Tag Archives: Gandhi

Nobel Prize Controversies 

Nobel Prizes for this year are on. Already the prize for medicine has already been announced to William C. Campbell, Satoshi Ōmura, Youyou Tu on nature based medicines. Prizes in other categories will be announced one by one.

There had been times when Controversies arose over the prizes. Following is the list of some controversial prizes.

  1. Literature prize to Aleksandr Solzhenitzyn in 1970. Solzhenitzyn is well known for highlighting the plight of political prisoners sent to labor camps in Siberia. The communist regime of the then USSR had declared the prize as a provocation and he was not allowed to receive the prize. He received the prize after 4 years after he migrated to USA.

  2. Peace prize to Henry kissinger and Le Duc Tho, in 1973 is considered as the most controversial. Two members resigned from committee in protest

  3. Economics prize to Milton Friedman in 1076 for his work on free markets. His association with Chilean dictator Pinochet irked the protesters.

  4. When Barack Obama received peace prize in 2009. He was less than a year in office. Judges noticed even Obama was not too enthusiastic about it.

  5. Medicine prize to Jules Hoffman, Bruce Beutler, Ralph Steinman in 2011. This prize would have been uncontroversial except for the fact that Steinman had died a few days earlier the prize was announced. Controversial point was that it cannot be given posthumously and commitee made the exception saying they were not aware of his death.

And Nobel Prize for Mahatma Gandhi that never was. There is hardly anyone in the world who doesn’t know his contribution towards non violence. In fact he was the founder of this movement. He was nominated 5 times for the but never won. This again may be due to pressure from the powerful nation. The Nobel committee has since realized the biggest blunder they have committed. His non violence movement has in fact become guiding star for people such as Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela. 

In 1989 when peace prize was given to Dalai lama the chairman of committee paid rich tributes to Gandhi.

Premonition of Impending Death

Numerous books have been written on the life of Mahatma Gandhi, the father of Indian nation. Latest in the series is the book written by Pramod Kapoor and is named “My experiments with Gandhi”. Each book tries to explore the different aspects of the life of great man. Some excerpts are given about the thoughts and happenings in the life of Gandhi.

The author cites a number of incidences in the last 48 hours of Bapu’s life which show that Mahatma has premonition about his death and he indicated this to his near and dear ones saying that he wouldn’t remain amid them for long.
For example, on the afternoon of January 29, 1948, the day before the assassination, an agitated member of a group of villagers who had been recently rendered homeless due to communal clashes, confronted Gandhi ji and claimed that he had done enough damage.

“You have ruined us utterly. Leave us alone and take your abode in the Himalayas,” the angry person had said.
This disturbed Mahatma very much. That same evening, while walking to his prayer meeting, he had confided to his grandniece Manuben, “The pitiful cries of these people is like the voice of God. Take this as a death warrant for you and me.”

A few hours later, that afternoon, a four year old Rajiv accompanying Krishna Huthee Singh, Jawaharlal Nehru’s sister and Indira had called on Bapu. Rajiv placed some flowers at feet of Gandhi to which he had playfully chided the little boy and said, “You must not do that. One only puts flowers around dead people’s feet.”
On January 30, Gandhi battled thoughts of death more than just once. Bapu was feeling unwell and had woken up at 3:30 am. He was ‘unusually disturbed with the ‘darkness’ that surrounded him. The darkness being, partition woes and infighting in the Congress. At about 3:45 am, he had surprisingly asked for a rendition of a Gujarati bhajan,

‘Thake na thake chhataye nhon/

Manavi na leje visramo/

Ne jhoojhaje ekal bayen/

Ho manavi, na leje visramo

which roughly translates in English to

Whether tired or not,

O man do not take rest,

stop not, your struggle,

if single-handed, continues.


Few hours later Bapu was asked to take some penicillin pills that his doctor had left for him to cure a bad cough. “If I were to die of disease or even a pimple, you must shout to the world from the house tops, that I was a false Mahatma. Then my soul, wherever it may be, will rest in peace. But if an explosion took place or somebody shot at me and I received his bullets on my bare chest, without a sigh and with Rama’s name on my lips, only then you should say I was a true Mahatma.”