Thursday, October 15, 2009

No Noble Nobel (Laureates)?

Ai ai ai... I am back home and already had prawns curry with white rice for dinner last night and sometime back loaded myself with fried fish and curd rice for lunch. Taking a nap immediately after lunch, especially when you have fried fish would add on more to one's weight and I have already got a warning to reduce some of it, from my parents, when they saw me after more than a month!

So I am back to scribbling. Over the last 8-10 days, I witnessed a lot of unprecedented events, both personally and otherwise. The week (06.10.2009) started on an unpleasant note, with a close buddy of mine going down with some health related issues and losing out on one of the exams. Then, such events, came in a flury - Be it the not-so-simple-exam compared to the last term or the corrupt Bangalore Police imposing 300 bucks fine on me (wonder if the Govt. treasurey has been transferred to that cop's pocket) for a U-Turn where I was not supposed to (of course it was my fault but the no-U Turn board was possibly visible only to Christ) or be it the 'surprise' promised by our Professor in his Services Marketing paper - Trust me, I've seen it all. Add to it some more - like a few rules relating to our placements which has sent some jitters amongst a section of students or the the most widely debated and argued topic over the last few days i.e. Barack Obama winning the 'Nobel Peace Prize' - It has indeed been a busy week.

It was last Friday after lunch, around 2.30PM, when I just refreshed the Times of India website and in came the 'Breaking News', break-free and repeatedly mentioning "Barack Obama wins the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize". Till then, I was deep into my New Product Development paper which was scheduled next morning. My initial reaction was 'just a smile'. I thought the Chicagoans had something to cheer for. It was not even a week that they had lost the 2016 Olympic bid to Brazil. Obama had rallied behind the IOC as well to get the Olympics to US in which he failed, in the very first round. The 'USA Today' had reacted critically to this defeat. To quote them exactly, "Olympic bid defeat speaks to world's perception of U.S" is what their website read. So I wondered, will India ever have such a caring Head of the Country like the US Prez? Yes! Less than a week of losing the Olympic bid, he had won the Nobel Peace Prize which would bring the lost smiles back on the Americans' face. I am told the Americans love their President a lot. Sometimes even Indians love US President. Our own PM had conveyed this message to the predecessor of Obama - "Mr. Bush, everyone in India loves you!"

So I read that flash message in the ToI website and got back into New Product Development. I wasn't able to concentrate since referring the website caused some distraction. So I got into the website again and started reading in detail. As it started to sink in, I just wondered as to what major accomplishments of Obama led the Nobel Prize Committee for bestowing this Award on him. He has been running around to various Conclaves and Countries for 'World Peace', be it the call to the Muslim World, when he had been to Cairo, to co-operate with US for peace (Muslims constitute close to 25% of World Population) or be it his meet with the Islam clergies in the Arab World. From pressurizing India to sign the CTBT to dreaming a world nuke-free to disarmament calls - He has been giving everything to ensure world peace or atleast has tried sounding similar to it, whichever way you take it!

As I was speaking to one of my friends over phone, he said that by the time Obama took over as the President, the nominations for the Prize had already closed. I still had an inch of a doubt that the Committee couldn't be as insane as they proved it later. With Google, one could always GO and OGLE the details and guess what?! I did exactly that. I was redirected to the official website of the Nobel Prize and got a few details, a part of the relevant detail is as follows -

"FebruaryDeadline for submission. The Committee bases its assessment on nominations that must be postmarked no later than 1 February each year. Nominations postmarked and received after this date are included in the following year's discussions. In recent years, the Committee has received close to 200 different nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize. The number of nominating letters is much higher, as many are for the same candidates" []

So the website clearly states that the nominations close on February 1st of every year. Obama took over as the US President on January 20th. What on earth did the committee (fore)see in terms of Obama's contribution to World Peace in these 10 days? I can only say that the Committee has been carried away by Obama's "Yes, we can!" speech or his stature. I also fail to understand who the dickens on earth hastily nominated him within these 10 days time.

Obama's response to the Prize says it all. "Humbled and SURPRISED" and "I take it as a CALL TO ACTION" echoes only "I don't deserve the Nobel".

Naturally, with Electronic Media accessible to most on earth, a debate had already sparked out. Various forums and communities/groups of the (Anti)Social Nett-UNWORTHY-sites had discussions running over the Nobel Peace Prize rapidly. But the WALL of Facebook saw many a funny quotes, some of which are here -

1. Did Obama get the Nobel Peace Prize for 'Not being a Bush'? - Thus questioned my cousin from US.

2. If Obama could get a Nobel Peace Prize for his contribution to World Peace, Saddam Hussain and Ahmedinejaad too be given a Nobel each in Physics, for their contribution to WMD - My friend Gopal Pai and an SMS.

3. Obama gets Nobel Peace Prize, US BOMBS the Moon for water - Thus reminded a friend of my cousin in the Facebook Wall comment section.

4. US owns 14 of the Top 20 Arms Manufacturer - One of my friends (However, an authentication needed for his statement)

I myself felt, it was more of a 'Nobel SPEECH Prize' for the mesmerizing speech he made during the pre-elections campaign. Inspired by Obama's Nobel, 2 days later, our Ace businessman Anil Ambani seeks truce with his brother Mukesh!

All in all, history books for years to come will only mention, "Obama, Nobel Peace Prize winner for the year 2009", whether one likes it or not. But it will also be remembered as the most widely debated and discussed topic all over.

I only hope that Nobel Prizes in future would be awarded for ACCOMPLISHMENTS and not ARTICULATION, else, Indian Politicians would top the charts!
Congratulations to 'Chidambaram to Cambridgde' Mr. Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, an Indian born US Scientist on winning the Nobel Prize for Chemistry. I read that he was miffed at his fans for overloading his inbox with congratulatory E-Mails which blocked important communications. When we can empathize with him for the inconvenience caused, Ramakrishnan too needs to understand that no one sends an E-Mail with an intention to overload the inbox and cause inconveneince to others. To err is human, to forgive is divine. And yes, he has forgiven his E-Mail fans!
Meanwhile, the hero of my last blog topic, Amitabh Bachchan celebrated his birthday last week. He is 67 years YOUNG now. Belated wishes to the Big B. I hope he too has forgiven his fans and well-wishers who blocked his SMS Inbox with 1600+ SMSs.

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