Initial reactions to the Nobel Peace Price awarded to two outstanding South Asians


The Forum for South Asia Studies at Uppsala University notes with great appreciation that two outstanding South Asian characters have been awarded the Nobel Peace Price for the year 2014. Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzay have been awarded the price for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education. We are delighted to share the initial reactions of Dr Ranjula Bali Swain, Professor Heinz Werner Wessler and Professor Ashok Swain.

Ranjula Bali Swain, Chair person of the Forum for South Asia Studies at Uppsala University:

"A child out of school is a child without a future! A struggle that is made harder for girls through cultural norms of the society. In recognizing the work of Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi , the Nobel Peace Prize has brought the focus to the fundamental issue of preserving the childhood and the rights to basic standard of living, security and education for every child."

Heinz Werner Wessler, Professor of Indology at Uppsala University says:

"The Pakistani school girl Malala Yousafzay, who dared to continue to go to school even though she was aware of the risks to be harmed by the enemies of female education, and the experienced fighter and organizer Kailash Satyarthi, social activist and non-violent fighter in the tradition of Mahatma Gandhi, stand for the thousands and hundred thousands of people who struggle hard in all the countries of the Indian Subcontinent to secure the right of education, which we in the Western countries tend to take for granted. The lexical meaning of "Satyarthi" is "a person committed to truth" - the name stands for the person."

Ashok Swain, Professor of Peace and Conflict Research at Uppsala University says:

"I am delighted for this year’s Noble Peace Prize going to Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi for their fight for children’s right and education in South Asia. Both have shown great personal courage to fight for justice and peace in the sub-continent. Moreover, the selection of a Pakistani and an Indian for this coveted honour will hopefully encourage the leaders of both Pakistan and India to desist from cross-border firing and purse a peace process."