A New Nobel Would be a Novel Move
While a Bharat Ratna cannot be ruled out, the demand by the AIADMK for the institution of another Nobel Prize — for ‘women and child upliftment’ — with the first recipient naturally being the late Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa, is unfortunately unlikely to get much traction in the international community. Not that Puratchi Thalaivi was undeserving of such an accolade (if it existed) but Nobels are not awarded posthumously, which is why Mahatma Gandhi is also not a laureate. That she was not considered in her lifetime for any of the current Nobel categories can probably be ascribed to the fact that word of Tamil Nadu’s progress under her leadership may not have cut any ice in faraway Scandinavia where the winners are decided.
However, the institution of additional categories may increase the chances of (living) Indians in future. So, advocates of this — or any — new potential Nobel could pool together to endow another prize after ascertaining whether any more can be put up even if the original donor may not have envisioned them. The precedent, of course, is the Nobel for economics, which was added only in 1968 thanks to a donation by the Sveriges Riksbank, and is, therefore, formally called the Swedish National Bank’s Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel.