Amartya Sen, the person who got Nobel Prize in economic sciences, is criticizing BJP government for its divisive politics and using Ram Mandir and other religion-related issues to divert attention from major issues like unemployment.
Hailed as one of the most intellectual personality alive in India, Sen gave an interview to News18 on Thursday. Here are the major issues on which Sen gave his thoughtful views:
BJP’s major faults:
Sen said that BJP has started what he called “the cultivation of an atmosphere of intolerance and a systematic undermining of institutions, going all the way to the courts”. According to Sen, this dictatorial policy of BJP is not going to help a lot in next elections. “I think if it’s well organised [the election], the number of seats that the BJP gets should be far less than what it did in the parliamentary elections in 2014,” added Sen.
Govt’s bias against Muslims:
Government passed the Citizenship bill of 2016, which means the Indian Government will give citizenship to any person coming from neighbouring countries except Muslims. Sen criticised the move and said, “I think citizenship should have nothing to do with your religion. It’s a principle on which the Constitution is based. There were a lot of discussions on that in the Constituent Assembly when India was becoming independent. And therefore, to begin something which privileges non-Muslims over Muslims is, I think, a real violation of the constitutional principle of neutrality over religious differences. There is a systematic bias in governmental thinking. I think what we see is an organised attempt at making the country smaller, meaner, nastier and more divided.”
Gau-Raksha and Mob lynching:
When Naseeruddin Shah said that we should keep a human being’s life above a Cow’s life, people lose their mind. Sen termed this as the classic example of intolerance. He said, “There are a lot of people crazy enough to regard gau Raksha [cow protection] to be much more important than Manav-Raksha [protection of human beings].” Sen, however, tried not to give reactionary statements and said, “As a social scientist, I have to resist having a simple explanation for everything.”
Mamta Bannerjje: A democrat or a dictator:
Sen claimed that Bannerjee is a strong secular leader. However, he added that the nature of her party’s administration is quite authoritative.
“Something which has not had a long tradition of being a part of the Bengali culture, to introduce that bearing in mind that it may communally divide, has huge danger. I mean, Ram Navami has been used like that. I don’t remember as a child people going around with swords in Calcutta’s streets on Ram Navami,” commented Sen on BJP’s claim on Trinmool Congress’s government and the Rath Yatra.
If not BJP, then Congress?
Not just BJP, Sen also criticised Congress for doing very less, given that the Congress was in power most of the time after India’s Independence. “The Congress has a long history of running the country without tackling some of the central concerns, namely bad school education and bad basic healthcare. They have done relatively little about that in the past,” said Sen on Congress. He feared that there would be no change in policies whether BJP is in Power on Congress is in power.