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HVK Archives: Nobel's Nemesis

Nobel's Nemesis - The Times of India

Posted By Ashok V Chowgule (ashokvc@giasbm01.vsnl.net.in)
13 February 1997

Title : Nobel's Nemesis
Author :
Publication : The Times of India
Date : February 13, 1997

The political literacy of the British Labour Party has attained
staggering heights if the case made out by one of its MPs, Ms
Mildred Gordon, for Ms Phoolan Devi to be awarded the Nobel Peace
Prize indicates the prevalent wisdom in the island. Ms Gordon, who
has sent the nomination for the former bandit to the Norwegian
Nobel Committee, is optimistic about more support for her coming in
from other countries because the matter is an "international
issue". Ms Gordon finds Ms Phoolan Devi being "persecuted by a
right wing fascist government", and compares her to Mr Nelson
Mandela and Ms Aung San Sun Kyi and warns against attempts to
"criminalise this extraordinary and heroic woman". It is difficult
to remember that the same Labour Party had mobilised support for
Jayaprakash Narayan and other victims of Indira Gandhi's absolutism
during the Emergency. That, however, is history.

In tune with the mood of Indo-British co-operation suffused with
the celebratory spirit of 50 years of Independence, it is now for
Indian MPs to reciprocate. There is no dearth of names that Indian
MPs can propose to return the compliment. The murderess Myra
Hindley and Nick Leeson of Barings Bank fame are just two of the
many names that one could list. Surely to this could be added the
many collaborators of the hated apartheid regime in South Africa,
since only F W De Clerk among such a distinguished galaxy, has been
so far honoured.

There is also a trans-Atlantic nexus gaining in favour of Ms
Phoolan Devi who is evading a court appearance despite being a
member of Parliament. One evidence of this is the Phoolan Devi
International Defense Committee that has surfaced in the US. It is
difficult at this point to say whether the British took the cue
from the Americans or vice versa because of the "special
relationship" the two enjoy. It would be indeed cruel to confine
such a Nobel prospect as Indian property under judicial custody in
this age of globalising patent and intellectual property rights.
Ms Phoolan Devi is surely cut out for superior predatory prey at a
time when nuclear banditry of the big powers has come into its own.
A peerage for the lady of the ravines could be a deserving honour.
Of course if the North Atlantic powers are in dire need of her
active services, she might certainly fit the bill to lead NATO in
its ambitions to expand eastward.

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