COMMENTARY

Published:  02:12 AM, 13 September 2017 Last Update: 02:21 AM, 13 September 2017

Nobel Peace Prize: It's time for Sheikh Hasina

Nobel Peace Prize: It's time for Sheikh Hasina

Prominent scholars and educationists of the world have proposed Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's name for this year's Nobel Peace Prize. Nobel peace prize is announced every year in October. This prize is awarded on 10th December each year in Norwegian capital Oslo.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has constituted an extraordinary instance through standing by the repressed people from the Rakhine province of Myanmar who have moved into Bangladesh to escape the massacres going on in their home country by Myanmar forces.

Sheikh Hasina has displayed enormous bravery and at the same time she has exposed monumental humanistic norms by providing shelter, food and healthcare to all the Rohingya civilians who have in the meantime entered Bangladesh territory.

It should be recollected with appreciation that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina ended long-standing clashes and bloodshed in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) by signing the CHT Peace Accord on 2nd December 1997. Simultaneously, her massive contributions for successfully resolving maritime and land border issues with India, women empowerment, technological excellence, fighting militancy and most importantly her bold steps for eradicating poverty in Bangladesh deserve recognition and special honor. Sheikh Hasina had to stand tough tests for obtaining all these mammoth goals.

Her entire family was murdered by assassins. She herself survived several assassination attempts. Still she is going ahead courageously with patriotism and humanitarian principles in her heart.  Oxford Network of Peace Studies is run by Oxford University. It's known as Ox Peace in brief.

Two educationists of Ox Peace Dr. Liz Carmichael and Dr. Andrew Gosler have said that Prime Minister  Sheikh Hasina has set an outstanding example by extending her helping hand to the tormented Rohingyas who have entered Bangladesh to avoid atrocities by Myanmar army. Bangladesh, through Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, has shown to the United States and different European countries how to work for the welfare of refugees, according to Dr. Liz Carmichael and Dr. Andrew Gosler. They both have termed Sheikh Hasina "Greatest leader of humanitarian world".

On the other hand, three professors from Department of Peace Studies, Columbia University, USA have pointed at Sheikh Hasina as the envoy of global peace. Dr. Oldo Siviko, Dr. Deepali Mukhopaddhay and Dr. Judith Matloff have immensely admired Sheikh Hasina for her humanitarian efforts for Rohingyas. These three professors have stated that Nobel laureate Suu Kyi is allowing the military junta of Myanmar to continue brutalities against Rohingya civilians while Bangladesh's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has accorded shelter to millions of Rohingya refugees despite security threats.

Professor David N Hempton of Harvard University said Sheikh Hasina has added a new dimension to the idea of peace and humanity over Rohingya issue. Sheikh Hasina has done what Germany and other European countries could not perform, Professor David N Hempton has admitted.

Academics from Peace and Research Institute under Australian National University have also emphasized on paying due honor to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for her brave and generous standpoint regarding the Rohingya crisis. It would be a historic fault if this year's Nobel peace prize is not awarded to Sheikh Hasina.

It is quite regrettable there have been worldwide controversies and criticisms over Nobel peace prize. It may be recalled that two members of Nobel jury board resigned as protests of awarding Nobel peace prize to American diplomat Henry Kissinger back in 1973. Some more Nobel peace prizes also came under arguments like anti-socialist Russian leader Andrei Sakharov, Israeli President Shimon Peres, Yitzak Rabin, Pakistan's Abdus Salam and Bangladesh's Muhammad Yunus etc.

Critics often say millions of people in Bangladesh have become penniless through getting loans from Muhammad Yunus's microfinance organization Grameen Bank. There are also allegations that Norwegian company Telenor lobbied in favor of Muhammad Yunus to enable him to secure Nobel peace prize. Reportedly Grameen Bank charges 28% to 60% interest rate in cyclic order from people which puts most of the loan recipients in deep trouble.

It may be added that former American president Barack Obama expressed astonishment after receiving Nobel Peace Prize in 2009. Similarly, singer Bob Dylan was awarded Nobel Prize for literature in 2016 which he was hesitatnt to receive but finally he accepted it.

Mahatma Gandhi, the greatest ever humanist leader of Indian subcontinent was disregarded for Nobel peace prize in 1948 for a ridiculous reason shown by the Norwegian Nobel Committee that stated, There was no suitable living candidate. Geir Lundestad, Secretary of Norwegian Nobel Committee in 2006 remarked, The greatest omission in our 106-year history is undoubtedly that Mahatma Gandhi never received the Nobel Peace prize.

In this context it may be recalled that U Thant, former Secretary General of United Nations (UN) was nominated for Nobel peace prize in 1965 for resolving the Cuban missile tension but the prize was shifted to UNICEF under strong objections from Gunner Jahn, Chairman of Nobel Committee. Most of the observers share the opinion that U Thant was discriminated by the Nobel Committee because of belonging to the third world. Sheikh Hasina, the democratic icon of Bangladesh, can also be named in this regard.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's valiant success stories regarding the establishment of peace for Bangladeshi people has not yet come into the vision of Nobel Committee. Case studies about Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King make Sheikh Hasina comparable to these phenomenal figures as far as the point of not being awarded the Nobel peace prize is concerned.

Sheikh Hasina is viewed as South Asia's Daughter of Peace for her profound dynamism to constitute peace and stability in this region. Her father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman brought about Bangladesh's independence and that's why he is called father of the nation. Sheikh Hasina has devoted her whole life for the peace and prosperity of Bangladeshi people. In the same way Sheikh Hasina has once again proven her humanistic heart by sympathizing with Rohingyas.

Under these circumstances, a special team should be set up with esteemed academic scholars and intellectuals from Bangladesh to approach the Nobel Prize Committee with the achievements so far acquired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to elevate Bangladesh's honor on the global stage.  It is quite remarkable that Sheikh Hasina has a philanthropic heart not just for humans, she is deeply conscious about saving wildlife too including Royal Bengal Tigers and preserving biodiversity in the Sundarbans.


The writer is a socio-economic
analyst, a diplomat, an
entrepreneur and a social activist.


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