Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen is a talented man who seems to specialise in lying, obfuscating and fear mongering. In this recent interview to the Times of India, the economist seems to have done just that.
On 10th January 2019, Times of India published a short interview with Amartya Sen that covered a host of topics including the 10% reservation for economically backward people that has been passed by the Modi government. The 124th Constitutional Amendment Bill, that facilitated the reservation, was passed both by Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.
Amartya Sen’s interview to Times of India had several lies and loopholes that, interestingly, the interviewer never seemed to counter.
Lies about 10% reservation for the poor being an ‘upper caste’ quota
The Times of India interview quotes Amartya Sen as saying that the “upper caste” quota brought in by the BJP government is an example of “muddled thinking” and may have “serious political and economic repercussions”.
He then goes on to say that these reservations seem to be BJP’s bid to “woo upper caste votes”.
Interestingly, a Nobel Laureate has lied an obfuscated on an important policy decision blatantly. The 10% reservation bill has no mention of “upper castes”. In fact, this reservation bill is for the general category and has no considerations of caste or religion. The only criteria in this reservation are the economic status of a family.
Says Citizenship Bill and NRC discriminatory against Muslims, against Indian Constitution
Amartya Sen asserted that the National Registry for Citizens and the Citizenship Bill was ‘discriminatory’ on the grounds of ‘religion’ particularly against Muslims. He also asserts that such discrimination is against the Constitution of India. What Amartya Sen fails to realise is that the NRC and Citizenship Bill is to weed out illegal immigrants from the Country. Illegal immigrants are people who are staying in the country with no legitimate documents and are not Indian citizens at all. The Nobel Laureate attempts to confuse his readers since he doesn’t bother to consider that those who aren’t Indian Citizens have no right to live in the Country as is. To say that Indian law that wants to deport illegals is against the Indian Constitution is absurd.
The Indian Constitution guarantees equality to Indian citizens regardless of caste, colour, creed or religion. However, one cannot invoke the Constitution of the Country to railroad the Government into accepting illegal immigrants. The truth of the matter is that elements like Sen invoke religion to polarise a law and order problem because it helps the political side they wish to support.
Peddles the same ‘intolerance’ narrative yet again
The ‘intolerance’ cottage industry refuses to stand down and in this interview with the Times of India, Amartya Sen has made this absurd allegation yet again.
He says that if someone is a Hindu or Christian, they have a right to comment, but if someone is a Muslim, they don’t have that right. He says this is an “enormous violation of the spirit of the Constitution”. He then invokes “case of Naseeruddin Shah” to make his point.
Interestingly, folks like Amartya Sen forget that Naseeruddin Shah was accepted and appreciated by Indians, who he derides today, without the slightest consideration to his religion. It is when he was seen to tarnish the image of the country, that people spoke out. Naseeruddin Shah even sided with Naxals who wish to break this country into pieces, and that, cannot be called “speaking up in the favour of Muslims”. Interestingly, Naseeruddin Shah also never spoke about the Muslim cow traders who are attacked by Muslims smugglers. If anything, it proves that Naseeruddin Shah has a political agenda and does not speak for the interest of Muslims.
Amartya Sen, however, has raised the ‘intolerance’ bogey several times in the past. On 30th April 2014, Sen proclaimed that minorities have valid reasons to fear Modi. Such statements during Lok Sabha elections are an example of practically campaigning against a person. It is thus evident that Amartya Sen is merely politically motivated than intellectually honest.
Obfuscates on the issue of farmer loan waiver
Since Congress has announced farmer loan waiver in the three states where they are in power, Amartya Sen has chosen to throw his intellectual honesty as an Economist to the wind the obfuscate on the matter of farmer loan waivers.
He says that while farmer loan waiver has its share of problems, it also has its benefits. He says “those who want to impact the lives of people may think it has a good cause on ethical grounds”. As an Economist, one would have expected Amartya Sen to comment on the various issues related to farmer loan waiver and how the Congress’ hollow promises have failed miserably with multiple farmer suicides despite such a “waiver”, a “waiver” with conditions and the fact, that in Karnataka only 800 farmers had reaped benefits. He also doesn’t mention that several farmers are still getting repayment notices, or that in Madhya Pradesh, there is already a potential scam brewing in Rajasthan.
Amartya Sen had almost campaigned for a united front and also appealed to people to not vote for the Prime Minister in 2014. It is evident that Sen is extremely politically motivated and is not past lying. During the Congress regime, during his tenure as chairman of the Nalanda University board (and de facto chancellor), key appointments to the university have been dogged by controversies relating to nepotism and non-transparency. It is confounding that someone who has been marked with such controversies would today take the high moral ground, and unsurprising that he would actively become a political voice to the campaign against the Prime Minister, veiling his politicking with his Nobel prize.