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Friday, December 12, 2014

Nobel Laureates .... Kailash Satyarthi and Malala - Nobel Peace Prize 2014.

**Cream of cauliflower soup,  mosaic of red king crab, peas and lemon pickled cauliflower florets; Spiced loin of red deer, carrot terrine, salt-baked golden beets, smoked pearl onions, potato purée and game jus Mousse and sorbet of wild dewberries from Gotland, saffron panna cotta and brown butter sponge cake**  - wonder what the menu of the banquet on 10th December….. at Stockholm city hall and there are enough clues ! – the Nobel banquet.  The word “Laureate” signifies the laurel wreath awarded to winners of athletic competitions and poetic meets in Ancient Greece. In Greek mythology, god Apollo is represented wearing on his head a laurel wreath, a circular crown made of branches and leaves of the bay laurel.  On 27 November 1895, Alfred Nobel signed his last will and testament, giving the largest share of his fortune to a series of prizes in Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature and Peace. In 1968, Sweden’s central bank Sveriges Riksbank established The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in memory of Nobel.

The speech read : ‘A conscience exists in the world which extends beyond all national boundaries, and is independent of religion, culture and social adherence:  it states that children have a right to childhood; they have a right to go to school instead of being forced to work. They are not to start life as the slaves of others’ ………… This "world conscience" can find no better expression than through Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai. Yes, the introduction to Nobel Peace prize winners.

The Nobel Peace Prize is one of the five Nobel Prizes created by the Swedish industrialist, inventor, and armaments manufacturer Alfred Nobel, along with the prizes in Chemistry, Physics,Physiology or Medicine, and Literature. Since 1901, it has been awarded annually (with some exceptions) to those who have "done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses". Statistically, 95 Nobel Peace Prizes have been awarded since 1901. It was not awarded on 19 occasions as per the dicta of Nobel Foundation which prescribes that when none of the works under consideration is found to be eligible enough, the prize money shall be reserved until the following year. If, even then, the prize cannot be awarded, the amount shall be added to the Foundation's restricted funds.  As per Alfred Nobel's will, the recipient is selected by the Norwegian Nobel Committee, a 5-member committee appointed by the Parliament of Norway. Since 1990, the prize is awarded on 10 December in Oslo City Hall each year.

Kailash Satyarthi, winner of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize (along with Pakistani teenage activist Malala Yousafzai), lost a page of his speech on Wednesday. “Solutions are not found only in the deliberations in conferences and prescriptions from a distance ... Friends, what is missing now of course is my [speech] paper,” he said to peals of laughter in the Oslo City Hall where he received the coveted prize.  As he continued, a Norwegian official came on stage with the missing page of his lecture.

Kailash Sathyarthi’s vision is quite simply to put an end to child labour. Since he abandoned a promising career as an electrical engineer in 1980, this has been Sathyarthi’s overriding aim. He has worked at several different levels to achieve it. Powerful interests have profited from child labour. They do not give up without a struggle. Satyarthi himself has adhered to non-violence. The child labourers are not infrequently recruited by kidnapping, but are often also hired out by parents who cannot manage their debts. Enslavement to debt remains very widespread, not only in India but also in many other countries. Satyarthi insists that it is not poverty that leads to child labour. Child labour maintains poverty, carrying it on from generation to generation. School attendance releases people from poverty.

At the Nobel Award ceremonies on December 10, the Laureates receive three things: a Nobel Diploma, a Nobel Medal and a document confirming the Nobel Prize amount. Each Nobel Diploma is a unique work of art, created by foremost Swedish and Norwegian artists and calligraphers. The Nobel Medals are handmade with careful precision and in 18 carat green gold plated with 24 carat gold. The Nobel Prize amount for 2014 is set at Swedish kronor (SEK) 8.0 million per full Nobel.

To date, the youngest Nobel Peace Prize Laureate is Malala Yousafzai, who was 17 years old when awarded the 2014 Peace Prize. The oldest Nobel Peace Prize Laureate to date is Joseph Rotblat, who was 87 years old when he was awarded the Prize in 1995. Telegraph reports  that  Pope Francis has chosen not to meet the Dalai Lama in Rome this weekend when the Tibetan exile attends a summit of Nobel Peace Prize winners. The decision reflects an acute diplomatic dilemma for the Pope, at a time when the Vatican is attempting to improve its relations with Beijing and wants to avoid upsetting the Chinese authorities for fear of provoking trouble for the country's Catholic community. The snub is hardly in keeping with the Argentinean pontiff's enthusiasm for dialogue with other religions.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

12th Dec 2014.

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