Three Indians for Nobel Peace Prize! Two fact-checkers and activist among favourites

Pratik Sinha told eNewsroom, “We are among the favourites only. But it is good that the world is recognizing the importance of fact-checking”

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Kolkata: Three Indians fighting hatred in new India are the picks from the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) for the Nobel Peace Prize 2022.

Software-engineers-turned-fake-news-busters Pratik Sinha and Mohammed Zubair have been shortlisted along with social activist and former IAS Officer Harsh Mander, who chose to resign post 2002 Gujarat Riots and float his campaign Karwan-e-Mohabbat (Caravan of Love) at a time when mob lynching was at its peak in India.

While the fact-checkers have been relentlessly working to take on fake news and its repercussions in India, the world’s largest democracy, Mander was seen traveling states after states with his Karwan-e-Mohabbat to meet mob lynching victim families apart from other work he and his NGO is doing. His NGo has been raided by central government agencies too.

Zubair along with Pratik and his mother Nirjhari Sinha co-founded a fact-checking website Alt News in 2017. The independent media organization, also a member of Digipub (an association of digital-only media outlets) operates from both Ahmedabad and Kolkata.

Ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) or its party members have often been found guilty of spreading fake news through its IT Cell. When they founded Alt News, the fact-checkers not just had the challenge of busting fake news but also of  having to face several court cases in their bid to expose the news and tweets based on fake images and videos.

Zubair was recently arrested for highlighting fake news and use of Twitter to propagate hatred in the Indian heartland. He was arrested for tweeting a meme, which was four-years-old.

When contacted, a humble Pratik Sinha told eNewsroom, “We are among the favourites only. But it is good that the world is recognizing the importance of fact-checking.”

So far only two Indians- Mother Teresa and Kailash Satyarthi bagged the Nobel Peace Prize.

The winner for the Nobel Peace Prize 2022 will be announced at 11 am local time on Friday in Oslo, Norway.

The Peace Prize is one of the six awards established by Swedish chemist and inventor of dynamite Alfred Nobel in 1895. The prize is known as the most prestigious in the world and conferred to those ‘who are considered the greatest benefit to humankind.

Notably, The Peace Research Institute Oslo, is neither a member of the Nobel Peace Prize Committee nor is associated with the Nobel Foundation. It shortlists people for the Peace Prize on annual basis.

According to the official site of Nobel Prize, a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize can be submitted by any person who meets the nomination criteria. A letter of invitation is not required to submit the nominations. The three Indians have been nominated by PRIO.However, the responsibility for the selection of the winners rests with the five-person Norwegian Nobel Committee, which is also appointed by Norway’s parliament.

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