Kerala’s fishermen have been recognised for their efforts by the state government and various organisations. Perhaps there's still this incomplete expression of gratitude which wants to see them being recognised at an international level.
Congress leader and Thiruvananthapuram Member of Parliament Shashi Tharoor has nominated Kerala’s fishermen for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize for their “courageous service and sacrifice” during the floods in Kerala in 2018. There couldn’t be a more deserving group for the prize. Tharoor has nominated the fishermen in his capacity as a Member of Parliament.
In his letter to the Norwegian committee Tharoor notes that “It was during the height of this tragedy that fishermen groups of Kerala, at great risk to their lives and potential damage to the boats that are the source of their livelihood, jumped into the fray to save their fellow citizens.”
Kerala’s fishermen have been recognised for their efforts by the state government and various organisations. What adds an element of intrigue and veneration is that the fishermen came as a faceless group to the rescue and once the job was done returned to their lives without waiting for the applause. Perhaps, it is this incomplete expression of gratitude which wants to see them being recognised at an international level.
However, will they win the Nobel Peace Prize? At the moment it is anybody’s guess as to who could win the coveted prize.
If one were to draw a pattern looking at past winners, it can be said with confidence: expect the unexpected. In 2016, at the height of the conflict in Syria, many thought that the efforts of the Syrian Civil Defence (or White Helmets) would win the peace prize — but, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos won it “for his resolute efforts to bring the country's more than 50-year-long civil war to an end”. Today, in 2019, armed conflict is far from over in Colombia — the January attack at a Bogota police academy killing 21 military personnel and wounded more than 60 is proof. Also, it still remains a mystery as to why former US President Barack Obama won the prize a few months into his first term of presidency.
That said, the prize has recognised the efforts of many deserving individuals and organisations/collectives, such as the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet in 2015, the European Union in 2012, and, of course, Liu Xiaobo in 2010.
Irrespective of whether they win the Nobel Peace Prize or not, Kerala’s fishermen will be remembered for their selfless service at a time when everyone stood helplessly watching the state drown.For more Opinion pieces, click here.