ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Curious Case of the Nobel Peace Prize

There is no question that the Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo should be released from prison, but on what basis did the Nobel Peace Prize Committee award the 2010 prize to him? The recent history of the peace prize shows that the award committee is focused on promoting western values - even North Atlantic ones - and admonishing those states or cultures that pose a challenge to this world view.

The Chinese have charged the Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Liu Xiaobo, with the “Crime of Instigating the Subversion of State Power” (The Hindu, 10 December 2010) which is somewhat similar to the charge of sedition brought against Arundhati Roy.

If India was taking a principled stand of supporting the human right to free speech by attending the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in Oslo, the same principles should lead to quashing the first information report filed against her and several others. If Liu Xiaobo deserves the Nobel Peace Prize, so does Arundhati Roy in full measure, for both have stood up fearlessly against authoritarian state structures and on behalf of the common man and his freedoms. And Julian Assange deserves the prize even more, as the Russians have suggested, for fearlessly exposing the way the United States controls its global empire.

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