Can Obama be stripped off his Nobel prize?
The short answer is “No”.
Right, now if you are still reading this, it means you want to know more.
In the last few days, a number of my friends and acquaintances have asked me to start a campaign addressed to the Nobel committee on this issue. I did a bit of research on it, an it appears that the prize is irrevocable on the basis of Nobel Prize constitution.
Despite receiving numerous petitions throughout its history, the committee has refused to change this clause of the constitution. It is, however, important to appreciate that the committee is usually vey cautious and vigilant in awarding the prize and normally does so some 20 years later. In many cases, the people who really deserve to receive the price die, and again on the basis of the constitution, the prize cannot be awarded to a person who has passed away. The most notable example of this was Mahatma Gandhi whom despite 5 previous nominations, never received the award and was assassinated in the year he was shortlisted for the prize. Although in his recognition, the committee decided not to award the prize in 1948 all together.
For no apparent reason, they didn’t uphold this practice with regards to Obama. I really believe that in the case of Obama, the prize was given for no arguable reason. In other words, it was given as an encouragement, rather than an appreciation/recognition. This itself was in breach of the Nobel Prize constitution. But then their decision is final and cannot be appealed. Not the most democratic institution, ey?
I believe they know they’ve made a big mistake, which will seriously undermine the integrity of the prize, but there isn’t much they can do about it now. All I can say is that our future generations will see this and laugh at us, just as we laugh at our previous generations now when we hear that Adolf Hitler was a Nobel Peace Prize nominee just before the outbreak of WWII. Of course Obama and Hitler could not be compared indiscriminately and haphazardly, nevertheless the integrity of the prize is damaged even further.