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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Nobel Prize - Is it a weapon of Cold War and Eurocentrism?

Hi Readers,

I have cited an excerpt from Wikipedia article on Nobel Prize. The content is mentioned under "Controversies and criticisms" head. This is available at “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nobel_Prize ”

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Controversial recipients
Among other criticisms, the Nobel Committees have been accused of having a political agenda, and of omitting more deserving candidates. They have also been accused of Eurocentrism. This is especially true for the Literature Prize.

When Henry Kissinger was announced to be awarded the Peace Prize two of the Norwegian Nobel Committee members resigned in protest.

One of the controversial Peace Prizes was the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Barack Obama. Nominations had closed only eleven days after Obama took office as President, but the actual evaluation occurred over the next eight months. Obama himself stated that he did not feel he deserved the award, and that he did not feel worthy of the company the award would place him in. Past winners of the Peace Prize were divided, some saying that Obama deserved the award, and others saying he had not yet earned it. Obama's award, along with the previous Peace Prizes for Jimmy Carter and Al Gore, prompted accusations of a left-wing bias.

Among the most criticised Nobel Peace Prizes was the one awarded to Henry Kissinger and Lê Ðức Thọ, who later declined the prize. This led to two Norwegian Nobel Committee members resigning. Kissinger and Thọ were awarded the prize for negotiating a ceasefire between North Vietnam and the United States in January 1973. However, when the award was announced hostilities still occurred from both sides. Many critics were of the opinion that Kissinger was not a peace-maker but the opposite; responsible for widening the war.

Yasser Arafat, Shimon Peres, and Yitzhak Rabin received the Peace Prize in 1994 for their efforts in making peace between Israel and Palestine. According to journalist Caroline Frost many issues, such as the plight of Palestinian refugees, had not been addressed and no lasting peace was established between Israel and Palestine. Immediately after the award was announced one of the five Norwegian Nobel Committee members denounced Arafat as a terrorist and resigned. Additional misgivings about Arafat were widely expressed in various newspapers.

The award of the 2004 Literature Prize to Elfriede Jelinek drew a protest from a member of the Swedish Academy, Knut Ahnlund. Ahnlund resigned, alleging that selecting Jelinek had caused "irreparable damage to all progressive forces, it has also confused the general view of literature as an art." He alleged that Jelinek's works were "a mass of text shovelled together without artistic structure."The 2009 Literature Prize to Herta Müller also generated criticism. According to The Washington Post many US literary critics and professors had never previously heard of her. This made many feel that the prizes were too Eurocentric.

In 1949, the Portuguese neurologist António Egas Moniz received the Physiology or Medicine Prize for his development of the prefrontal leucotomy. The previous year Dr. Walter Freeman had developed a version of the procedure which was faster and easier to carry out. Due in part to the publicity surrounding the original procedure, Freeman's procedure was prescribed without due consideration or regard for modern medical ethics. Endorsed by such influential publications as The New England Journal of Medicine, lobotomy became so popular that about 5,000 lobotomies were performed in the United States in the three years immediately following Moniz's receipt of the Prize.

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So if we observe the trend of selecting the recipients of the Nobel Prize, we will see it is never unbiased and always has helped some or the other Nation's candidature in the world scenario. If giving Nobel Prize to Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo is not a interference to a country's internal order then what else it is? Let citizens of China decide what is good for them. If China and its government is an evil regime then why does almost all the western nations has trade relationship with it? Honey is where the money is, isn't it?

Expected date of publication of final finished article: 3rd week of December.

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