rarefied air

FLOATING DUST SETTLED ON THE WAYSIDE LAUNCH,READY TO EMBARK ON A VOYAGE BEGONE,MOULDED FROM A CLASSIC NOVELLA OF THE RUE DE LABOURDANNA, DRINKING FROM A PORT INTO AMAZON WITH BOHEMIAN ROUGE APPLIED ON A TEMPLATE SPIRITED WITH DUSKY COMPLEXI0ON OF THE TAVERN...I PROCEED...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Legacy of Alfred Nobel

The Nobel Prize is not as 'nobel' as Alfred intended it to be. Although it has awarded some very deserving people, it has always been very controversial and accused of being politically motivated. All of us were shocked that Barack Hussein Obama received this award and raised a hue and cry as to why he is getting the award. But do we really think it to be so sanctimonious that we are shocked at its shortcoming now?

There are many rumours regarding the unfairness of the award, especially its accountability in Peace, Literature and Economics has been questioned on several ocassions. I don't know how many of these are true. For example, one such rumour says that Dalai Lama was given the award during the time when US was riding an anti-China wave and wanted to irk China. Personally I am more than convinced that Dalai Lama deserves the award, but that is a different matter. (And please this is just an example of a rumour I am using, not in any way trying to start up another controversy or personal attack!) Today, Obama is meeting his beijing counterpart first before meeting Dalai Lama. There is enough evidence to prove at least that many Russians were given the award to irk its rulers. Boris Pasternak, Alexandr Solzenitsyn and Andrei Sakharov are some awardees that have faced many controversies. While going through Wikipedia (An extremely fact based and apolitical website much like my own newspaper, if you know what i mean) I came across this that I want to share :-

----------------------Pasternak was named the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1958. It has emerged thatBritish intelligence and the CIA secretly facilitated the accolade to embarrass the Kremlin.[6]On 25 October, two days after hearing that he had won, Pasternak sent the following telegram to the Swedish Academy:
Immensely thankful, touched, proud, astonished, abashed.[6]

However, four days later came another telegram:
Considering the meaning this award has been given in the society to which I belong, I must refuse it. Please do not take offense at my voluntary rejection.[6]

The Swedish Academy announced:
This refusal, of course, in no way alters the validity of the award. There remains only for the Academy, however, to announce with regret that the presentation of the Prize cannot take place.[7]

Pasternak had declined under intense pressure from Soviet authorities.[6] Despite turning down the award, Soviet officials soured on Pasternak, and he was threatened at the very least with expulsion. However, it appears that the Prime Minister of India, Pandit Nehru, may also have spoken with Khrushchev about this,[8] and Pasternak was not exiled or imprisoned.
Despite this, a famous Bill Mauldin cartoon at the time showed Pasternak and another prisoner in Siberia, splitting trees in the snow. In the caption, Pasternak says, "I won the Nobel Prize for literature. What was your crime?" The cartoon won the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning in 1959.[9]
The Nobel medal was finally presented to Pasternak's son, Yevgeny, at a ceremony in Stockholm during the Nobel week of December 1989,[10]where he said: "My father played no role in the publication of a Russian edition, nor had he any idea of the CIA’s interest. My father never expected to receive the prize. Sadly it brought him a lot of sorrow and suffering."[6] At the ceremony, the Russian cellist Mstislav Rostropovichplayed a Bach serenade to honor his deceased countryman.--------------------------------

There are several such incidents revolving around the Nobel Prize and I guess we should search deeper before expecting highest accountability from it, because it is as tainted as any other award.
Hope I have not hurt sentiments through this and hope to hear what you have to say if anything at all...cheers!

Trivia:-
--Marie Curie is the first person to win a Nobel in both Physics and Chemistry. The other person being Linus Pauling for Chemistry and Peace.
--The deadline for submission of nominations for the Peace award is February 3. So, Obama was nominated for the award, within 15 days of becoming President. Nice!

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