Kailash Satyarthi who? For all the din of applause, the name Satyarthi was not the original name. It was a pen name used in the newspaper articles he wrote about bonded-labour and later child labour. And it stuck.
A lucky name indeed. Like some in our country change the spelling of their names to be lucky after savouring failures. Like for example Jayalalitha, Tamil Nadu CM, becoming Jayalalithaa or B.S. Yediyurappa becoming Yeddyurappa.
Kailash Satyarthi came on the international arena like the one who came in from the cold. Well, it is puzzling to be told that the very purpose of bestowing Nobel Peace Prize is to introduce to the world the one who has been doing humanitarian work quietly, working for peace in the world. No wonder till the time Kailash Satyarthi got the Nobel, no one knew who he was.
It is also to be noted that in India, where his work on child labour under his NGO Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA) was carried on, hardly anyone knew of his name and also his work on child labour. Even in the Central or State governments very few knew. And those Ministers and bureaucrats who knew of his work were not too pleased with him either. Not surprisingly he did not get any of the Padma awards or any other awards from the government. Reason: He was into the agenda of the Western countries through the noble cause of fighting child labour in various industries, specially carpet manufacturing and weaving.
The West got alerted during 1990 to India’s liberalised economy and its great export potential. Carpet export itself earned foreign exchange worth $2000 crore and the West wanted to curb this humongous amounts of money going to India.
Naturally, West was looking for ‘humanitarian’ ways and means to impose restriction on exports from India, as also other developing countries. Thus they chose to use social and environmental causes in the Trade Agreements coming under GATT or WTO. Child labour was one such issue and the West got the right persons...more