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Why is Mahatma Gandhi not awarded with Nobel Peace Prize?

Mahatna Gandhi was nominated five times for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1937, 1938, 1939, 1947 and 1948. But he was not awarded with this award because he was assassinated in 1948 and Nobel Prize is not awarded posthumously. 
Oct 23, 2019 12:59 IST
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Ganghi ji with Nobel and Bharat Ratna Award
Ganghi ji with Nobel and Bharat Ratna Award

Alfred Nobel signed his testament On 27 November 1895. As per his testament, the largest share of his fortune would be distributed to a series of prizes in Physics, Chemistry, Medicine or Physiology, Literature, Peace – the Nobel Prizes.   

The Sweden’s central bank established Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel in 1968. So in total Nobel Prizes are given in 6 categories.

The first Nobel Peace Prize was awarded on 10 December 1901; 117 years ago to Jean Henry Dunant and Frédéric Passy. Till date Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded 100 times to 134 Nobel Laureates ( 107 individuals and 27 organizations) between 1901 and 2019.

But the question arise that why this prize is not given to Mahatma Gandhi till date?

M. Gandhi was nominated for Nobel Peace Prize in 1937, 1938, 1939 and 1947. Gandhi Ji became a strong choice for this prize only after India got independence. He was nominated again in 1948 and it was sure that he would get the prize this time. But few days before the final announcement of Nobel Peace prize, he was assassinated by N.R. Godse.

The Nobel Committee had publicly regretted the omission of the Gandhi Ji from the List of Nobel Winners. That’s the reason that the Norwegian Nobel Committee decided not to give Nobel Peace Prize to anyone in 1948.

Actually, as per the rule of Norwegian Nobel Committee, the Nobel Prize is not awarded posthumously. However, if a person is awarded a Nobel Prize and dies before receiving it, the prize may still be presented.

Bharat Ratna Award: List of recipients

A Nobel prize may not be shared among more than three individuals, although the Nobel Peace Prize can be awarded to organizations of more than 3 people.

The omission of the Gandhi Ji is deeply regretted by the Nobel Committee. In the year 1989; when the Dalai Lama was awarded the Peace Prize; the chairman of the Nobel committee said that this award to the Dalai Lama is a "tribute to the memory of Mahatma Gandhi”

The Nobel Peace Prize 2019 is given to the 'Abiy Ahmed Ali' for his efforts to achieve peace and international cooperation especially his decisive initiative to resolve the border conflict with Eritrea”.

Apart from Nobel Peace Prize; Gandhi is not awarded with India's highest civilian award i.e. Bharat Ratna.

Why Gandhi ji is not Awarded with Bharat Ratna?

As we know that Gandhi Ji had played a very prominent role in the Indian freedom movement. He was assassinated in 1948 and Bharat Ratna was started in 1954. Initially, the Bharat Ratna was not awarded posthumously but later on this rule was changed.

Worth to mention that there are plenty of PILs had been filed with Karnataka High Court by the Manjunath, a resident of Bangaluru and others. Manjunath wanted that court should issue a direction to the Ministry of Home Affairs to consider Gandhi Ji's representation for conferring Bharat Ratna.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice D.H. Waghela and Justice B.V. Nagarathna rejected the PILs and said orally that “Perhaps they [government] do not want Mahatma Gandhi to stand with Sachin [Tendulkar]” while observing that the “nation can’t harass its own father”

The Court further argued that when lesser important people are awarded with Bharat Ratna then giving the same award to the Gandhi Ji does not suit his charisma. Gandhi Ji is above them and deserves an elevated and separate place.

So it can be said that nomination of Gandhi Ji for any award would undermine Gandhiji’s importance. The Court argued that Gandhi ji and his deeds are immortal. Bharat Ratna or any award will just harm his status.

So from the above explanation it can be said that Gandhi ji is not awarded with Nobel prize due to its policy and Bharat Ratna is not equal to the stature of the Gandhi ji although it may be just an assumption.

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