Prime Minister Modi’s victory in 2014 has rendered many people who belonged to the upper echelons of the ecosystem rather agitated. So much so, that oftentimes, their criticism becomes rather incoherent.
Today, a similar article was published by India Today that quoted Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen. The article headlined “Hindus are in minority in Indian society: Amartya Sen”.
The article quoted Amartya Sen as saying:
“Let me begin with the concept of ‘minority’. If society was to be divided according to Muslims and Hindus, then the latter would be a minority. People who are not minorities cannot pretend to be one. In 2014, the BJP won in the Parliament with 55 per cent seats but managed to obtain this with just 31 per cent votes. So these people cannot be called a minority. I think this is happening because of minority importance. I think this is greed and we should condemn it. There are two sides to this. If we think that the majority is always greater, and we should always respect them, and that they are arrogant, then this thinking is wrong.”
Unsurprisingly, nobody really understood Amartya Sen’s convoluted logic. He first said that if the society was to be divided, Hindus would be a minority – an assertion that made no sense whatsoever. He then asserted that since BJP won with 55% seats but only 31% votes, “these people” cannot be called a minority. One wonders if he meant that only Hindus (who he says are a minority) cannot be called a minority because they managed to (he assumes only Hindus voted for BJP?) form a majority government. Then he says the majority (who he earlier called minority?) are arrogant and that “this is a result of greed” (what is? Nobody really knows).
Many on Twitter wondered what Nobel Laureate Sen really meant.
Veteran journalist Kanchan Gupta announced a neat prize for anyone who could decipher the comment by Sen.
I’ll gift a paperback copy of Sri Aurobindo’s ‘Uttarpara Speech’ published by Sri Aurobindo Ashram to the person who deciphers this profound comment by Amartya Sen reported by @IndiaToday.
Only polite responses in grammatical English in no more than 280 characters would qualify. pic.twitter.com/ZX4W8E77TT
— Kanchan Gupta (@KanchanGupta) August 28, 2018
NDTV, however, quoted Amartya Sen’s comment in a slightly clearer fashion, the argument being equally convoluted.
“I think in modern days, the majority and minority cannot be decided based on who is a Hindu or who is a Muslim, as it is not really clear who is a Hindu. Definitely, the number of Dalits and other minorities is very less. But the fact is that those who are ruling the nation they are not the majority in terms of number, but the reason of their power is that they are aptly using the tools of our political system,” Mr Sen said at a discussion on where the Indian democracy is heading.
We have many reasons to join hands with other people who are not really leftists. This is a striking question even before the 2019 election. But one thing must be made clear that joining hands doesn’t mean that two parties forming an alliance must give consent to all views of each other. One needs to fight against the divisive politics and the minority treatment,” 2019 election is the agenda”.
In essence, Amartya Sen seems to be saying that majority and minority should be decided on the basis of who supports PM Modi and who doesn’t, and in extremely convoluted language, is asking for a mahagathbandhan of all minorities.
After Social Media tore into Amartya Sen’s purported statement, India Today has now deleted their article which ended up making a convoluted statement incoherant.