Open Society funded institute suggests Open Society functionary for Nobel prize

Every year, the directors of Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) shortlist people from around the world that they deem fit to receive the Nobel Prize. Though their list has nothing to do with the actual list of laureates that receive the prize, they have been doing it since 2002. According to PRIO’s website, their list is widely covered by the international media. This year, PRIO’s director Henrik Urdal, who has been on the post since 2017, named Harsh Mander as one of the five shortlisted candidates that he thinks would be the best fit to receive the Nobel Prize.

Source: PRIO

According to the director’s note on PRIO’s website, Mander’s campaign of Karwan-e-Mohabbat (“Caravan of Love”) that was launched in 2017 has been significantly contributing to the fight against religious extremism. The note reads, “Under Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist administration, the situation for Muslims in India has become increasingly difficult, and the country has seen numerous incidents of religiously motivated violence. Responding to this violence, author, activist and director of the Center for Equity Studies in New Delhi, Harsh Mander, launched Karwan-e-Mohabbat, a campaign supporting and showing solidarity with the victims of hate crimes.”

He further called Mander “an important voice for religious tolerance and dialogue, and his campaign an important rallying point for those who oppose interreligious conflict and violence.” Interestingly, according to Urdal, Alt News’s Mohammed Zubair and Pratik Sinha are also worthy candidates for a prize focused on “combating religious extremism and intolerance in India” as they have contributed significantly “to debunking misinformation aimed at vilifying Muslims in India.”

PRIO’s links to Open Society Foundation

According to PRIO’s annual reports, George Soros’s Open Society Foundation has funded PRIO for two consecutive years are 2019 and 2020. Under the section Sources of Income for those two years, PRIO has listed Open Society Foundation as a donor.

PRIO has listed Open Society Foundation as a donor in the annual report for 2019.

The description of the list reads, “This list is sorted by size of income and includes all those exceeding 50,000 NOK per year.” That means PRIO got at least USD 5,600 from the Open Society Foundation in 2019 and 2020. The annual report of 2021 is yet to be published by PRIO.

PRIO has listed Open Society Foundation as a donor in the annual report for 2020.

On Soros’s website, PRIO has been listed as one of the beneficiaries of the Soros grant. As per the records, PRIO has received $1,40,000 in 2017 for a two-year-term.

PRIO has received $1,40,000 as per Soros’s website.

Harsh Mander’s connection to Open Society Foundation

Harsh Mander, who has been listed as one of the deserving candidates for the Nobel Prize by PRIO’s director, has been associated with the Open Society Foundation. He has served as an Advisory Board member of the international grantmaking network founded by George Soros. His role in instigating the Anti-Hindu Delhi riots, particularly the violence around the Jamia Millia Islamia campus in December 2019, has been under scrutiny for some time now. Ironically, he had later filed a PIL in the Delhi High Court seeking the arrest of BJP leaders Anurag Thakur and Kapil Mishra for instigating violence.

Notably, George Soros has been fueling a dangerous anti-India narrative using media and ‘civil society. The Hungarian-American businessman and a self-proclaimed philanthropist who had vowed to ‘fight nationalists’ and conservative governments worldwide, which he often refers to as ‘authoritarian governments’. During the course of his life, if there is one thing George Soros has hated the most, it is India and its nationalist government led by Prime Minister Modi.

Can PRIO nominate anyone for Nobel?

PRIO is a Peace Research Institute. As per the guidelines laid down by the Nobel Committee, the director of PRIO is eligible to nominate anyone for the prize. However, according to PRIO’s website, PRIO’s director does not nominate anyone for the prize because of his active role as a commentator on the Peace Prize. It further reads, “Neither the Director nor the Institute he leads, have any form of association with the Nobel Institute or the Norwegian Nobel Committee.”

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