Call to Redefine Nobel Peace Prize

In the grand theatre of human history and global geopolitics, can a nation's persistent commitment to peace, brotherhood and humanitarian aid be perceived as an embodiment of the noblest ideals of mankind? Can a nation's international efforts, underscored by the philosophy of "Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam" (the world is one family), become the benchmark for global harmony? The answer lies in the myriad contributions of India to international peace and development. But do we need a redefinition of the esteemed Nobel Peace Prize to encapsulate this magnitude of contribution at a national level?

India's humanitarian spirit has been consistently displayed, transcending international borders, be it through their response to crises or active contribution to international peacekeeping. The nation's endeavours have undoubtedly set a new standard for global brotherhood, humanitarianism, and commitment to peace.

One of the most remarkable demonstrations of India’s humanitarian outreach was during “Operation Rahat” in 2015 in Yemen, where thousands of Indians and foreign nationals were safely evacuated amidst civil unrest. The stories of these life-saving missions by India continued with “Operation Maitri” in Nepal (2015), “Operation Sankat Mochan” in South Sudan (2016), “Operation Vande Bharat” and “Samudra Setu” (2020), and “Operation Ganga” in Ukraine (2022), creating a continuum of hope and safety for individuals stranded in conflict zones or natural calamities.

Further, “Operation Dost” in Turkey and Syria demonstrated India's humanitarianism beyond its borders during an earthquake crisis (7.8 Richter scale) in February 2023, solidifying its position as a global leader. As the host of the G20 presidency, India's mantra of “One Earth, One Family, One Future” truly resonated through their robust response.

India's peacekeeping efforts under the United Nations banner, especially in Golan Heights, Lebanon, Congo, and South Sudan, have been crucial in maintaining international peace and security. As the second-largest contributor of military and police personnel to UN peacekeeping missions (with 5,832 personnel), after Bangladesh, India has always been at the forefront of fostering global peace.

Under the Vaccine “Maitri” initiative, India’s role as the pharmacy of the world was further solidified as it supplied COVID-19 vaccines to 98 countries. It has also been a friend to nations in need, extending financial aid to countries like Afghanistan (India allocated Rs. 200 crores for expenditure as assistance to Afghanistan in the 2023-24 Budget), Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bhutan. 

According to the OECD's Development Assistance Committee (DAC), India's net official development assistance (ODA) in 2021 was $3.12 billion, a substantial increase from the $1.4 billion in 2014. The nation's commitment to sectors like poverty reduction, education, health, infrastructure, and disaster relief underscores its dedication to the global development agenda.

These international efforts have not only augmented India's stature in the world as a ‘global leader’ but have also validated its rightful claim to the ‘Nobel Peace Prize.’ However, the current definition of the Nobel Peace Prize restricts it to individuals or international organizations. But isn't a nation, its collective will, and efforts an organic entity deserving of such recognition?

We are urged to ponder: Isn’t it time to redefine the contours of the Nobel Peace Prize to include nations? Can we overlook the impact a nation like India has on international peacekeeping, humanitarianism, and global development? Is it not time that the Nobel Peace Prize committee includes “countries” in its list of recipients? Isn't India a compelling contender for it this year?

These are profound questions that urge us to reconsider our definitions of peace and whom we consider its ambassadors. The answers will not only impact our understanding of peace but will also illuminate the path of humanitarianism and international cooperation in the future.


More by :  P. Mohan Chandran

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