The best way to know the self is feeling oneself at the moments of reckoning. The feeling of being alone, just with your senses, may lead you to think more consciously. More and more of such moments may sensitize ‘you towards you’, towards others. We become regular with introspection and retrospection. We get ‘the’ gradual connect to the higher self we may name Spirituality or God or just a Humane Conscious. We tend to get a rhythm again in life. We need to learn the art of being lonely in crowd while being part of the crowd. A multitude of loneliness in mosaic of relations! One needs to feel it severally, with conscience, before making it a way of life. One needs to live several such lonely moments. One needs to live severallyalone.

Friday 7 October 2011


“The most positive development will get the Prize.”
“..not necessarily a big name but a big mission – something important for the world..”

These words by the Norwegian Nobel Committee chairman – hours before in an AP interview – sum-up the intense activity on whole analyzing and speculations by experts and media vehicles on who will be the Laureate of the most controversial and politically sensitive category of the Nobel Prize – The Peace Nobel.

In the interview, Thorbjoern Jagland said the winner is right here but no one is talking about that name. The year since the announcement of Peace Nobel to Liu Xiaobo last year has seen massive positive upheavals in global polity making it the most significant year of the century yet and so we are witnessing such intense activity on who will be the winner is quite natural.

Nominations were open till Feb 1 while committee’s own suggestions could be taken-in till Feb 28.

The Arab Spring, the most talked about contender has set in motion a movement that is now sweeping the dictatorial regimes of Middle East and North Africa after uprooting the warlords in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. If the Feb 1 deadline is literally there, the Tunisia bloom was already there with Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, a ruler for 24 years, forced to step down and flee the country January this year. That was the beginning of the Arab Spring that rapidly spread across the Middle East and North Africa. If the movement has to be a contender, it needs faces of the revolution, from Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and those who connected to be the part of these movements though not located there. The revolutionary blogger of Tunisia, Lina Ben Mhenni has the company of Israa Abdel Fattah, Ahmed Maher, and Wael Ghonim, the obvious faces of the Arab Spring. If the Nobel Committee can decide of giving the Prize to Obama for raising aspirations, then faces of the Arab Spring and the Arab Spring itself are one of the strongest contenders as the process was set in motion much before the Feb 1 deadline. But it is not on the line of Jagland’s ‘no one is talking about’ comment.

Free the Information: Should we say like that? Why not, WikiLeaks has seen the governments trying to save face after information about their real intent on domestic and international issues was revealed by the massive lots of diplomatic cables leaked by the whistleblower site. WikiLeaks, Julian Assange and Private Bradley Manning – the names doing rounds in different expert analyses for making this flow of information possible! Cables released by the WikiLeaks have seen strong reactions across the world. The US was seen on the backfoot many a times. Many cables released were on prevalent wide scale corruption in Arab countries adding significantly to the Arab Spring. They added to the anti-corruption movement in India. War atrocities information of the US and the NATO were revealed. Free flow of information from WikiLeaks has certainly set a benchmark and has set aspirations in motion to be part of the revolution. But can the troika be awarded? Again it is not on the line of Jagland’s statement. Also, the US would do all to scuttle any such chance. Assange is under detention in UK fighting an extradition case on sexual harassment allegations in Sweden while Manning, 23, is in custody now for 16 months for leaking more than 2,50,000 secret democratic cables and a video of a US Apache helicopter executing civilians in Iraq to Assange. Amnesty International had to intervene on reports of treatment being meted out to Manning in the prison. This troika, too, doesn’t fit the Jagland’s ‘not being talked about’ comment. There are load of analysis available on these contenders.

Web Activism/Social Networking Movement: We realize how important social networking has been in spreading the mass movements be it the Arab Spring or the anti-corruption movement in India. A good amount of literature is now available giving prominence and foundation to terms like ‘Web Activist’ and ‘Cyber Activism’. What we see today as Arab Spring started as a movement of bloggers to spread information about state atrocities or devoted Facebook pages to call and unite people for a particular movement like ‘April 6 Youth Movement’ or ‘I Am Khaled Said’ pages. Twitter played an equally important role in spreading real time information on volatile situations, first in Tunisia, then in Egypt and to some extent in Libya. Back home in India, Twitter and Facebook played important role in spearheading the Anna phenomenon that brought the government on backfoot on an epidemic like corruption.

But who can be named representative(s) to receive it. Certainly a Zuckerberg or Twitter founders cannot be the choice. They are running just commercial enterprises with their share of social evil too. Though the social network movements have played significant roles, the lot is too disorganized. How to identify the faces to represent it?

Other most talked about names include the EU, Helmut Kohl, Sima Samar and AIHRC, Memorial and Shvetlana Gannushkina and Aung San Suu Kyi for a second time.

The EU is Jagland’s favourite. Reeling under the debt crisis with chances of members withdrawing, it may be the last chance for the EU to get the coveted honour. The union has played a role in maintaining peace, be it political or economic, among the European countries as well as promoting peace out of its dominions. The EU has played a significant role in the pro-democracy Arab uprising. It may be the last chance for an ailing and bed-ridden Helmut Kohl, now 85. According to Der Spiegel, Kohl has received a nomination every year since 1990 for one of the most significant events of the last century – reunification of Germany. Figuring high on the list, Sima Samar and AIHRC, working for women rights and empowerment midst growing threat of Taliban, was analysts’ favourite even the last year. Declared ‘Salman Rushdie of Afghanistan’ by the fanatics, Sima had to resign from Karzai’s cabinet. The Guardian and some analysts are placing their bet on a second Peace Nobel to Aung San Suu Kyi. Her country Burma has seen political changes recently and though still under a state controlled political system, Suu Kyi, not under house arrest now, is urging the international community to keep a close watch on the progress of the little gains extended to the Burmese people after over two decades of struggle. No individuals but only two organizations, Red Cross and UNHCR, have so far received the coveted Prize twice. Another strong contender is ‘Memorial’ along with its co-founder Shvetlana Gannushkina. Working to contain the rising hatred and xenophobia and keeping the fight up against rising militant nationalism in Russia is a tough task. The 69-year old is always engaged in fighting for immigrants and outsiders these days. Memorial’s history goes back to the dying days of the Soviet Union when it saw its members beaten and killed and to this day, it is fighting to preserve the human rights value.

But all these are names figuring prominently in analyses of either this or that analyst or so much in the news, something not fitting the Jagland line. And remember, Laureates of the Medicine, Physics and Chemistry Nobels awarded this year were no were analysts’ favourite. So it has been a hard guessing game this time but it is really good to have such an intensified debate on Peace Nobel contenders based on availability of so many strong contenders. It is good for world’s health.

Some takes:

Can it be the Internet, a nominee last year? It fits what Jagland has said. In some ways its working like a mission. After all, the cyber activism and the breed of the web activists are nothing without existence of this virtual platform that is adding hugely to the ground mobilizations now.

Or can it be Mr Rudolf Elmer, the Swiss Bank whistleblower who leaked documents to WikiLeaks on tax evading businesspersons and lawmakers?  It has forced the secretive Swiss Banks to soften their stand on revealing information on tax evasion and black money. They have provided information to the US. They are entering a treaty with India to share information on black money and tax evasion. Such developments are significant as they may unlock trillions of dollars of stashed black money for countries like India with majority population still survives on paltry earnings.

Let’s wait for few hours more. The decision is going to be out today and as Jagland has assured, we would have reasons to praise it - like the decision to award Liu in 2010 but unlike the Obama decision in 2009!

Few hours more for Jagland’s most likely but ‘not being talked about’ contender and the final winner!

Notes of previous years: