New Delhi, India -- (SBWIRE) -- 08/22/2011 -- Nobel Laureate Mohan Munasinge and Lord Meghnad Desai came down to hand over the first edition of the 7 crore IIPM Rabindranath Tagore International Prize which was won by Ramapada Chowdhuri and six others.
Mohan Munasinghe and Lord Meghnad Desai along with IIPM’s Founder Director Dr Malay Chaudhuri and Dr NR Chatterjee handed over the first Rabindranath Tagore International Prize to Author Ramapada Chowdhuri for his classic work ‘Banpalashir Padabali’.
Dr Malay Chaudhuri announced, “We want to break the western monopoly on awards. The award is being primarily instituted in the field of People Centric Economics/ People Centric Management/ Literature/ Peace as an alternative to the Nobel Prize since it has been observed that economists, of the likes of Maurice Dobb, Oskar Lange and Joan Robinson, and authors from the developing world have been deprived of due recognition by the capitalist Western world.”
The first edition of the award was won jointly by Rmapada Chowdhury along with six authors posthumously i.e. Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay, Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay, Manik Bandopadhyay, Tarashankar Bandopadhyay, Jibanananda Das and Ashapurna Devi.
IIPM is setting up Foundations of Rs 1,00,00,000 each in their memory. Excellence in literature at a regional / national level will be awarded from the income generated from them.
With the Rabindranath Tagore Memorial International Prize and an array of prestigious prizes instituted by IIPM in past like Manavata Vikas Award, Surama Chaudhuri Memorial International Award IIPM looks set to alter the international awards landscape for good. Further elaborating the reason to launch such a huge award, Dr. Chaudhuri explained, “This award has been instituted as a move to take away the West’s exclusive power to decide what is good in literature, art and peace efforts. The Nobel Prize for literature/economics has not always gone to great writers/economists. The Peace Prize has been, in recent times, given to people who have committed genocide. Therefore, the idea is to institute an award comparable with the Nobel Prize as a public demonstration of our opposition to the Western monopoly on awards for excellence in various fields. I see a shift from the Atlantic to the Pacific. It is happening in economics and planning. Why shouldn’t it also happen in the domain of awards? Our effort is to push an initiative based on that superstructure. We want to decisively intervene in the process of deciding on awards and thereby having a say on what is worth appreciating and emulating.”
The Nobel Prize for literature this year will fetch the winner 1.08 million euros. Last year, the amount was 1 million euros. IIPM wanted to match that and make a real impact. IIPM’s Surama Chaudhuri Memorial International Award for Literature and Journalism is accompanied by an amount of $100,000. Indeed the prize moneys are big but does it really make the award as big?
Dr. Chaudhuri was candid about it as he said, “Well, I do not believe that money alone can decide the worth of an award. An award acquires prestige if it is consistently given to deserving people. This prestige is built over time. If our selection is proper and research based, the awards will be coveted by people all over the world over a period of the next few decades.” The coming years will surely decide if IIPM's initiatives will become globally as big as the Nobel, for now its time to celebrate the fact that an Indian has had the courage to institute a prize as big as the Nobel in value. In a country with the highest number of billionaires, that it comes from an educationist is another aspect to cheer about.
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