by Pakistan in the recent months, that has found a tough respondent in the Narendra Modi led Indian government.

While talking on ‘India Vs Pakistan’ to ‘India + Pakistan’ realpolitik, we need to come back to this reality again and again.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

PEACE NOBEL 2014: KAILASH SATYARTHI’S FIELDWORK WITH MALALA YOUSAFZAI’S SYMBOLISM

The 5-member Norwegian Nobel Peace Prize committee, with election for three out of its five spots slated later this year, chose to play it safe by awarding two names no one would criticize, at least the names who made for the headlines and generate subsequent rounds of controversy. Malala Yousafzai, who makes for headlines and is a favourite of the Western media, has become a ‘celebrity’ activist in just two years symbolizing aspirations of millions of girls in her country Pakistan. Her name was among the most debated ones even the last year and the Nobel committee had to award the 17-year old activist, now residing in Britain, sooner or later. The other, Kailash Satyarthi from India, has had an impressive track record spread over decades working for children’s rights.

Yes, it was known that Bachpan Bachao Andolan’s Kailash Satyarthi was nominated but he was nowhere even remotely near to figure in the intense debates and discourses that precede the Peace Nobel announcement every year.

No Peace Nobel commentator in news spoke on his chances. No Peace Nobel expert on the block analyzed his work to speak on his claim. No Peace Nobel bookmaker in business placed stakes on him.

So, it came as a pleasant surprise when the five Norwegian politicians decided on Mr. Satyarthi’s name recognizing decades of tough, real ground work bringing change to the lives, saving children from bonded labour and inhuman working conditions, and sincerely trying to give them a future.

And thankfully, in India, the youngest nation demographically, a nation with still worrying literacy and health parameters, there are many silent crusaders and champions of humanity like him – Sindhutai Sakpal, Dr. Binayak Sen, Ela Bhatt, Deep Joshi, Sunitha Krishnan, to name a few.

So, it’s a well deserved due that an activist working for the children’s rights in the world’s youngest nation but also with maximum number of poor has got. And it will certainly motivate the others in the fraternity.

Yes, some of them are celebrity names in ‘cause-based’ activism but they never carry that celebrity aura that makes many ‘celebrity activists’ ‘news worthy’ with ‘celebrity fighting for a cause’ tag. They work consistently. And they work silently.

That silence is only broken whenever some big news event like an award like the Peace Nobel or Ramon Magsaysay happens or when there is confrontation with parties involved that obstruct the activists from realizing the outcome of their rightful ‘causes’.

And awarding Mr. Satyarthi the Peace Nobel jointly with Malala Yousafzai makes sense.

After the Taliban attack for defying the dictat of not going to school that almost killed her, she has become the symbolism of girls’ right to education in poorest and most orthodox societies commoditizing and exploiting women as objects. She symbolizes the undying spirit of persisting for the opportunities to make a life of dignity and social parity the foundation of which is laid in the childhood, something that is a must for to propel through the adolescence to the formative years of early adulthood. Hope, someday, she would be able to go back and work in the field for the deprived girls in her country.

Recognizing Mr. Satyarthi’s groundwork with Malala’s symbolism draws attention to the known, dark but largely ignored aspects of child-rights across countries and across societies that need enhanced priority in a world where over 60% of the population in the poorest countries is below the age of 25. And remember, the girl child is considered a discarded entry in many of these societies.

It is not for the India-Pakistan or the Hindu-Muslim rhetoric of the Nobel Peace committee, but for this combination of fieldwork and symbolism that makes this year Peace Nobel decision worth the name of Peace Nobel, the world’s still most prestigious recognition that is increasingly regularly attracting criticism, something that has forced the government in Norway to work on the structure of the ‘committee’ .

Yes, to be honest of the realities and true to be true to the global politics, it is not going to change anything on the ongoing border hostilities between India and Pakistan and it is not going to stop the Hindu-Muslim riots , until the mindset changes, the mindset of the billions who don’t even know don’t care for what a Peace Nobel is, people who force the children in bonded labour, people who traffic children, people who force girls into prostitution, people who shot Malala.

The Peace Nobel is still the most prestigious recognition because it draws worldwide attention to an issue, a problem area, and therefore a symbolic win for the people working to address it and for the humankind that says, yes, there is an urgent need to attend to that problem.

