Nobel committee gets it right with peace prize (updated with strong dissent)
The Nobel committee in charge of awarding the peace prize chose two non-controversial and politically correct recipients who have worked tirelessly for child rights around the world.
Indian children’s rights activist Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai, the 17 year old who was shot in the head by the Taliban for promoting the right of Pakistani girls to attend school, were named to receive the prestigious award.
Yousafzai is the youngest peace prize winner in history.
There were probably more deserving candidates, although the fact that peace in the world is decidedly lacking at the moment could have affected the choice. Nevertheless, picking a Hindu and Muslim, Indian and Pakistani, has a significance that the Nobel committee wanted to highlight.
Wall Street Journal:
Hindu-majority India and Muslim-majority Pakistan have fought three wars since gaining independence from Britain in 1947 after the partition of the South Asian subcontinent along religious lines.
Nobel committee chairman Thorbjørn Jagland said this year’s prize was unrelated to the current confrontation between the nuclear-armed rivals but, he said, “any contribution to resolving any conflict is of course good.”
By bestowing the prize on Mr. Satyarthi and Ms. Yousafzai, the Nobel committee sought to draw attention to violations of children’s rights and the persistence of child labor, especially in the developing world.
The incidence of underage work is declining, but remains widespread, with children toiling in brickyards, factories and as domestic servants. The United Nations says there were 168 million child workers in 2012—78 million fewer than in 2000.
“This is a great honor for those hundreds of millions of children denied their fundamental right to childhood, education and opportunity,” Mr. Satyarthi said Friday in an interview with The Wall Street Journal.
The 60-year-old Mr. Satyarthi, has for decades been a leading voice in the fight against child trafficking and forced labor in India. His organization, Save the Childhood Movement, says it has rescued 83,000 Indian children from servitude in India since 1981.
She criticized restrictions on education for girls and became a campaigner for women’s rights and education, drawing the ire of the Pakistani Taliban. On Oct. 9, 2012, when she was on her way home from school, two gunmen stopped Ms. Yousafzai’s school van and shot in the head.
Fifteen years old at the time, she survived and—undeterred by the attack—has continued to campaign around the world to raise awareness about education.
Compare and contrast the accomplishments of the two Peace Prize winners Ms. Yousafzai and Barack Obama. Don't have to think long about it, do you?
Children are being exploited all over the world and the Nobel committee should be given some props for drawing international attention to the issue. For once, the two souls who won the prize are brave examples of what one person can accomplish even against tremendous odds.
Thomas Lifson dissents:
Yes, this is not as terrible as awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to Barack Obama based on nothing (unless you count being half black), but that is not the same as getting it right. Alfred Nobel’s will clearly established that the prize go to “the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses."
Neither of these people* have anything to do with peace or fraternity between nations. Even though they inhabit two nations with a long history of mutual antagonism.
The Nobel Committee has hijacked the Prize, and now awards it to anybody that semi-plausibly can be identified with some sort of good works. It has become a PC award, and, as in the case of Yassir Arafat, has gone to monsters, or, as in the case of Jimmy Carter, people who have made the world a worse place.
Instead of patting the Nobel Committee on the back we should be mocking them for mush-headed egotism in their deviation from the explicit instructions of Alfred Nobel.
I have nothing against these two women. They deserve praise. But as is the case for many foundations, the original purpose has been perverted by politically correct elites who substitute their own values for those of the original endowment. That is a bad practice that deserves denunciation not praise.
*correction: the recipient from Inida ws erroneously described by me as a "young woman." He is neither. TL