Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Nobel Peace Prize to Barack Obama

On 9 October 2009 the Nobel Committee announced its decision to award Nobel Peace Prize to Barack Obama. The announcement shocked people in Oslo who had gathered and they gasped. The spokesman mentioned many reasons for awarding Barack Obama like promoting intenational diplomacy, co-operation among peoples and world free from nuclear arms. Many were surprised and the news when first heard was difficult to believe.

The nominations to award closed on 1st February. Nobody can self-nominate. There are people and committees who can nominate. There were 205 nominations. Barack Obama was not mentioned among probable nominees to win the prize.

Many criticised the award to Barack Obama. Some felt it was too early. It should have been at the end of his term as president. Some questioned his achievements. TV channels held discussions whether Barack Obama should have received this award.

I do not remember TV channels previously holding discussions whether somebody should or should not have received this award. Barack Obama is well known all over the world. Previously there was no such controversy because the recipients were not much known outside their countries.

Some criticism was vicious. Some called the Nobel Committee eccentric. Committee chairman Thorbjorn Jagland said the prize was for what he has done in the previous year. He asked “Who has done more than Barack Obama?”

Barack Obama is the third President of USA to receive the Nobel Peace Prize while in office. Previously Woodrow Wilson (1919) and Theodore Roosevelt (1906) had received the prize.
Few days back Barack Obama was in Copenhagen to appeal to members of International Olympic Committee to award Olympics 2016 to Chicago. The competition between Chicago and Rio de Janeiro was said to be tough and decided in the last round. Contrary to expectations, on 2 October 2009 Chicago was eliminated in the first round. It was an unpleasant shock. A week later Oslo gave Barack Obama a pleasant shock. Denmark and Norway are neighbouring countries.

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