Award War

October in the Gregorian calendar can be called the month of awards particularly Nobel Prize and Confucius Peace Prize. Three institutes —Swedish Nobel Academy, King Faisal Foundation (KFF) and China International Peace Research Centre — usually long-list and then shortlist their possible awardees. The former prefer pro- capitalists for their awards while the later prefer the anti-capitalist. KFF balances while awarding their prizes.

Award War

People have most probably come to know about various types of war viz. preemptive war, cold war, media war, war of words, intellectual war, war on Islamist under the guise of war on terror, crusade etc. But a few people have heard about award or prize war. Though China has most recently started the new award war with the Western institutes King Faisal International Prize of Saudi Arabia started awarding prize in 1979. And the absence of recognising a large section of Islamic scholars for Nobel Prize was felt by the Middle Eastern nation and it kicked off with giving the King Faisal International Prize to Sayyed Abul Alaa Moududi for his contribution to Islam. Better late than never. Though both the countries — China and KSA — were Asian, the Mongoloid nation took a long to guess that a vacuum has been created in the way of awarding Nobel prizes. When it found Swedish Nobel Academy selecting awardees on the basis of Western thoughts and philosophy, the largest nation instituted Confucius Peace Prize. Thus the award war, initiated by Saudi Arabia, was carried out by China. The first Confucius Peace Prize was pocketed by Lein Chan.

Confucius Peace Prize committee chooses those for awards who are eastern and dropped from Swedish Academy’s list. It has got evident that the Nobel committee usually award Nobel Prize who will serve the purposes of the present day regimes across the Europe and America. The award war began when the dissidents across the globe were being given Nobel Peace Prizes at a wholesale rate. Most of the prizes in general and Nobel Peace Prize in particular were questioned. Actually the war kicked off when Chinese jailed dissident Liu Xiaobo was awarded Nobel Peace Prize. The award war started and went on in full swing. Now both the Swedish and Chinese committees award and counter-award people.

Confucius, Alfred Nobel and King Faisal

The Chinese prize is named after the ancient philosopher Confucius, whose teachings have become a crucial part of contemporary Communist Party thinking. The prize was started by the China International Peace Research Centre, and last year (2011) it was awarded to Vladimir Putin, the Russian leader. The first prize went to Lien Chan, former Taiwan leader.

The organising committee said it was created to provide a platform for Chinese people to voice their opinions on peace, and it criticised overseas media for labelling it as an “attempt to counter” the Nobel Peace Prize. They felt the Nobel Prize does not reflect “the interests of the East”. The award is worth of US $ 15000.

According to ‘Intensive work and travel did not leave much time for a private life. At the age of 43 he was feeling like an old man. At this time he advertised in a newspaper “Wealthy, highly-educated elderly gentleman seeks lady of mature age, versed in languages, as secretary and supervisor of household.” The most qualified applicant turned out to be an Austrian woman, Countess Bertha Kinsky. After working a very short time for Nobel she decided to return to Austria to marry Count Arthur von Suttner. In spite of this Alfred Nobel and Bertha von Suttner remained friends and kept writing letters to each other for decades. Over the years Bertha von Suttner became increasingly critical of the arms race. She wrote a famous book, Lay Down Your Arms and became a prominent figure in the peace movement. No doubt this influenced Alfred Nobel when he wrote his final will which was to include a Prize for persons or organizations who promoted peace. Several years after the death of Alfred Nobel, the Norwegian Storting (Parliament) decided to award the 1905 Nobel Peace Prize to Bertha von Suttner.’ As of 2012[update], each prize was worth 8 million SEK (US$1.1 million, €1.16 million).

In the wake of not awarding Nobel Prize to the towering figures of Islamic world particularly Islamic scholars King Faisal bin Abdul Aziz launched King Faisal International Prize. Two years after the launching in 1981 King Khaled received the same award for service to Islam. In 1986, this prize was co-awarded to Ahmed Deedat and French Holocaust denier Roger Garaudy.

King Faisal Foundation believes that it is through the collective efforts of outstanding individuals that the highest aspirations are realized. The annual presentation of King Faisal International Prize enables the Foundation to reward dedicated men and women whose contributions make a positive difference: those who exceptionally serve Islam and Muslims, and the scientists and scholars whose research results in significant advances in specific areas that benefit humanity. This incentive also encourages expanded research that may lead to important medical and scientific breakthroughs.

Merit and excellence alone are the criteria for selection. As testimony to the high caliber of Prize recipients and to the importance of the research carried out by KFIP laureates, many winners have gone on to win Nobel prizes for the same works that were recognized by King Faisal International Prize. They are given in five categories — Service to Islam, Islamic Studies, Arabic Language and Literature, Medicine, Science including physics, mathematics, chemistry and biology.

Each of the five prizes, awarded annually, consist of a certificate hand written summary of the laureates work; a 24 carat 200 gram gold medal—uniquely cast for each winner; and a cash prize of SR 750,000 (USD $200,000).

With change of centre of gravity and shift of power from the west to the east the award war is gaining momentum. More and more scholarships will be offered from Asian countries. Awards worth of money more than the Nobel Prize features will be instituted in the east including some in Bangladesh in future and Asians are listlessly looking forward to that just good future days. This change of gravity will spell death for regimes of corporates, giving rise to people’s power.