Editorial

Editorial: Efforts Deserve Awards, too

This senator from Illinois, before the Unites States of America gave him a chance to rule it, was a revolution himself, a messiah of change, as he repeatedly told Americans that old cliché in politics: we’re the change that we seek. He said ‘change’, and the term suddenly acquired a revolutionary force, an enticing charms. We’re, in India, informed by international media about the guy’s latest achievement. That he, from a messiah of change, is an equally good reconciler of people, so the Nobel Peace Prize to him. And he is the third sitting US President to be awarded the honour.

But here is something beyond this efforts vs achievements debate on the topic. Will this special treatment to austere efforts be given to those as well outside the US and the West, that is to say, in Africa or Asia? Or merely efforts towards specific targets that hold supreme significance in the eyes of Western or American thinkers will get this recognition.

However, the Norwegian Nobel Committee has left many of us teeming with questions and curiosities. What real achievements US President has made in establishing peace in the world. What people have seen so far are efforts, not concrete achievements. He has shown deep commitment towards solving the conflict in the Middle East, ensuring nuclear arms free world, seeking resolution between Israel and Palestine, and steering US-Russia treaty on reducing nuclear arms. Besides, he gave that historic speech in Cairo University to extend a hand of friendship and harmony with Muslim world.

Though there might follow a large criticism in next week on awarding efforts rather than real achievements, the Nobel Peace prize to Obama establishes a new trend breaking an older norm. It is likely that in years to come, more awards go to leaders for making concerted efforts towards seeking peace and harmony. But here is something beyond this efforts vs achievements debate on the topic. Will this special treatment to austere efforts be given to those as well outside the US and the West, that is to say, in Africa or Asia? Or merely efforts towards specific targets that hold supreme significance in the eyes of Western or American thinkers will get this recognition. The Norwegian Nobel Committee has to break this myth also in time to come.

Anyway, with the prize, the onus of responsibility on Obama’s shoulders has increased more than before and we can expect some changes in his approach and US foreign policy to be more successful with its efforts of establishing peace.

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