Mahatma Gandhi is the symbol of peace in the 20th century. He was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize five times but he never got the award, even before he was killed in 1948.
The Nobel Committee did not award anyone with the Nobel Peace Prize in 1948. According to them, there was no suitable live candidate. Mahatma Gandhi was supposed to receive the award if he had not been assassinated.
Who is Mahatma Gandhi?
Mohandas Karamchand Ghandi or more commonly known as Mahatma Gandhi was born in Porbandar, Western India. His parents were profoundly religious. The belonged to the Hindu sect that did not believe in non-violence.
In the 1880s, Gandhi went to London to study law. After his studies, he went back to India to work as a barrister. By 1893, he went to South Africa where he was employed by an Indian Trading Company.
While he was in South Africa, he made it a point to improve the living conditions of Indians in the area. He used a method of non-violence to achieve his goal. He then went back to India by 1915. (Source: Nobel Prize)
When Was Gandhi First Nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize?
Thousands of people admired Gandhi and his peaceful ways. Among those who strongly supported him and his cause was the Friends of India associations. These were organizations started in Europe and the US in the early 30s. They represented different walks of life, but all admired his piety.
By 1937, Ole Colbjørnsen, a member of the Norwegian Storting nominated Gandhi for that year’s Nobel Peace Prize. Colbjørnsen did not write the motivation for Gandhi’s nomination, it was written by the women of the Norwegian Friends of India association.
He is, undoubtedly, a good, noble and ascetic person – a prominent man who is deservedly honoured and loved by the masses of India. Sharp turns in his policies, which can hardly be satisfactorily explained by his followers.He is a freedom fighter and a dictator, an idealist and a nationalist. He is frequently a Christ, but then, suddenly, an ordinary politician.Jacob Worm-Müller
Even with the support, Gandhi did not win that year’s Nobel Peace Prize. He was nominated again in 1938, 1939, 1947, and in 1948 but never won in any of those years either. (Source: Nobel Prize)
What Happened in 1947?
Pakistan became a separate nation during the time the partition of British India began. This was the response of Islamic extremists who wanted a country of their own. Eventually, ethnic cleansing began and thousands of people were massacred. Muslims then had to move from India to Pakistan, and Hindus had to go back to India. The whole process was less than peaceful.
This lead to question if Gandhi was the right person to award the prize to given the fact that his morals bank on non-violence. By the Autumn of 1947, the tensions between the two countries were far from easing up. (Source: Nobel Prize)
How Did Gandhi Die?
On January 30, 1948 Mahatma Gandhi was shot three times by a Hindu Fanatic by the name of Nathuram Godse. There was so much commotion, that there was no attempt to call for help. He passed away after half an hour.
Godse tried to shoot himself, but failed. He was then seized while the people called for his death. He was tried for murder, and executed on November of the following year. (Source: History Today)