Ever since he upped it from the White House without attending his successor Joe Biden’s investiture, there has not been much good news in the Mar-a-Lago Club, Mr Donald Trump’s resort in Palm Beach, Florida. Bringing some cheer to the Republican compound is the pro-Trump lawyer Alan Dershowitz who, in his standing as a professor emeritus of the Harvard Law School, exercised his option of nominating his client’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, for the Nobel Peace Prize. Truth to tell, Kushner did push the envelope in the Middle East while brokering peace, and Israel celebrated its newfound acceptability in the region even as the Palestinians fumed.
A red flag around Nobel news should warn us not to get carried away by nominations because everyone and his aunt can send nominations to the Norwegian Nobel Committee. Just last year, as many as 210 individuals, including the twice-impeached former President Trump and 107 organisations were in the running for the coveted prize, which went, mercifully, to the World Food Programme. No one can be more at peace than after a good meal and to the credit of WFP it combated hunger while “acting as a driving force in efforts to prevent the use of hunger as a weapon of war and conflict”.
There is rum irony in the very fact that the Nobel Prize was instituted by the Swede, Alfred Nobel, whose major achievement was the invention of dynamite. In a conflicted world, differences of opinion often rage over the Nobel Peace Prize, which sometimes went to those like Barack Obama who kept his country’s troops in war zones. A healthy cynicism over the Peace Prize reigns in India because the world’s greatest apostle of peace and the progenitor of satyagraha was never awarded one. How does history reconcile to the fact that Mahatma Gandhi is not a Nobel Laureate? But if Black Lives Matter or Greta Thunberg were to receive the 2021 Peace Nobel, we might just conclude that the world is not such a bad place, after all.