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    ~ Mark Twain

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    Why Mahatma Gandhi never got the Nobel Peace Prize ?

    Mahatma Gandhi’s reaction to Nobel Peace Prize – An extract from my book

    “Do you know of a dreamer who won attention by adventitious aid?”

    Every year, when the name/s for the Nobel Peace Prize is announced, one question invariably forms part of the debate in the media –Why didn’t Mahatma Gandhi, one of the greatest peacemakers in human history, get the prize?

    This year, the question has acquired greater interest because an Indian, Shri Kailash Satyarthi, has won the Nobel Peace Prize along with Malala Yusufzai.

    What follows below is not an answer to the question. Rather, it captures Gandhiji’s reaction to the suggestion, which was made in a prestigious American magazine, that he should get the Nobel Peace Prize.

    It is an extract from my book ‘MUSIC OF THE SPINNING WHEEL: Mahatma Gandhi’s Manifesto for the Internet Age’ (Chapter 2 titled “I Am Not a Servant of India, I Am a Servant of Truth”; page 17)
    —–

    As befits a true saint, praise or worldly rewards and awards meant nothing to him. In 1934, an editorial in Christian Century, an influential US magazine, suggested his name for the Nobel Peace Prize. His reaction to this suggestion, as recorded by Agatha Harrison, an English follower of the Mahatma, is revealing. She was accompanying Gandhi and Rajendra Prasad (a freedom fighter who later became independent India’s first president) during their tour of the earthquake-hit areas of Bihar when the editorial appeared.

    Harrison, who was apparently excited by the suggestion, showed it to Gandhi. It was a Monday, his weekly day of silence. ‘The expression on his face was a study as he read it through carefully.

    Then, selecting a very small scrap of paper, he wrote: “Do you know of a dreamer who won attention by adventitious aid?”

    With a broad smile he handed this to me and went on with the work I had interrupted’.

    Ref: Thomas Weber, Gandhi and the Nobel Peace Prize,http://www.mkgandhi.org/nobel/nobelpeaceprize.htm

    The above extract says many things about Mahatma Gandhi, including his beautiful mastery over English language!

    Sudheendra Kulkarni

    ex Political advisor to the PM. Author of 'MUSIC OF THE SPINNING WHEEL : Mahatma Gandhi's Manifesto for the Internet Age'

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