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Why Nobel eluded Gandhi, Nehru?

Not only to Mahatma Gandhi, the Nobel Peace Prize eluded India’s first Prime Minister and Jawaharlal Nehru several times despite being nominated by 11 groups or individuals.

india Updated: Oct 15, 2008 10:49 IST

Not only to Mahatma Gandhi, the Nobel Peace Prize eluded India’s first Prime Minister and charismatic leader Jawaharlal Nehru several times despite being nominated by 11 groups or individuals. Nehru was nominated several times from 1950 to 1955 while Gandhi was nominated five times during 1937 to 1948, according to Nobel Foundation database.

Gandhi was first nominated in 1937 and finally in 1948, the year he was assassinated. “He was not awarded the Prize (as a posthumous award was not allowed by the statutes) no laureate was named for 1948 either,” the database said. Nehru’s first nomination was made in 1950 by LR Sivasubramanian, professor of Law in Delhi university. The professor felt that Nehru deserved the award as he “established parliamentary government in India, and he had been one of the principal leaders of the independence movement. He was nominated for his neutralist foreign policy and for upholding the same principles as Gandhi.”

In the same year, Nehru was also nominated by M Venkatarangaiya, a professor of political science from Mumbai, then known as Bombay. The evaluation for the nomination was conducted by Jens Arup Seip, a professor from Oslo, it said. The Prize for this year went to Ralph Bunche, a professor of Harvard university, for his mediation in Palestine in late 1940s.

Nehru got three nominations in 1951 by Nobel Peace laureate 1946 of Boston Emily Greene Balch. Other nominators were Lewis Hoskins, member of Americans Friends Service committee and Shrinavala Sharma, professor in university of Madras. Leon Jouhaux, a trade union leader from France, won the peace prize in 1951.Nehru got three nominations in 1953 also. This time several members of Belgian National Assembly nominated the Indian leader.

He was also nominated by several members of Belgian Senate and separately by several professors of Bruxelles University of Belgium but the 1953 Peace Prize went to George C Marshall, who led the US Army during World War II. In 1954, Nehru was nominated along with British Prime Minister Clement R Atlee for their their “work for the peaceful settlement between Great Britain and India in 1947,” by Oslo professor Janes Arup Seip.

Seip again nominated the duo for their leading statesmanship. This year the prize conferred to the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. The last time that Nehru, as the data inform only till 1955, was nominated by a Swiss professor, Edmond Privat. No winner was announced in 1955 and the prize money was allocated to the Special Fund of this prize section.