Saturday, October 11, 2014

The Pacification Directive

What a hectic sequence of events we have been witness to! Two countries that have been teetering on the edge of war just silenced their guns. Individuals from said countries were nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize no less. Malala Yousafzai. I have no idea how to pronounce her last name. Let's just refer to her as Malala. Tough young woman! She is described as a Pakistani female education activist. That's an activist for female education who is from Pakistan. Makes sense no? If the events surrounding her can be summarised, it is just a young girl who wants to go to school and better her life. She is an individual who is convinced of the value of a good education. It started with a blog she wrote. A young girl with a point of view. It however takes more than that for people to look up and notice a little girl. In Malala's case, it was 3 bullets. The fact that a man who had never seen her before was compelled to seek out and end her life tells us something. She survived the assassination attempt and what emerged was much more. To draw a parallel, she was 'the girl who lived'.
I have a confession to make. When someone asked me who won the Nobel Peace prize, I said, "Malala and some Indian chap". I am an Indian and I had never heard of Kailash Satyarthi(I had to go back and check if I got the name right). Information began to trickle in slowly and after a respectable amount of time had passed, all I knew was that he had done a lot for children. This tweet pretty pretty much summarises the state of the nation on that day:
Even a single child saved is a deed that elevates you and Kailash Satyarthi had done that many times over. So why have we never heard of him? Why is there no publicity around this man who, according to modest estimates, has freed more than 80,000 children. Imagine that! 80,000 children! That is a staggering number and yet, unless you are fairly familiar with national happenings, you will not have heard of him. Here is a sample of his work :

This is a man who walks into a scenario well knowing he could be shot dead. Here's a fun fact. Kailash's name has been nominated several times in the last decade! Here is the source. So what changed this year? The director of the Nobel Institute, Geir Lundestad claims they are making amends for not having given a Peace Prize to Gandhi. I will ask again. Why this year? Why now? What changed? What 'pricked' his conscience?
Malala is a shoo in for the prize. She is young and she is from a community that is being lambasted on a public stage for not displaying even the most basic tendencies of civilised people. She is one entity that covers diverse topics from education to better lives and rights for women.
I think the impact that we Indians have had off late on the world stage does not allow our country to be ignored any longer. The Nobel committee clearly saw there was no getting away with awarding a peace prize to a country(yes a country) that was at the very moment lobbing boom packets at it's neighbour. I might even add that they would have gotten away with it a few months ago. A lot has changed.

PS : Feeling a bit 'Ludlum'ish. Hence the title. 
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