news Thursday, January 29, 2015 - 05:30
The News Minute Editorial| October 10, 2014| 6.45 pm IST What should have been a perfect citation for Kailash Sathyarthi and Malala Yousafzay got marred by a reference to religion. “The Nobel Committee regards it as an important point for a Hindu and a Muslim, an Indian and a Pakistani, to join in a common struggle for education and against extremism.”  When the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize was shared by Yasir Arafat, Shimon Peres and Yithzhak Rabin, there was no mention of religion. The awardees were addressed as Israelis and Palestinians working towards peace in the middle-east.  The struggle for which Kailash Satyarthi has shared the prize today has nothing to do with his religion. It has to do with being Indian and child labour in India is a national shame. Malala Yousafzai’s struggle is different – it is related to her country Pakistan and its religion, Islam. In her own country Yousafzai is almost a heretic.  By clubbing the two together, the Nobel Committee has sent several messages including one to the menace from groups like Taliban, ISIS and others they all face – a demon the West created and which now stares them back in the face.  Barring exceptions, the Peace Prize is political, largely representing western interest and world view. The problem of child labour is huge and the problem of girls getting past primary school is big in some parts of the world.  Both awardees have done exemplary work and shown courage against odds, in the case of Malala she even survived an assassination attempt. That in itself is noble.

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