The frontrunners in the record total of 241 Nobel Peace Prize nominees for the year of 2011 are Wikileaks and the Internet itself. It was announced by the Norwegian Nobel Committee on Tuesday that the number of nominees this year, which includes 53 organizations, has overtaken the previous year’s grand total of 237. According to a non-voting member of the committee named Gier Lundestad, this is a great sign for the future as the world’s interest in it is growing tremendously as is evident from the swelling list of candidates.
The names of all the nominees haven’t been disclosed, however those which have come out also include Sima Samar who is an Afghan rights advocate, the former chancellor of Germany Helmut Kohl, the European Union, Oswaldo Paya Sardinas, the dissident from Cuba and a rights group from Russia called Memorial along with Svetlana Gannushkina who is its founder.
The most controversial name in the lot is undoubtedly Wikileaks, the very famous whistleblowing website founded by Julian Assange which stirred the world with its release of confidential war data and diplomatic cables from the United States. The most discussed of its “dumps” arguably were the US diplomatic cables released several months ago which compromised the diplomatic relations of the country.
The other much talked about nominee is the Internet, chiefly for its active role as the medium which made the widespread Jasmine Revolution possible. Social networks like Facebook and Twitter were active platforms for the protestors in these countries to organize and raise their voice against the oppressive regimes they were under. The revolts also highlighted the potential and power of the internet in binding people and allowing expression without constraints for a free flow of thoughts and ideas. Internet had also been nominated for the prize last year, however its credentials then weren’t as strong as this time around where it is one of the most likely contenders to take the prize.