Obama Wins Nobel Peace Prize, Is It A Deserving One?

Posted on October 9, 2009

Anshul Tewari

U.S. President Barack Obama has won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. The Norwegian Nobel Committee said Obama had been awarded the prize for his calls to reduce the world’s stockpiles of nuclear weapons and work towards restarting the stalled Middle East peace process.

In his 1895 will, Alfred Nobel stipulated that the peace prize should go “to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between the nations and the abolition or reduction of standing armies and the formation and spreading of peace congresses.”

Unlike the other Nobel Prizes, which are awarded by Swedish institutions, he said the peace prize should be given out by a five-member committee elected by the Norwegian Parliament. Sweden and Norway were united under the same crown at the time of Nobel’s death.

But the question is that did Obama deserve this one. He is probably on the right path to win a Nobel Peace prize but has he done “the most or the best work for fraternity between the nations.”

The committee praised Obama for “his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.”

“Very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world’s attention and given its people hope for a better future.”

Poland’s anti-communist leader and 1983 Nobel Peace Prize winner Lech Walesa expressed “For the time being Obama’s just making proposals. But sometimes the Nobel committee awards the prize to encourage responsible action.” He also called it “Too fast”.

Considering that Obama is on the right path and doing whatever he can at this moment, he hasn’t earned the experience nor has a pathbreaking achievement in building peace, and has thus invited a flood of mixed views.

A new media website Now Public posted “Obama is trying to impose more sanctions on Iran and has said he will act to stop Iran from continuing nuclear research. Obama has done nothing to advance peace in the middle east. He still gives American arms to Israel.”

It has been nearly 8 months since President Obama has been sworn in, and he is still in the process of establishing his credibility.

Apoorva Pushpita of Delhi University feels, “I have a feeling even we should prepare to receive one of these prizes since it seems like they’r easier to get than we thought! They are actually overdoing the whole Obama effect, even before it begins to ‘affect’.”

Astik Sinha, a student of Peace Building and Conflict Resolution feels, “My only problem is that it is premature. He is on the right path…which is symbolic. He has deviated from his predecessor’s line of policy, and he has bridged most gaps, atleast symbolicaly. It’s like awarding a baby with a bycycle as soon as he starts walking ! But as I said…it’s just early, nothing else…as I see it.”

Jennifer Sung, another student of Delhi University feels, “Giving away something like a Nobel prze for carrying out presidential duties*(told to be his extraordinary efforts in strengthening international diplomacy and for taking landmark initiatives to create a nuclear-free world*) which were more or less in his own coutry’s favour is so not fair.”

Back in the United States of America Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, who won the peace prize himself in 2002, said Obama’s win showed the hope he had inspired worldwide.

“It is a bold statement of international support for his vision and commitment to peace and harmony in international relations,” Carter said in a statement.

Itya Silverio, 33, of Brooklyn, was also surprised. “My first opinion is that he got it because he’s black,” she said. “What did he do that was so great? He hasn’t even finished office yet.”

When told of Obama’s win Robert Schultz, 62, a retired civil servant and Vietnam veteran, asked: “For doing what?

“The guy hasn’t solved any conflict anywhere so how can he win the peace prize? But if we don’t reelect him the next go around we will all look like idiots because the world has anointed him,” said Schultz, who lives in a suburb of Dallas.

Now this has certainly raised mixed views. But what do you think? What is your voice?
Should Obama have been awarded the Nobel Peace prize? And if not, why?