Friday, October 09, 2009

Obama & Nobel

Sometime during the afternoon today got the news that Mr. Barack Obama, President of the Untied States has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. My first reaction was that this must be some kind of hoax or prank. The news had come on the igoogle news feed. Immediately checked up various news sites ibnlive, timesofindia, bbc etc. Everywhere on the top with the breaking news ticker on was the same headline, Obama gets Nobel Peace Prize. Soon disbelief changed to amazement. I mean for all his qualifications and achievements till date what exactly has Mr. Obama done to deserve the Nobel Peace prize?
By becoming the first non-white President of the United States he has achieved something really big. He is a pretty educated and qualified man, no doubts about that. And an extremely good orator. His administration has provided the stimulus package to boost the recession affected economy, a national health bill which met quite some resistance, a policy for disarmament (with an Iran-Israel conflict likely, am not too sure if that is working), policy on climate change. All of these things have one common recurring theme. They are still policies. The world has not been disarmed of the nuclear weapons, there is no agreement on climate, economy is still down though showing signs of coming up. So giving a Nobel peace prize at the current juncture seems to me like an award in advance. Nothing concrete has happened as yet for this award to mean anything. I agree with most commentators that this is an award too soon.

P.S. The cut-off date for the nominations was February 1st. Mr. Obama was sworn in January last week. So Mr. Obama must be a superhuman to have done all these within 10 days of coming to office.

P.P.S. A nice comment - Obama gets Nobel Peace Prize three hours after he bombs the moon