Yes, it does motivate the people acting for the cause to uproot the problem or to address the issue, but it does little to affect the mindset of those behind the issue or the problem.

Did Liu Xiaobo’s 2010 Peace Nobel change anything in China? No, in fact China has become more ruthless and has increased its crackdown on activists and democratic voices of dissent.

Did the 2012 Peace Nobel to the European Union made the Union more cohesive? No, its future is still as threatened as was in 2012.

Is the Peace Nobel to Malala going to change the way Taliban see the women and their position in the societies controlled by them? No.

Yes, but it does motivate the fraternity of activists to do more, to seek more from the society for their ‘causes’.

Mr. Satyarthi, whose two colleagues were killed while saving children from inhuman working conditions, said in an interview that there are 168 million children forced into child labour globally and there are 200 million adults jobless and it would be a great service to humanity and to the humankind if Peace Nobel 2014 could push (or for that matter, motivate) the world powers, engaged in geopolitical maneuvering to promote self-interests abashed, to give a sensitive ear to this harrowingly imbalanced linkage of human lives to the need and denial of livelihoods.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

HERE COME(S) THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE 2013 RECIPIENT(S)

Nobel Prize session is reaching its climax with the much awaited annual event of the announcement of the Nobel Peace Prize announcement today.

Though there is buzz around every category of Nobel Prize and it builds up to the global outreach level with the Prize announcement season kicking off but with the Nobel Peace Prize, the visibility of ‘who and why’ discourse on the possible Nobel Peace Prize recipient witnesses a manifold jump.

It is recognition to the importance of the Nobel Peace Prize in the hallowed Nobel Prize league.

Another recognition to the global significance of the Nobel Peace Prize is the regular controversy on the ‘who and why’ discourse on who got it.

Many Peace Nobel decisions have been geopolitically sensitive (positively) and so have been controversial for they endorse the work of activists and organizations in world’s most oppressive regimes, some of them being large and powerful nations.

China’s displeasure and efforts to thwart the Nobel Peace Prize to Dalai Lama or Liu Xiaobo or Iran’s critical stand on Peace Nobel to Shirin Ebadi are some of many such instances.

On part of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, last few years have seen balanced decisions except in 2009 when Barack Obama, an African American, was announced the recipient for raising hopes with his ascension as the President of the world’s most powerful nation. Four years on, the decision still remains in the grey area of debates.

Let’s see who wins the Peace Nobel this year. Like always, there have been analyses and discourses.

One name that figures in every discourse is Malala Yousafzai. But choosing her now may become a decision like 2009.

Malala, 16, is an education activist who rose to the global prominence after Taliban militants shot her in Pakistan for defying the dictat to ban schooling for girls. Like Obama, her ascension to the global stage raises hopes. She has become a forceful symbolism.

But any decision to decide on her should come after some significant body of work behind this symbolism, a must to build on the prospect of the Malala symbolism.

Then there are other names like Denis Mukwege, a doctor from the Democratic Republic of Congo for his humanitarian work in a hostile environment of a civil-war torn nation; Memorial, the Russian rights groups, a regular contender in last few years, and the Russian activists; Guatemala’s first female attorney Claudia Paz y Paz for her work against organized crime and political corruption; and Edward Snowden, the NSA whistleblower in the list of 259 nominees of this year.

My pick would be the Russian activists because they have been a constant voice of protest against an increasingly dominating and ruthless Vladimir Putin, indisputably the world’s most powerful dictator capable enough to affect and subvert decisions to let the humanity remain suppressed and crushed like he is doing by helping the Assad government in Syria, like he is doing by incarcerating the voices of dissent in Russia. And he is doing this all in the name of democracy.

He is to be denounced at every possible platform and a Peace Nobel decision to the Russian activists would be a fitting symbolic reply to the democratically elected dictator. It may not affect Mr. Putin in real terms but it will certainly encourage the voices of dissent to build on their work.

But, let’s wait till tomorrow to deliberate on the ‘who and why’ discourse of the Norwegian Nobel Committee decision on the Nobel Peace Prize 2013.

Let’s see who is going to be the next Peace Nobel Laureate.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/