For the past two days, staunch supporters of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and right-wing followers are circulating a piece of information that Modi could be a frontrunner for the Nobel Peace Prize. While neither the Nobel Committee didn't make any official announcements nor they can publicly declare the nominees for the award, these Modi bhakts have been sharing this clickbait after some media outlets put out the news that Modi is a contender.
How the story emerged? Nobel Peace Prize Committee deputy leader Asle Toje is on his Indian visit and his compliments to Modi ended up sparking the story that Modi is the biggest contender for the Nobel Peace Prize. The fact is, it's fake and Toje hasn't said any such thing nor he can divulge such things publicly. After the claim of Modi's possible contest for the peace prize had a word of mouth, Toje asserted that it's fake and he had categorically denied such information.
In interviews to several media outlets on Wednesday, Toje had publicly appreciated India's intervention into Russia's move to use nuclear weapons in its war with Ukraine. Toje had praised Prime Minister Modi for his stand on the Russia-Ukraine war and such such a position is very important coming from a powerful country like India. Responding to a question of 'how do you rate our leader Modi in making peace all over the world?', Toje said that he is happy to see India's intervention.
He said, "I haven't noticed peace all over the world. But, I have noticed that PM Modi has intervened on a positive note in the Ukraine crisis warning Russia against using nuclear weapons and I am obviously very happy to see that. I think every country in the world should give this message and it is all the more important when it comes from a powerful country like India."
He further said, "Modi has been the Prime Minister for some years now and is one of the elder statesmen of this world. I think that credibility, and it is interesting to see that India has in record time gone from being a developing country to becoming one of the primary economies in the world. It is taken more seriously and when India speaks, it tends to be with friendly voice and without threats." He has also cited that Modi is using his power to give back to mankind and that Modi is one of the most reliable faces of peace in the world.
Toje had reiterated his remarks to several media outlets and no where he said Modi is the biggest contender for the Nobel Peace Prize. While a news outlet affirmed that Modi is the contender for the peace prize, a handful of news outlets stated that Modi could be the frontrunner for the prestigious honour. Several rightwingers had jumped on the bandwagon and started promoting the news without realizing that it was phony.
Strong denial from Toje
Taken aback by the trend of spreading the news that Modi is the biggest contender of the peace prize, Toje, in an interview to ANI, said that it was a fake news and opined not to give energy to it. By citing a tweet that circulated this fake news, Toje said, "A fake news tweet was sent out. I think we should treat it as more all fake news. It is fake, let's not discuss it or give it energy or air or oxygen. I categorically deny that I said anything resembling what was in that tweet."
Why has @ANI not tweeted this statement by Asle Toje? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/C3c6pUBdeI— Mohammed Zubair (@zoo_bear) March 16, 2023