Silence of A Nobel Laureate
|By Amit Singh|
Nobel peace prize comes with huge responsibility-this is well known fact. Nobel Peace Laureates are the “architects of global peace”. They remind us of the good one human being can do. They inspire, educate and transform our world. Kailash Satyarthi was awarded Nobel peace prize in 2014 "for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education ". As a Nobel peace laureate, his concern shall encompass issues of peace and burning conflicts, surrounding- if not whole world, at least his home country India. His silence over contemporary conflict is questionable.
Mr. Kailash Satyarthi, has, so far, failed to live up the moral standards Nobel committee in Oslo expect for.
Satyarthi’s silence over the ongoing conflict in Kashmir is disquieting. His role to speak against the unfolding human rights crisis in Kashmir is almost negligible. As a Nobel peace laureate, he could have called for peace and reconciliation in the burning conflict of Kashmir; he could have used his influence on Indian government and Kashmiri people to engage in a healthy dialogue. He kept quite while peace is being shattered.
Adding disturbing example of his connivance is the ongoing violence against Dalits in India. Satyarthi, so far, hardly has spoken or criticized against the violence and prevailing discrimination against Dalits and minority community in India. His being non-confrontational make him appear complicit with the government action against Dalits and Kashmiri people. A Nobel peace laureate must stand against all atrocities and struggle for peace in the all situation, time and space irrespective of his political affiliation and religion. However, Mr. Satayarthi, has been limiting himself only to the soft-issue of child labour avoiding ongoing civil and political conflict which require immediate attention.
In the past, many Indians were not happy with his Nobel Prize nomination. On 17 October, 2014 National Broadcasting Company (NBC) ran a news describing how some Indian are disappointed with his election as a Nobel peace laureate questioning his NGO, Bachpan Bachao Andolan to set up story of fake child laborers .
In another case, speaking to RSS (Rastriya Swamswak Sangh- Hindu nationalist group) mouthpiece Panchjanya, Satyarthi criticised NGOs for turning welfare into a business. According to him, "NGOs are influenced by Naxalism", some are involved in religious conversions, while others are "intoxicated with money and power". He went on claim that the NGO sector had converted "social change and social welfare into a business ".
His statement might have some truth; however, Satyarthi remark provided Indian government an excuse to restrict the funding of NGO and taking hostile steps to suffocate their freedom. Also, making such statement, Satyarthi ignored his own history of running NGO on government funding and made appear other NGOs corrupt and power-monger. Satyarthi, may win the faith of Indian government by appearing nationalist and making anti-NGO statement, but he may lose the trust of global civil society particularly Nobel peace committee- who have elected him for promoting
global peace and diffusing the conflict.
The Oslo Times International News Network