Why Bapu did not receive Nobel Prize
Oslo: It’s a sort of confession that Mahatma Gandhi himself would have appreciated. What do you say when the secretary of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, Geir Lundestad, says, “The greatest omission in our 106-year history is undoubtedly that Mahatma Gandhi never received the Nobel Peace Prize.”
Gandhi was shortlisted five times — 1946, 1947, 1948 and twice before World War II. “But it will remain a historical fact that Gandhi never received the prize,” says Lundestad, sitting in the same room where
Nobel committees have decided on the winner for over a century.
Among other factors, he says, a Euro-centric perspective among the Nobel committee members then could have played an important role behind the decision.
In fact, there was little appreciation of the freedom struggles in colonies, and despite his nomination, members cited relatively minor reasons — like his ‘inconsistent pacifism’ — to deny Gandhi the prize.
Lundestad adds in a selfdeprecating tone that almost sounds like Gandhigiri: “Gandhi could do without the Nobel Peace Prize. Whether the Nobel committee can do without Gandhi is the question.”
Lundestad revealed that the committee had more or less decided to award Gandhi the peace prize in 1948. But he was shortly assassinated.