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Nehru was nominated for Nobel peace prize 11 times

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Last Updated: October 14, 2008, 12:30 IST

Nehru was nominated for Nobel peace prize 11 times

The Nobel Foundation ignored not only Mahatma Gandhi but also Pt Nehru.

New Delhi: The Nobel Foundation ignored not only Mahatma Gandhi but also India's first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, one of 20th century's leading statesmen, for the peace prize, not once but on 11 occasions.

Though the details of past nominations are kept confidential, the foundation has opened the database for 1901-56. A search through it shows that the name of Nehru was under consideration during the early 1950s when he was building the foundations of a modern India.

In 1950, there were two nominations considered by the Nobel committee. L R Sivasubramanian, a Delhi University professor of law, and M Venkatarangaiya, a Bombay University professor of political science, sent in the nominations.

According to the database: "Nehru 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."

Jens Arup Seip, a professor of the university of Oslo, did the evaluation of the nomination.

Coincidentally, the committee also considered nominations of Maharshi Aurobindo, a radical freedom fighter turned spiritual leader, and S Radhakrishnan, another freedom fighter and statesman who was to later become India's president (1962-67).

In 1950, the most coveted prize in the world went to Ralph Bunche, an American political scientist and diplomat, for his late 1940s mediation in Palestine.

In 1951, Panditji, as he was popularly known, was nominated thrice. The nominations were sent in by Emily Greene Balch of the US, Nobel Peace Prize laureate of 1946, Lewis Hoskins on behalf of the American Friends Service Committee and Shrinavala Sarma on behalf of the "Professors at the University of Madras".

All three nominations were evaluated by Seip.

Léon Jouhaux, a French trade union leader, won the peace prize in 1951.

Three more nominations in favour of Nehru were sent to Sweden two years later - all from Brussels.

"Several Members of the Belgian National Assembly", "Several Members of the Belgian Senate" and "Several Professors of the university of Bruxelles" were the nominators. K Getz Wold was the evaluator and August Schou also wrote an additional evaluation, according to the database.

The 1953 Peace laureate was George C Marshall, who led the US Army during World War II.

The year 1954 saw two nominations for Nehru, both along with British prime minister Clement Attlee "for their work for the peaceful settlement between Great Britain and India in 1947". Seip himself was one of the nominators.

The honour that year went to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Edmond Privat, a professor of the Neuchatel university in Switzerland, again nominated Nehru in 1955. That year, no winner was announced and the prize money was "allocated to the Special Fund of this prize section".

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed)
first published:October 14, 2008, 12:30 IST
last updated:October 14, 2008, 12:30 IST