When Barrack Obama won the Nobel Prize, sensible people were surprised. At that time Obama had barely started his tenure as the president. He had not achieved anything worth while to be considered for the award. Later on Nobel clarified that the award was given keeping his potential in mind. Seems, rationalization is not restricted to frail and adamant human beings who do it to justify their actions and avoid admitting mistakes.
Of course in case of Mahatma Gandhi they did admit their mistake bowing down to the increasing opinions that it was one of the greatest omissions. Then, Nobels are not awarded posthumously.
When Alice Munro got the Nobel Prize for Literature, sensible people were surprised. She had already proven her merit. In her case people were surprised because they did not find any political reason why it was awarded to her.
James Wood, staff writer and book critic at the New Yorker where many of her short stories were published first, wrote:
‘ … many of Munro’s readers had sadly concluded that she was not, somehow, the kind of writer that the Nobel committee seemed to like; I had decided that she would join the list of noble non-Nobelists, a distinguished category that includes Tolstoy, Nabokov, Borges, Hrabal, Sebald, Bernhard, Ingmar Bergman—and Chekhov, as it happens. … ‘
There have been also occasions when the winners themselves were surprised wondering whether they really deserved to win the award in that category as for example when Bob Dylan who is basically song writer with no known accomplishment in literary poetry won the Nobel prize for literature.
According to me the present Dalai Lama deserves the Nobel Peace prize. But like every other case, in this case too there was this added political reason that tilted the scales in his favour. The west has always been weary of rising Asian powers. Whenever they award an Asian, indirectly they also put down some other Asian group.
At least in the case of Dalai Lama, he was awarded as much for his past performance as for his future potential. But the cases like Barrack Obama and Yusuf Malala who were awarded solely based on their future potential baffle reason and seem to be solely based on political considerations than any merit.
Trumping merit for other consideration is not restricted to the Nobel. Or, rather if it happened to the so called highest award, what would be the fate of less prestigious ones?
Now recall all the international award winning movies made about India – Satyajit Ray movies or movie like the Slum Dog Millionaire. Here is a formula for you if you want to win an international award as a writer or a movie maker. Portray your Asian country as shit-hole country. Forget merit. You are bound to win an award. If a third grade movie like Slum Dog Millionaire can win Oscars, why can’t you?