US President Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for giving the world “hope for a better future” and striving for nuclear disarmament. The decision to award one of the world’s top accolades to a president less than nine months into his first term, who has yet to score a major foreign policy success, came as a major surprise.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee praised Obama for “his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.” The first African-American to hold his country’s highest office, Obama has called for disarmament and worked to restart the stalled Middle East peace process since taking office in January 2009.
Obama himself put the award in perspective while admitting he was both surprised and humbled by it. He said he did not feel he deserved to be in the company of so many great transformative figures of peace . “I do not view it as recognition of my own accomplishment, rather as an affirmation of American leadership of all nations,” Obama said in a brief media appearance at the White House Rose Garden, seeking to deflect some of the criticism for what many across the world feel is an award he is yet to earn and has come too early. I
t reminds us that Obama’s idol Mahatma Gandhi who was most deserved candidate for this prize ,was denied by the then imperialist Nobel committee. Gandhi was nominated in 1937, 1938, 1939, 1947 and finally a few days before his assassination in January 1948. The omission has been publicly regretted by later members of the Nobel Committee, though the committee never came out with the reasons for not awarding the prize to the most deserving candidate of the century. So the criticism /reactions for awarding the peace prize of 2009 to Barack Obama, who has not done anything towards peace except dreaming ,are well justified. It is like awarding a Olympic medal before stepping into the track.