Why did Obama get the Nobel peace prize? This is the intriguing question everyone seems to be asking. Even his hard-core supporters were 'taken aback' (in a positive sense) and surprised by the announcement. Obama himself seems a bit overwhelmed by this extraordinary gesture; he may have expected it after his 4 year or possibly 8 year term when the fruits of his promises may have cretated a more peaceful world, but definitely not so early in his political career.
According to the Norwegian nobel committee he won for efforts to boost diplomacy and co-operation. "Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world's attention and given its people hope for a better future; his diplomacy is founded in the concept that those who are to lead the world must do so on the basis of values and attitudes that are shared by the majority of the world's population." The Nobel committee’s logic appears to be a proactive one. This award reflects the tremendous hope that people have seen with the emergence of Obama as a world figure with high expectations.
But still the question remains ie do you reward accomplishments, or encourage future actions? It is very surprising to note that President Obama was nominated for the coveted prize just 2 weeks in to his presidency (the dead line for Nobel prize nominations every year is Feb 1 and he took oath as president a fortnight before that!). Can some one be awarded just based on the way he or she 'speaks' than his or her 'actions'?
This award could possibly be a reply to the former US administration by the ' old Europe'...Possibly the last big slap on the face for the republicans and for the former 'cow-boy' team who ruled US (and world) with arrogance and hawkish attitude.
Of all the Nobel prizes awarded every year it is the peace prize that always creates the most controversy both for acts of omission and commission! The glaring omission I can think of is not giving the peace prize to Mahatma Gandhi (though he was nominated for peace prize 5 times). It is widely rumored that the nobel committee may have selected Mahatma Gandhi as the likely winner in 1948. It didn't give it because he passed away before the announcement and that it wouldn't award it posthumously......though they awarded it posthumously to a fellow Scandinavian in 1961, who died after being nominated. I don't have to cite examples of acts of commission as many 'winners', especially in the field of 'world peace' have been awarded the prize.
Any way you cannot take back the award once its announced, though most people think it is a bit premature. This award brings with it additional responsibilities for Obama and hopefully we can look forward to some sensible and fair decisions from the present US administration. May this award serve as an impetus for consensus, courage and compromise rather than one of crime, confrontation and confusion.