Stockholm: The 2019 Nobel Prize awarded to Austrian writer Peter Handke has attracted a lot of criticism from various quarters. The main contention against the choice stems from Peter Handke’s support to war crimes accused Serbian leader and former President of Yugoslavia, Slobodan Milosevic.
Protests came mostly from Albania, Bosnia and Kosovo where bloody battles were fought which left thousands dead and displaced. During the troubled times of 1990s, Peter Handke emerged as the voice of Serbs when the country of Yugoslavia collapsed. He compared the Serbs to Jews under Nazi rule though he later retracted his comparison.
However, many Muslim leaders, politicians and literary figures expressed their displeasure that Handke was selected for the honor. Writers like Salman Rushdie
also blamed the Nobel Committee for their decision to grant the literary award to Handke. Many said that he was a genocide denier and supported the Serbian forces which is accused of committing genocide during the Bosnian war.
Leaders of Albania and Kosovo also came against the decision of the Nobel Committee in its selection.
In 2006 during Slobodan Milosevic’s funeral, the writer had attended his funeral and made a speech to a twenty thousand strong crowd.